GOLFtoberfest event tol feature 15-inch holes

By Tommy Keeler Jr.

Blue Ridge Shadows Golf Club professional Mike Ahrnsbrak wanted to do something different when he was putting together the upcoming inaugural GOLFtoberfest.

The event to be held Oct. 9 at Blue Ridge Shadows Golf Course will have a little bit of something for everyone.

Perhaps the most unique aspect of the event is that the golf tournament will be played with 15-inch holes.

“For the last 10 years the golf business has been struggling,” Ahrnsbrak said. Part of the reason is the economy, part of it is because it takes a long time. Golf can be a hard sport, and it can be intimidating. We wanted to try something that can appeal to different people.”

The 15-inch holes are part of a new promotion going on around the country called “Hack Golf.” Ahrnsbrak said he believes it’s the first time it’s been done in this area. Hack golf was recently featured on an episode of HBO’s Inside Sports with Bryant Gumbel designed to bring in new players to the game.

“It’s something unique,” Ahrnsbrak said. “I’m expecting scores to be low.

“I think it will be fun. I’m looking forward to it.”

The tournament is sponsored by the Front Royal-Warren County Chamber of Commerce. It is $95 for individual golfers and $340 for a foursome.

Ahrnsbrak said there are still spots available. He said they are expecting 20-25 teams, and hopes to sell it out.

The tournament starts at noon and is a shotgun start. Registration can also be done at 10:45 a.m. that morning.

There will also be plenty of games for those who do not want to play golf, including cornhole and golfzilla, in which kids or adults hit golf balls into a 35-foot inflatable dinosaur. There will also be golf clinics held for beginners.

Companies can also help sponsor the tournament and get their name on tee boxes or set up their own display at the event.

After the golf, there will be a dinner with awards given out, business after hours and raffle drawings. It’s also a good opportunity for networking.

Anyone interested can contact the golf course at (540) 631-9661 or call the chamber of commerce at (540) 635-3185.

“It should be a lot of fun,” Ahrnsbrak said. “It’s something we’d like to continue with for a long time.”

Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or