Baldwinsville Kiwanis Open 2010

Charity golf event puts fun in fundraising

Mike Samoraj has challenged area golfers.

Bored by the traditional captain and crew events, Samoraj asked fellow golfers for ideas to "mix things up a bit." He said he wanted "to spice up a format that had lost its appeal to many golf enthusiasts."

What resulted was the Kiwanis Open, now in its fourth year.

"The Kiwanis Open offers many unique challenges," said Samoraj, who is the event founder and the chairperson for the fourth Annual Kiwanis Open. "Imagine using a seven iron only from tee to green. Or playing your own ball on all par three's where the two best scores from your team are added together for a hole total."

Inspired by a desire to enhance the traditional captain and crew format found in typical charity golf events, Samoraj implemented unique ways such as these to challenge local golfers making this event a must-play on the charity circuit.

Another challenge involves teamwork on par fives -- one person drives all four balls, another teammate hits the fairway shots followed by a third teammate who hits the remaining approach and the final team member who has the pressure of sinking four birdie putts. Then, on the shortest par four, all golfers have to tee off with an opposite-handed driver.

"For the captain and crew purest, there are still more than a few holes played by traditional captain and crew rules, [which is] rather refreshing after the challenges of the unorthodox format," Samoraj said.

After three years, the annual event seems to rate high with area golfers.

"Many local golfers truly look forward to this annual event," Samoraj said.

This year's Kiwanis Open, presented by the Baldwinsville Chapter of the Kiwanis, will begin with a shotgun start at noon Friday May 14 at Foxfire Golf Club in Village Green, Baldwinsville. The event includes a "fine meal" at the conclusion as well as prizes for each participating team.

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