SMHS Golf Tourney Provides Fun for Golfers and Support for School

Golf has been described as a good walk spoiled. But the golfers who participated in the 2013 St. Mary’s High School Golf Classic would argue that point. This year’s event, held at the Country Club of Colorado, brought together alumni, parents of students past and present, school faculty and staff, and other supporters to enjoy a fun filled day.


Tournament chair Penny Heiniger said the event continues to grow and that this year there were more golfers, more sponsors, and more money raised.


“This year we had 112 golfers, including many new participants and lots of returning ones,” she said. “We also had lots of new tee sponsors this year to add to the many that returned as sponsors.”


Three of those returning golfers came away as the overall winning team. The team consisted of three 1984 St. Mary’s graduates—John McGrath, Mark Benson, and Tim Clune—and a friend, Mike Strum, who did not attend SMHS.


“Every time we have played we have had great time,” Clune said. “This year was a lot of fun and the course was in great shape. The tournament seems to get better every year.”


For McGrath, the Golf Classic is something he started participating in while in high school.


“I’ve probably played in over a dozen; my first one in 1981,” McGrath said. “Each of us on the golf team worked the tournament each year during high school, usually filling in for open spots on teams that needed a player.”


McGrath was the 1983 state golf champion and said that 30 years after winning that title it was great to win the Golf Classic.

“It’s great to win every once in awhile,” he said. “But this tournament is about fun golf and teamwork with friends and helping out the school.”

Benson said their foursome has been close to winning before, and even lost out in a tiebreaker a couple of years ago.


Both McGrath and Benson said the tournament has been consistently good over the years they’ve participated and this year was no different. Both liked the venue, and were happy to see the tournament back at the Country Club of Colorado.


“The field was full this year, and it was great to see the tourney back at Gates, where we held it for so many years,” McGrath said. “This was our home course during high school and it brought back many memories.”


Heiniger too was pleased with the venue and was thankful the weather cooperated.


“That morning it was colder but the weather worked with us and by tee time it cleared up and was beautiful,” Heiniger said.


In addition to new sponsors and new faces on the course, a new award debuted this year as well. It’s the Best Bowling Score award—given to the foursome with the highest score. Winners of the award received one-hour swing evaluations for each member of the foursome.


After the tournament the golfers gathered for dinner, awards, and a silent action. This was Heiniger’s first as chair of tournament and she’s pleased with how the tournament went.


While final numbers on funds raised aren’t yet in, Heiniger said based on other numbers being up—the number of participants, tee sponsors, and participation in other programs, for example—she knows the final net amount raised will exeeed $25,000.


But Heiniger isn’t going to sit back and be satisfied with this year’s success. She’s already thinking about ways to make next year’s event even better. One way she’s doing that is to start planning earlier, which means the first meeting to plan next year event is happening soon.


Benson and McGrath said they would encourage other alumni and those connected with the school to participate.


“Regardless of your golf ability, you should come out and just have fun,” Benson said. “It’s a great way to support the school and see the quality of individuals that graduate from St. Mary’s.”


McGrath said that one of his favorite parts of the tournament is getting to see his old classmates, although one highlight from this year’s tournament was the 80-foot putt he make on hole 5 for an eagle.


“Call up old classmates and get an alumni team going,” he said. “It’s fun, the course is great, the food is great, and the school benefits. ’84 will be looking to repeat, so bring you’re A-game.”


Money raised from the golf tournament goes to help fund the school’s Tuition Assistance Program, which enables students to attend St. Mary’s who couldn’t otherwise financially afford to do so.


By Amy G. Partain, Communications Associate

St. Mary's High School

Below, the foursome that took the overall award at the Golf Classic included three alumni from the class of 1984. Classmates John McGrath, Mark Benson, and Tim Clune, along with friend, Mike Strum, were excited about their win.

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