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From the Bunker: Pine Hill serves as terrific host for Tour event

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Cory Etter watches the flight of his shot on the 4th hole during the final round of the 41st annual Sunny King Golf Classic in 2019. (Photo by Trent Penny/The Anniston Star)

What a great time at Pine Hill Country Club this past weekend. Head professional Cory Etter had his course ready and the place was hopping with more than 140 golfers ready for the Pine Hill Invitational.

It was the largest Calhoun County Tour event that I have been associated with. It was a maze of golfers, golf carts and golf clubs mixed in with some grilled hot dogs and hamburgers that started at 6 in the morning and ran until dark Saturday and Sunday.

Since Etter took over as owner a while back, the course has seen a lot of changes for the better.

”The hardest thing to do has been clearing the tree limbs and brush that were coming into play, but it is great to be able to get things done faster and without having to go through a board,” Etter said.

He has a top-notch course superintendent in John Grubbs and a great crew.

The course was in the best shape I have seen. It was tough as only 10 golfers were under par for the weekend. Even the lily pads were blooming in the water, spraying a beautiful yellow color all over the course.

It was good to see Caleb McKinney playing a Tour event again. He was at Pine Hill this past weekend. His dad, the course manager at Cane Creek, has been ill some and that has taken up a lot of time. Wrist surgery has kept McKinney away from the links. He shot a 71-73—144 and finished in the top 10.

Chance Harris won the First Flight with a 142, two shots better than Josh Poole and Caleb Bowen. The Second Flight was won by Chad Watson at 144. Brennan Clay was one stroke behind at 145.

Johnny Barnes and Carlos Sanderson tied for first in the Third Flight with a 152 for the tournament. Kobie Webb was one shot back in third place.

Lenn Coffey fired a 75 on Sunday to win the Fourth Flight by two strokes over Hank Smith. Coffey’s two-day total was 154.

Cal Lambert shot a 159 to win the Fifth Flight by two strokes over Chase Lambert. Houston Black shot 171 to take first place in the Sixth Flight by four strokes over Tyler Teneyck.

Dennis Austin shot a 141 to win the Senior A division by three strokes over Jerry Irwin, David Sanders and Mike Granato. Sanders had a pair of eagles on the front nine.

Steve Davis edged Ron Fleming by one shot to win the Senior B Division with a score of 152. Bruce Collins shot a 164 to win the Senior C Division by eight strokes.

Course news

Anniston Country Club (256-237-8412): There is a dogfight every Saturday and Sunday. There is a member-only scramble Sept. 3, which is Labor Day. The RMC Foundation Scramble will be Oct. 2, and the Martha Vandervoort Memorial Classic will be Oct. 17.

Anniston Municipal, “The Hill” (256-231-7631): A round of golf, if you walk, is only $10 for all day during the week and $12 on weekends. Add $14 for 18 holes if you want a cart.

There is a special rate in place on Mondays and Tuesdays only — just $18 for all-day golf, including the cart.

Ted Heim won first place in the July 18 dogfight with plus-4 points. Second place went to Jerre Dindler with plus-3 points.

in the July 19 dogfight, Roger Smith won with plus-9 points. Second place went to Steve Mullendore with plus-6 points. Third place with plus-4 points was Mike Zinn. Fourth place was a tie with Heim, Danny Whittaker and Caleb McKinney each scoring plus-3 points.

The July 23 afternoon nine-hole scramble was won by the team of Tanner Wells, James Lett, Roger Smith and Joe McGuire, who won in a chip-off against the team of Tony Hicks, Daniel Ricks, Steve Mullendore and Lou Williams. Each scored 8 under.

The Calhoun County Championship will be Aug. 29-30. The Buddy Moore will be Sept. 12-13.

Cane Creek Golf Course (256-820-9174): There is a special rate in place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Sunday as you can play 18 holes for just $20.

Dogfights are taking place Tuesday, Thursday and most Saturdays, with registration times at 8:30 a.m. and a tee time of 9 a.m. You are invited to join fellow seniors and enjoy a round of golf and a great meal from The Cane Creek Grille.

The next senior two-man scramble tournament will be Aug. 3 and is being sponsored by Noble Bank. The cost is $31 and covers green fees, cart and lunch. Tee time is 9 a.m. You must be over 50 years old, and check-in time is 8:30 a.m.

There are four flights, possibly five, if enough players sign up. There are cash payouts and ages 59 and under play off the white tees, ages 60-69 play off the gold tees and 70 and over play off the red tees.

Cider Ridge Country Club (256-831-7222): Cider Ridge offers special rates for military, police, firefighters, paramedics and EMTs. Kids play free after 3 p.m. with a paying adult.

You can save on golf at Cider Ridge Golf Club with The Alabama Honours Card. Card-holders can get 15 percent off their golf fees at check in, 25 percent off Troon Card race on the day of their birthday, 10 percent off merchandise at participating golf shops, 10 percent off at participating golf course restaurants and 25 percent off club rental fees. Card-holders get other privileges as well.

The city of Oxford has re-scheduled its tournament for Aug. 8-9. It is a Calhoun County Tour event and was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Ty Cole is the defending champion.

Pine Hill Country Club (256-237-2633): There are several dogfights each week at Pine Hill. They are at 10 a.m. Wednesday, noon Friday and 9 a.m. Saturday. The Parking Lot Gang hosts a scramble at 11 a.m. each Thursday. Registration is at 10:30 a.m.

Senior two-man scrambles will be Aug. 17, Sept. 21, Oct. 19, Nov. 16 and Dec. 21. They are all 9 a.m. shotgun starts.

Silver Lakes (256-892-3268): The first Tuesday of each month you can play golf at Silver Lakes for no green fees. You have to have a current RTJ Trail Card. The cart fee will be $20 if you take a cart.

The 2020 membership card is on sale and it features discounts on green fees, merchandise and dining at all the Robert Trent Jones locations.

Senior players looking for a chance to challenge their game on a variety of courses should consider getting in the game with the Southeastern Seniors Golf Association. The SSGA, open to players 50 and older, plays weekly — usually Monday — on public and private courses throughout the state. Benny Foster sets up the schedule in the northern part of the state. Call 256-613-9696 for more information.

A qualifier will be Aug. 20 for the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail Craft Beer Championship. Registration will be at 7:30 a.m. with a shotgun start beginning at 8:30.

The RTJ trail has partnered with local Alabama Breweries to present the ultimate combination of golf and beer. Ten qualifying tournaments will be held at Trail sites in July and August. The top two teams from each tournament will advance to the RTJ Craft Beer Tournament Championship at Ross Bridge on Aug. 29 to compete for the grand prize — a three-day, two-night trip on the RTJ Golf Trail for each member of the winning team.

Indian Oaks Golf Club (256-820-4030): Indian Oaks has a dogfight every Saturday and Sunday, starting at 8 a.m.

Every Tuesday and Thursday there will be a scramble at 9 a.m.

Course rates are $20 for 18 holes and a cart on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. It is $15 for 18 holes and a cart Wednesday. On Saturday and Sunday, the rate is $25 for 18 holes and a cart.

Once you pay for 18 holes you can play the rest of the day for just an additional $7.

The ever-popular Saturday Night Putting Contest is being held each week. The entry fee is $11, and the competition begins at 7 p.m. Social distancing rules will be in effect and there will be cash payouts each week. The top two each week will qualify for the year-end championships and year-end cash payout. One dollar is taken out of each weekly fee to go into the year-end pot. The lounge opens at 5 p.m.

The Links at Briarmeade (256-492-1150): Just four miles across the Calhoun County line in Glencoe lies a hidden jewel in the Links at Briarmeade. The course is unlike any in the area and provides a test of all of your shot-making skills. It is a par 71, 5,490 yards from the white tees. It is a course built on Scottish roots.

There is a senior two-man scramble (50 and over) on Aug. 13, beginning at 9 a.m. There is the Brian Pitts Memorial Classic on Aug. 29. It is a two-man scramble. Pitts graduated from Glencoe High School in 2010 and passed away in recent years.

Contact Anniston Star golf writer Brant Locklier at