LYNN HAVEN, FL (WJHG/WECP) Call this a hopeful story from the links and specifically, Panama Country Club, host to the Sherman Invitational, the longest running amateur tournament golf tourney in the southeast!
Panama Country Club moving forward with plans for the Sherman Invitational
It dates back 93 years. Heck even a category five hurricane couldn't end the Sherman streak. Though the course was heavily damaged by Michael, the folks at the club were able to reopen in time for the November version of the Invitational in 2019.
Fully aware of what's going on, the folks at Panama Country Club are aiming to once again host the event come early May!
"So what we'd like to do is proceed as normal, with normal times." Jay Hancock, who is the club's Golf Committee Chairman, told me Tuesday. "Based on what we're hearing right now from the CDC guidelines, April 30th will be the end of self quarantine. Obviously it's a fluid situation and we don't know if that's going to come to fruition or not. But we know if we don't send out invitations for our tournament, we won't be able to conduct our tournament, which is May first through the third. So right now our intent is to proceed with the tournament and to attempt to have the tournament May first through the third just as we normally would any other year."
Panama Country Club still up and running, doing so with social distancing protocol, disinfecting the carts, no contact between golfers, nobody handles the flags, those kinds of things.
As for the 6,700 yard course, with the hurricane wiping out thousands of the trees lining the course, it's now more of a links course. One on which you can see nearly from one end of the course to the other. The greens have come back strong, and club members, Hancock tells me, are proud of the job they've done to get it back in good shape!
"Our golf green superintendent Pat O'Brien has done a tremendous job on the golf course. And we want to share it with our community. We think it's a gem. And we think are going to see it really fill in between now and May First. And continue to be a better golf course, probably than it's ever been."
Copyright 2020 WJHG. All rights reserved.