OLEAN, NY — The Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce will go ahead with its Chamber Golf Classic at the Bartlett Country Club July 13, following COVID-19 regulations for golf courses in New York State.

Those regulations include no rakes in bunkers; flag sticks kept in hole; ball washers not on the course; golf carts with single riders unless riders have been quarantined together; social distancing guidelines for face coverings, space between people and no handshakes, etc.; boxed lunches on golf cart. Guidelines may be lessened closer to the event date.

The normal scorecard system will be used, and the classic will follow a scramble format with a limit of 30 teams and no handicaps.

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Registration will open at noon on the day of the event; the shotgun start is set for 1 p.m. Dinner with awards and a cash bar will be at 6 p.m. Golfers have the choice of being served dinner in the club dining room or taking it boxed to go. The chamber also looks to collect registration and other fees as much as possible before the event. 

GOACC’s Chief Operating Officer Meme K. Yanetsko recalled a recent planning meeting.

"We thought we could go with tee times to reduce the number of people out on the course, as well as number of carts needed," Yanetsko said. "This option would then eliminate an awards ceremony/dinner-networking event that has always been a part of our tourney.  We will proceed with the shot gun format and then social distance seating in the dining room at Bartlett.” 

The classic features a mix of corporate teams and community teams, Erica Dreher, GOACC member services manager explained. "A corporate team consists of employees within the same physical company with current active employees who are full-time year-round. Community team is a team of friends, family, non-employment associates captained by a GOACC member.”

Dreher added, “Last year, the classic had 22 teams. We are hoping to fill the course with 30 teams. Back again this year: every team member’s drive has to be used at least twice. A putting contest before tee off at hole #17 will be held, no mulligans, and a 2-putt rule.”    

The classic player fee is $125 per player/$500 per team and includes greens, golf cart and dinner. Seventeen teams have signed up so far; the GOACC is hoping for a total of 30 teams and will take new entrants up to the time the event begins. Hole sponsorships will be available to business organizations at a $100 fee per hole. 

GOACC will put together goodie bags for the players and asks for donations of 120 small items such as pens, koozies, free drink tokens, etc.

Prizes from the pro shop will be awarded for best scores in both the corporate and community divisions. 

Overall winning teams will take home bragging rights and a traveling trophy to ‘show-off’ all year. Other specials include skins, closest-to-hole and longest drive. In 2019, the corporate division winners were Dresser-Rand teammates Jeff Crouch, Rich Davis, Alex Fitzpatrick and Bob Forness, and the community division winners were Fox Financial teammates Scott Derwick, Frank Higgins, Knut Johns and Tim Jones. 

The golf classic was developed in fall 2013 after chamber members Ledgie DeRose, Crouch, Higgins and Derwick, all regular participants in the highly successful Corporate Challenge 5K, met with GOACC staff and suggested a similar annual golf event.

More information on the Corporate Golf Classic is available by contacting the GOACC at 716-372-4433 or by email.