Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Venice City Championship - 19th Annual amateur golf championship of venice

Sign up Sheet for the 19th Annual Venice City Championship in Venice , FL
Presented by Lake Venice Golf Club (seems like they used last years entry form )

( find more photos at the end of this article!)

I started playing at Lake Venice in a Friday game a few months ago. Referred by some friends who played in games all over for  years. They told me that the course is not the best, but it is not an easy track and in a great location.

Unfortunately I started to join this group in summer time, which here in Florida is the rainy season and did it rain this summer.

Which led to soaked courses and tough conditions. I for sure was surprised when I one Saturday found out about the 18th Annual  Venice City Championship which was scheduled for October 5th and 6th. An individual stroke play tournament.

I started to ask about it right away. The pro shop assistant told me I have plenty of time to sign up and there will be no problem to get in.

So I talked to some friends who play here for years and they all told me, that this is a good tournament to play in.

So 2 weeks before the date I called them up. I told the person on the other line that I want to sign up. It was very simply. I just needed to give my name, handicap, address and the size I need for my shirt ( which I did not know  was included).  I wanted to pay over the phone right on that day, but was told that I do not need to pay until the day I get there.

I also was told to call a couple days before for my tee time. This was easy and I got friendly service.

2 days before the tournament I called and asked for my tee time, which I got within a  minute and then I told them I would like to pay over the phone right now because a third party will sponsor me. That was no problem as well.

The day before the tournament I received a call from a lady asking me if I could play earlier than the tee time I was given. I told her that this is tough for me and so she said I should not worry about it and was really friendly about it. I liked that, because my travel time to the tournament was about 1 hour.

I showed up about 1 hour before my tee time. Just to sign in and so on. I was greeted by a few people on the table, got my shirt, my scorecard and was send of to play. Easy, fast and no questions.

The starter was the same as always and he was happy to see me and informed me that we are up after the next group and that so far only three players were present.  I warmed up and got ready. On the tee box I greeted the other two players.

I was by myself on the cart.
The course was not prepared differently than the weeks before on Saturdays. Meaning, they did not do anything special to make it better, the greens faster or whatever could have been done. This was not very good, but it was what it was.

As a result we had to deal with lots of mud on golf balls which we had to play down and with greens which had no consistency at all. Somewhere fast, some where not.

The pace at first was slow, but then picked up and we played our 18 holes in a reasonable amount of time. That I found amazing, considering that I did not encounter one single Marshall throughout the round. It speaks for all players.

After the round we brought in the cards and our results were posted on a big board outside. Asking about my tee time for the next day, I was told to call after 5 pm that same day.

I did just that and received my tee time right away.

Sunday morning I came in about 45 minutes before my time. Again I was greeted friendly, got my scorecard and was told I had plenty of time before we are on the tee. I believe that breakfast ( donuts and coffee) was included, but I do not eat any sweets and so I do not know how that turned out. Looked good.

Before going out I went back to the tournament table and asked about the pin placement. I was wondering if they had color code because there was no pin sheet. To my surprise I was told, that the greens are so small, that whenever I hit the middle of the green I have no more than 15 feet to the pin. That was interesting and not satisfying. Considering the fact that I can put the ball closer to any pin if I know where it is and it has other impacts on how you approach the green. However, considering the tournament and the fact that I know the course, I moved on without questions.

We were right on time yet again and again we were only three players. This time I decided riding with someone. Again I saw right on the first hole that the course did not get any special additional treatment as  you would expect.

On the second hole my cart buddy put is drive in a muddy area. Getting there he looked at it and then turned to me and asked if he can drop it. I was hesitant, because we played it down and so we called our third player and asked him. He was not sure either.

We decided to call the pro shop and confirm with the pro. We reached him right away and he said that if there was tire marks ( which my partner said there was ) , then he can move it.

After taking another look, we agreed that he can drop. What I liked in that case was , that the pro was immediately available to answer the question. We moved on and again we played a relatively fast round of golf without any further incidents or hold ups.
Coming in we turned over our score cards and were told that the food was ready and we could go ahead and eat.

They had pasta, sausage , some sandwiches, beans and salad. Nothing out of the ordinary. The sandwiches were OK. The pasta was very good and the meatballs were very good. Salad was simple salad and I did not try the beans.

Got unlimited soft drinks. We started eating right away. I was good with it.
While eating the pro came up to me and gave me a certificate and congratulated me to my 2nd place in the 1st flight. Fast , easy and no big show.

He did that with all winners including the champion and runner up. I thanked them and they thanked me for coming.

Overall I have to say, that for 100 $ entry fee, that is a tournament which is on my schedule for next year again. You get two rounds of golf, some breakfast, prices ( they paid out 5 spots, 1st place got a golf bag on top of it ), a very nice golf shirt and  a good lunch.

The people are friendly and very easy to deal with. All is relaxed and without any stress or pressure. The course I think could be prepared better for such an occasion. There were many spots which should have been ground under repair, there could be a pin sheet or at least they could use colored flags to mark the location. The greens should be cut and rolled to make them consistent. I am not so sure about the pick , clean and place rule. We had lots of very muddy balls on day one. Day two was better, but that could have been because I had better lies.

In any case. If you are in the area and like to play tournaments for a good value,  The Venice City Championship for Amateurs is an event I would suggest you should enter. I know I will play for sure next year again.


1 week after the tournament I went shopping with my certificate and it was as easy as it gets. Although the shop does not have lots of things, they have some good deals of which I could take advantage. So the 100 $ I won for my second place made this tournament pretty much a plus event for myself and I met some very nice people I will play with again for sure.

They used a simple leader board with markers, which was sufficient.

Lake Venice Golf Club Gift Certificate - was as simple as the complete tournament.


Nice polo shirt. Dry fit with nice embroidery.

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