Mount Vernon Elizabeth King, 12, is setting her sights high for her first-ever golf tournament.
“I’ve never done this before. My one hope is that I get a hole in one,” she said.
Elizabeth and her family are among those who have signed up for the Aldersgate United Methodist Men’s 5th Annual Golf Outing. The event will take place at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 21, at Joint Base Andrews’ West Course.
“She’s been wanting to go out and play and this is a great way to do it,” said her father, Bob King.
King has been playing in the tournament since it first began. When his son David, 15, became old enough, he joined his dad on the course. Now, Elizabeth will do the same. All three are planning to head out for a day together on the golf course.
The family said the event is a great way to spend time together, playing a sport they enjoy in a noncompetitive environment.
Aldersgate United Methodist Men’s 5th Annual Golf Outing
2 p.m., Saturday Sept. 21
Joint Base Andrews- West Course
$110 for the first family member, $90 for each additional member.
“It’s a great, very relaxed atmosphere. It’s open to all abilities, and it doesn’t really matter how good you are,” King said.
Ken Galbreath, chair of the tournament, said the day features a number of elements that are meant to reduce the stress and increase the fun for all participants. The tournament is best ball, and also permits mulligans and free throws. Additionally, Galbreath said, this year it will feature “string.” Each participant is given 10 feet of string to use as they wish. If a putt winds up close to the hole, but doesn’t quite make it in, either a portion or all of the string can be used in place of another swing, he said.
The result is an environment that is well suited for both individuals and families, he said.
“It would be a good day to come out with your brothers, sisters, husband or wife. We’re eliminating the cut throat nature of golf,” said Galbreath.
The event is open to members of the church, as well as the community at large, Galbreath said, noting that as of Sept. 7 roughly 20 to 30 people from outside the church had signed up to play.
The tournament is the Aldersgate United Methodist Men’s largest fundraiser of the year. Galbreath said it has traditionally generated between $3,000 and $4,000 for the organization. Nearly 35 percent of that helps support the church’s missions projects.
“It’s a good way to go out and donate to a good cause,” said David King.
The money is put towards local, national, and international projects alike, Galbreath said. A portion of the funds are used to support New Hope Housing, a local non-profit that operates shelters and other housing for Fairfax County’s low-income residents. Funds are also put towards the Ft. Apache Mission in Arizona.
Galbreath said that nearly one-third of the event’s proceeds are used to support the Highland Support Project in Guatemala.
“For us, it’s a significant investment,” he said.
The project helps support indigenous communities in the highlands of Guatemala. Each year, members of the church travel to the area in an attempt to help improve the lives of the local community. This year, the volunteers’ work included building stoves to help reduce the problems of deforestation that plague the area, said David King.
“It’s a really cool project, and it’s a bunch of fun too,” he said.
Those who are interested in registering for the golf tournament are asked to contact Galbreath at 703-975-1166. Registration is $110 for the first family member, and $90 for each additional family member. Sponsorships are also available.
The registration fee includes green fees, cart rentals, range balls, a practice range, and a light supper at the end of the event. Galbreath said a range of door prizes will also be available. These range from free clubs and golf bags to balls, gloves and other golf-related items.
“If you play, you get a prize,” he said.
Registration closes Sept. 16.