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News Story
Updated: 05/29/2013 08:00:14AM

50th annual golf tournament called successful

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PHOTO BY STEVE STEINER


And the ball (upper left corner) is on its way towards the 18th green at the Florida Sheriff's Youth Villa Golf Classic, held this past week at the Bartow Golf Club.

PHOTO BY STEVE STEINER


And this one's for birdie!

PHOTO BY STEVE STEINER


Golfers and fans alike are greeted by the huge sign informing them who sponsors are for the 50th year of the golf event.

PHOTO BY STEVE STEINER


A golfer hands in his scorecard, which will be counted and posted by one of the residents of the Florida Sheriff's Youth Villa Classic.

PHOTO BY STEVE STEINER


Jim Semple, program director of the Florida Sheriff's Youth Villa Classic, reviews a golfer's scorecard.

PHOTO BY STEVE STEINER


Golfers kibbitz as well as check the leader board to see who's ahead.

PHOTO BY STEVE STEINER


Karen Guffey (left) waits to hand out checks to the winners of the Florida Sheriff's Youth Villa Golf Classic held at Bartow Golf Club as Chris Banks calls out each winner's name.

PHOTO BY STEVE STEINER


Herbert Dixon gets a hug from Karen Guffey as he approaches to receive his prize winnings for having the best score in his division. Not surprisingly, Dixon received a standing ovation and cheers from everyone inside the clubhouse.

By STEVE STEINER

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Regardless of who was asked, be it organizers, participants or spectators, the 50th Florida Sheriff’s Youth Villa Classic held at the Bartow Golf Club was a success. Consensus was not only did it feature changes in format that were favorably received, but more important, raised money for a worthy cause.

“It seems to be going pretty well,” said Jim Semple, the program director for the Sheriff’s Youth Villa located on State Road 60. “Being this one is the 50th year, and the changes, it seems to be flowing pretty good.”

A less formal awards ceremony was held inside the club restaurant shortly after.

“It’s a great event,” said Chris Banks, Bartow Golf Club resident pro. “This is dear to my heart, this tournament.”

With Karen Guffey to assist, handing out checks, Banks called out in ascending order the fourth-, third-, second- and first-place winners of the various divisions. While all winners received applause, one in particular brought almost everyone in the restaurant to their feet and cheering when Banks called out his name as coming in first place: Herbert Dixon.

Dixon, 92, once was a caddy at the golf club but could not legitimately play the course during the Jim Crow segregation era. He did not let that stop his love for the game, or from him becoming a top-ranked golfer in the annals of Florida’s black sports community. Recently, he was elected to the African-American Golf Hall of Fame, plus he is a member of several other similar institutions. Dixon acknowledged the recognition, taking off his baseball cap and waving it as he made his way toward Banks and Guffey.

There also was applause for Banks on his running the contest, words of appreciation to Guffey and others for their contributions, as well as reminders there was at least another upcoming tournament and if golfers were interested in participating they had better sign up soon because the openings were quickly being filled.


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