Registration Open for Putt & Pub Crawl

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Golf enthusiasts, get your putters ready! The popular Putt & Pub Crawl is already taking registrations for their 2016 event, scheduled for Saturday, January 16th beginning at 9am. Now in its sixth year, the Crawl – which always benefits a local community organization – has become another great tradition on our quirky little island, and regularly sells out quickly.

The beneficiary for this year’s Crawl is Beach Elementary Parent Teacher Organization (PTO).

“We have so many families involved in Little League and soccer, and we wanted to see if it was a possibility to be part of it this year,” said PTO representative Kim West. “So Ginger Weber contacted (Lahaina Realty owner) Paula Kiker, and she said yes. We are thrilled!”

Paula and Lahaina have been the organizers of the event since it’s inception, and have raised thousands of dollars for local organizations including CERT, Fort Myers Beach Friends of the Arts and Bay Oaks Recreation Campus.

“The PTO depends so much on parent involvement, but many of our parents have full-time jobs and other commitments that we can use any outside help we can get,” West told us. “The money is used to make sure that no school need goes unaided. It benefits the teachers, students – everyone knows that school budgets don’t cover everything needed for school.”

Kim told us that last year the PTO began focusing on after-school programs (for a great story on these, see the front page of this week’s paper) so funds raised this year will go towards keeping them going and creating new ones.

The Putt & Pub Crawl combines golf, cocktails, raffles and a stroll around our beautiful downtown as participants compete for bragging rights, trophies and memories. Participating sponsors for 2016 are: Smokin Oyster Brewery, PierSide Grill, Matanzas on the Bay, Yucatan Beach Stand, Salty Crab Bar & Grill, Mermaid Lounge, Gulfshore Grill, La Ola Surfside Restaurant and Pete’s Time Out. New Time Square eatery the Sunset Beach Grill is hosting the after-party.

Registered team members are asked to meet in front of Yucatan between 9 and 11am on the 16th to get their armbands and scorecards, after which they will have until 4:30pm to complete the course, where each participating eatery has created their own putting greens. In past years, these holes have ranged from the deceptively simple (a ring floating off the dock at Matanzas) to the complicated (a tiny replica of Time Square – complete with fishing pier – at PierSide) to the somewhat terrifying (a super-long incline, where putters had to hit the ball as hard as possible to avoid getting penalized – at Pete’s Time Out).

“We already got 33 of the expected 50 teams signed up and registered,” said Sarah Poppins of Lahaina. “The cost is $200 per four person team, and teams can complete the course in whatever order they want to. Many places will have a special drink of which they will donate all the sales to the PTO – last year Pete’s Time Out donated the most. There will also be raffles and 50/50 drawings throughout the day, and a representative from the PTO will be at each hole, selling tickets for the raffles.

“At each hole, the PTO will be having 50/50 raffles and raffles for gift baskets full of great things like hotel stays and restaurant gift certificates,” West said. “We are still in need of items for those raffles, so anyone with anything to donate is asked to call myself at 239-910-2918 or Ginger Weber at 239-707-8328.”

All holes must be completed by 4:30pm and scorecards turned into the ’10th Hole’ at the Sunset Beach Grill by no later than 5pm, where there will be dinner and entertainment by Wayward Soul from 5-7pm. Prizes will be awarded for 1st and 2nd place, plus a Duffer’s Award for last place and awards for the best dressed team and best team name given out between 5:30 and 6:00pm.

“We’re also going to have prizes this year for the sponsor’s holes, which will be decided by judges and by People’s Choice,” said Poppins.

So sign up now to join the fun, or donate a gift item for the PTO and come out to cheer on your favorite team!

Keri Hendry Weeg