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The Greatest set to tee off



Published: Sun, May 12, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

By Todd Franko (Contact)


With the golf season in full bloom, the inquiries have ignited about Greatest Golfer of the Valley.

Greatest enters its fourth season, and we hit the big time this year.

We’re anchored, as always, by our friends at Farmers National Bank, who’ve been with us since Day 1. But we’re joined this year by Covelli Enterprises and Superior Beverage, whose investments take the Greatest to new lengths.

How much length? How about the length of PGA golfer Jason Kokrak’s drives. He’ll be with Greatest this year, bombing his 360-yard drives around The Lake Club.

Greatest registration starts today on Vindy.com/golf, and here’s the Greatest in a nutshell:

Greatest summary

The Greatest is a competitive golf test for adults and juniors. The juniors compete all summer in six qualifiers that lead to a championship at Trumbull Country Club. The adults compete at the end of the summer in a three-day test on the links. We totaled 500 golfers last year.

All information about prices, divisions and the registration form can be found on Vindy.com/golf starting after noon on Monday.

This will be the first year that juniors can register online.

New: The McMullin Rule

One of the first 2013 changes we made is a small one that we hope has a big impact on local families.

The adult Greatest has been for current residents of the five Vindicator counties — Mahoning, Trumbull, Columbiana, Mercer and Lawrence.

But we know that locals who move off to other parts of the U.S. keep a fondness for home. It’s especially fond around the time of Greatest because our beloved high school football kicks off the same week.

One such golfer is Greatest alum Doug McMullin, who played out of Yankee Run until he moved down Cincy way. He was among the first to reply to our first email this year with:

“You guys going to let me play this year or are you just sending me the e-mail to make me jealous of all the fun you’ll have without me!”

We’ve had others ask, too. Little did he know that we’d make him the namesake of our new rule:

The McMullin Rule: If you are a Valley native and you want to come home for family and golf, we will let you in the Greatest.

Kokrak leads Scramble event

New this year to Greatest is the addition of the Miller 64 Greatest Scramble Challenge hosted by Kokrak.

This addition, played Aug. 19 at The Lake Club, aims to identify the best scramble team in the Valley.

Is your team the best? Put it up against 30 other teams in the Valley.

But to get into the Greatest Scramble, you have to win a charity scramble elsewhere in the Valley this summer.

We are picking 30 charity scrambles this summer that will serve as qualifiers to crown the Greatest Scramble team.

Our first two tee off this week:

On Monday at Tippecanoe Country Club, the Silver Lining Cancer Fund will tee off with 88 players.

On Friday at Salem Golf Club, the Teddy Bear Classic tees off to benefit the Dyslexic Learning Center of Youngstown.

Miller 64’s support of this program will provide $300 to each of the 30 charities this summer and set up the winners for a chance to play in the Greatest Scramble Challenge.

If you want your charity scramble to be part of this program, email me at tfranko@vindy.com.

Greatest partners

Greatest has been about partners coming together to make a great Valley event.

Farmers National Bank, The Lake Club and 15 other courses and sponsors have been with us for several years — propelling us to this big year when Greatest explodes.

The best news about this year is that Covelli Enterprises’ Panerathon 10K/2K run/walk has partnered up with The Greatest.

The two events happen the same week in August, which is also the same week that high school football kicks off.

Hundreds of golfers, thousands of runners, thousands of fans. Is there another time in the Valley when three such events come together? It all makes for a splendid week to be home in the Valley.

Actually, it makes for a “Greatest Week in the Valley,” and that’s what we’ve made with the Covelli team.

The “Greatest Week” will kick off Aug. 16 with a concert by Pat Benatar. See our ad in today’s Vindicator for the full agenda.

Go to vindy.com/golf to start being part of this.

The rollout starts Monday with registration opening for Greatest golfers.

We will continue to update that site over the next few weeks as all these new pieces come together.

Tourney golf, a running race, high school football, legendary music, a local PGA’er, thousands of dollars to Valley charities — it all makes for the Greatest Week in the Valley.

Todd Franko is editor of The Vindicator. He likes emails about stories and our newspaper. Email him at tfranko@vindy.com. He blogs, too, on vindy.com. Tweet him, too, at @tfranko.


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