Classic teeing up for big swing in Bella Vista; Organizers hoping golf event’s sixth year will be its best

Bella Vista Charity Classic

May 20-22: Preview bidding for Silent Auction at Bella Vista Country Club Bar and Grill

May 23: Pro-Am Party and Silent Auction at Lakepoint

May 24: Pro-Am Tournament

May 25-26: WAPT/APT Professional Tournament at Highlands and Country Club Golf Courses

May 27-28: WAPT and APT Professional Tournament at Highlands Golf Course

May 28: Award Ceremonies, 1 pm, at Highlands Golf Course

BELLA VISTA — The Bella Vista Charity Classic is fast becoming known as one of the area’s premier events — and not just because of the quality of golf it brings to this corner of Northwest Arkansas.

This year’s event, which runs May 20-28, hopes to follow the success enjoyed by last year’s classic, which featured not only some very good and exciting golf, but also some big donations to several area organizations.

“This is a true community tournament that gives back to charity,” Bella Vista Property Owners Association Director of Golf Operations Darryl Muldoon said. “We have amazing volunteers and amazing staff to make this happen. And the membership is patient for that week because we do have to close courses for the tournament and we have to close the driving ranges because (the pros) use a different golf ball and that way they can practice with a tour ball and get used to that.”

This is the sixth year for the All Pro Tour and third for the Womens All Pro Tour to be participating in the Bella Vista Charity Classic.

Last year the event, featuring the Pro-Am Party and Pro-Am Tournament, brought in sponsor revenue of $110,000 with net proceeds of more than $45,000. A total of $42,000 in grants was donated to five local organizations: the Boys and Girls Club of Benton County, the Bella Vista Courtesy Van, Bella Vista Community TV, the Bella Vista Animal Shelter and the Rotary Club of Bella Vista.

Charitable donations have reached over $160,000 in the five-year history of the event.

This year’s schedule opens with preview bidding for items in the Silent Auction at the Bella Vista Bar and Grill on May 20-22. The Pro-Am Party and Silent Auction will be held May 23 at Lakepoint Restaurant. The Silent Auction is only for amateur players holding tickets to the Pro-Am Party.

The action on the links begins May 24 with the Pro-Am Tournament.

“The Pro-Am Tournament is very unique,” ​​Muldoon said. “We will be playing fivesomes with three amateurs, one female pro and one male pro. The three amateurs will scramble and can use either drive of the male or female pro at any time. They’ll scramble from that ball on in. If the scramble does not beat the pro, they’ll write down the pro’s score. They call it a Texas Scramble, and we’ve changed it up a little bit. Having the male and female pro on their team supporting them … man, It’s crazy how far they can hit the ball. And they’re playing in their own skins game, so they get very aggressive.

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