PREVIEW: 2015 Greater Cleveland Skins Game

Steve Blackburn Jr 2014 Cleveland Skins Thompson Cup Winner

Greater Cleveland Skins GameThe Greater Cleveland Skins Game will celebrate its 25th Anniversary this year, opening up on Thursday April 16 at Fowlers Mill Golf Course in Chesterland.

All amateur players are welcome to participate in Greater Cleveland Skins game events. No preregistration is necessary; simply show up 15 minutes prior to the start of the weekly events to get paired up with other competitors. The weekly entry fee is $30 plus the green fees.

Steve Blackburn Jr 2014 Cleveland Skins Thompson Cup WinnerThree-times-in-a-row Thompson Cup defending champion Steve Blackburn Jr. will hit the first tee shot at 4:30 pm.

The Thompson Cup is awarded annually to the season-long money winner. The Greater Cleveland Skins Game was originally started in 1990 at Fairway Pines Golf Course and is now rotated at various courses throughout the region.

John Niedzialek“We are looking forward to celebrate our 25th anniversary,” states Skins Game Director John Niedzialek. “We are proud to provide an organized and competitive series of events for amateur players in our region. The Skins game has always been a blue-collar event trying to maximize the payment for our amateur players while trying to keep green fee rates under control. We are grateful to the many courses and sponsorship opportunities that allow the players to participate in the Greater Cleveland Skins game.”

Last year, Blackburn Jr. of Willowick shattered the record with a season ending total of $2,678. “Steve Jr. has a target on his back this year,” states Niedzialek. “I think we can get in his head and take the Cup away from him.”

A few new rules for 2015 have been set to allow more players participate. Our mid-summer schedule will be moved back to 5:30 pm starting time to allow players to get to the course. Another major change is that players with a documented handicap of 5.1 or higher and any player age 55 or older can hit from the forward tees.

We have also added some new courses: Sweetbriar for west side players has been added; Windmill Lakes for those in the south; and Little Mountain has been added thanks to some great rates they are giving us.

Thanks to Cleveland Metroparks Golf, as the top five players at the midway mark of the Skins season will also gain exemptions into the Greater Cleveland Amateur Championship, played in August.

Skins Game players will also qualify again for the Cleveland Shoot-Out, to be played on Labor Day Monday starting at 12 noon with another great payout. This year, the Shoot Out will be held at Madison Country Club, where the course is offering participants an excellent green fee rate of just $29 for the holiday. Last year’s Greater Cleveland Shoot-Out champion was Dave Sotka of Chardon, who took home a nice pot of $605.

Also thanks to Sean Kreft of Mulligan’s Pub in Highland Heights, who has once again agreed to sponsor the Greater Cleveland Skins Game by adding $500 for the Mulligan’s Pub Trophy. “A cash donation to amateur associations is hard to come by and much appreciated,” says Niedzialek.

The season will culminate at Fowlers Mill on October 15, where the 2015 champion will receive the annual champagne toast and be awarded the Thompson Cup.

2015 Greater Cleveland Skins Game Event Schedule Here

2015 Green Fee Rates (includes cart)
Tanglewood $24
Erie Shores $16.50
Fowlers Mill $21
Chardon Lakes $23
Legend Lake Country Club $20
Madison Country Club: $20
Manikiki $25
Powderhorn: $15
Sweetbriar $29
Little Mountain $20

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