Ray Hollingshead lines up a putt on the eighteenth hole during a practice round at Valley Grande Golf Course Thursday afternoon. Hollingshead will participate in the golf portion of the 2013 Masters Games, his thirteenth consecutive year participating in the event. Through the years, he has had a lot of success in the Masters Games.--Daniel Evans
Ray Hollingshead lines up a putt on the eighteenth hole during a practice round at Valley Grande Golf Course Thursday afternoon. Hollingshead will participate in the golf portion of the 2013 Masters Games, his thirteenth consecutive year participating in the event. Through the years, he has had a lot of success in the Masters Games.-- Daniel Evans

Senior golfers prepare for golf tournament

Published 12:02pm Saturday, August 3, 2013

Golfers 50-years-old and up will show off their skills Aug. 12 and Aug. 13 at Valley Grande Golf Course during the golf portion of the 2013 Masters Games.

There will be a singles competition and a pitch and putt competition Aug. 12. The doubles competition is Aug. 13.

“The people just love coming over here. It is just a good course to play,” Selma Parks and Recreation Director Elton Reece said. “We set it up as easy as we can make it. I want everybody to shoot their best score, so we move the tees up for them.”

Each golfer is broken down into age groups, which are 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74, 75-79, 80-84, 85-89 and 90 and above.

Reece said the highest participating age group is the 75 and above participants, because a lot of those players started playing when the competition first moved to Selma years ago and have stuck with it.

Reece said moving the tees up actually hurts some of the better golfers in the tournament” because they hit the ball too far.

One of those affected will be Ray Hollingshead, who Reece said has won so many medals that he “could sink a boat with them.”

“I am going to try to take advantage of the yellow tees, but it doesn’t hardly ever work that way,” Hollingshead joked.

Hollingshead, who will be playing in his thirteenth Masters Games, said he enjoys playing in the event.

“I just enjoy playing in it, with all the people that are my age, instead of having to play against kids and everything,” Hollingshead said. “I enjoy playing with the seniors.”

He said it is a good chance to see how your game matches up against players he has been playing golf with for a long time.

“You kind of see how you play against your age group,” Hollingshead said.

In the doiubles event, Reece and Hollinghead have played as partners in the past and will do so again this time.

Steve Smitherman, who runs Valley Grande Golf Course, will play in the event this year as well.

“Last year was my first year. They dropped the age on it and it was a lot of fun. I met a lot of people,” Smitherman said.

Reece expects about 40 to 60 golfers to participate in this year’s event.

Reece said since his district is the largest for golf, all golfers that participate in the district golf tournament will have the opportunity to play in the state portion of the golf event as well.

The Masters Games was started in 1995 for senior citizens. The 2013 events include a 5K run, basketball free throw, billiards, bowling, checkers, dominoes, frisbee throw, golf, horseshoes, line dancing, nerfball throw, rook, shuffleball, softball throw, swimming, table tennis and tennis. For more information on other games, those interested can go to mastersgamesalabama.org.

The state tournament for all of the events will be held in Lanett.

Registration is open now for the district tournament. Those interested in playing can either call the golf course at 877-4433 or Selma Parks and Recreation 874-2140.

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