Defending champion Steve Blackburn Jr. will lead off the 23rd season of the Greater Cleveland Skins Game on April 18th by hitting the first tee shot at 4:30pm at Fowlers Mill Golf Course in Chesterland.
“I think we have an exciting schedule this year,” says Skins Game Director John Niedzialek. “Madison Country Club is back on the schedule with its re-opening, and we are looking forward to playing The Fairways at Twin Lakes in Kent for the first time. A few dates have been left open as well, to hopefully add a new course or two.”
“We have also adopted a new rules change to give an incentive to some higher handicappers who might want to join us as well. This new rule allows seniors age 55 and up plus any player with a handicap of 12 or higher to hit from the next forward tee (except par three’s).”
“Everyone will be chasing Blackburn Jr. this year and it will be fun to see who might wrestle the Thompson Cup away from him.”
The Thompson Cup is awarded annually to the leading “skins and pins” money winner on the season.
The Greater Cleveland Skins Game was originally started in 1990 at Fairway Pines Golf Course and is now rotated weekly to various golf courses on the east and southeast side of Cleveland.
“The Skins Game has always been a blue-collar event series that tries to maximize the pay-out for our players while trying to keep green fee rates reasonable. Many courses have worked with us over the years to do just that, and we truly appreciate it. There is no reason amateur players should not be rewarded for good play. It’s the amateur players that keep the game of golf business and the USGA in business, not the pro tours,” states Niedzialek.
Last year, Blackburn Jr. of Willowick won with a season-ending total of just over $1,621 in pin shots and skin winners.
2011 Greater Cleveland Skins Game Champion Dave Sotka of Chardon also looks forward to the start of the new season. He recently remarked, “I thank Steve for keeping my Cup warm until the end of this year.”
Skins Game players will also have the opportunity to participate in the Cleveland Shoot-Out again, to be played on Labor Day Monday starting at 12 noon with another great payout. Last year’s champion, Brian Pentek of Painesville, took home the $750 first place prize.
Sean Kreft of Mulligan’s Pub in Highland Heights has once again agreed to sponsor the Mulligan’s Pub Trophy, adding $500 to an optional points game run to make the season even more interesting.
All amateurs are welcome to participate in Greater Cleveland Skins Game events. No pre-registration 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 for the skins game is $30, plus green fees (listed below by course). The season will culminate at Powderhown Golf Club in Madison on October 10th, where the 2013 champion will receive the annual champagne toast and be awarded the Thompson Cup.
2013 Greater Cleveland Skins Game Event Schedule
April 18: Fowlers Mill 4:30p
April 25: Manikiki 4:45p
May 2: Sleepy Hollow 5:00p
May 9: Erie Shores 5p
May 16: Fowlers Mill 5p
May 23: Madison Country Club 5p
May 30: Powderhorn 5p
June 6: Fowlers Mill 5p *DD
June 13: Quail Hollow (Devlin) 4:30p
June 20: Legend Lakes 5p
June 27: Twin Lakes (Kent) 5p
July 4: TBA
July 11: Sleepy Hollow 5p
July 18: Quail Hollow (Weiskopf) 4:30p
July 25; Twin Lakes (Kent) 5p
August 1: TBA
August 8: TBA
August 15: Manikiki 5p *DD
August 22: Powderhorn 5p
August 29 : Fowlers Mill 5p
September 2: Greater Cleveland Shoot – Noon – Course TBA
September 5: TBA
September 12 Erie Shores: 5p
September 19: TBA
September 26: Legend Lakes 4:30p
October 3: Fowlers Mill 4:30p
October 10: Powderhorn 4:00p *DD
*DD – Double Down Event: $60 entry fee. Requires a minimum number of prior event plays to enter.
2013 Golf Course Green Fee Rates (includes cart):
Erie Shores $16.50
Fowlers Mill $20
Legend Lake Country Club $20
Madison Country Club $20
Quail Hollow Country Club $27
Sleepy Hollow $23
Twin Lakes $15