EL CENTRO — Rio Bend Golf Resort resembled an Electric Daisy Carnival the night of Saturday, July 23 as the course was lit-up with glow sticks and backlights for the 2022 summer season’s first Glow Golf tournament.
Roughly 40 competitors signed up for the event which designated a $50 cover charge per player.
The structure of the tournament entailed a three-man scramble that began at 8:30pm in shotgun style format throughout 14 holes.
As per banner.stthomas.edu, a scramble means that all team members tee off on each hole and then decide which tee shot they like the best and mark the spot with a tee or ball marker. The other team members pick up their balls and place them within one club length (no closer to the hole) of the marked spot.
A shotgun start is when all team start off at the same time at different holes throughout the course.
Before the tournament began, there was a taco dinner with music for the competitors as an ice-breaker of sorts that began at 7:30pm.
After dinner, all teams and players were escorted to the Rio Bend driving range where each team’s golf cart awaited illuminated with rope lights.
All carts had two sets of glow balls, two glow-ball chips, glow sticks, glow lights, and a remote to control the rope light color scheme.
The glow-ball chip was chip that contained a light and magnet which turned the ball’s glow features on and off, as well as toggled through the four color options.
The rules stated that in the event of a team or player losing all their glow-balls, they must buy new ones from the course - not bring or use their own.
Once all the teams were ready and situated, organizers directed the teams to their designated holes to get started.
Each team was grouped with another team so as to maintain sportsmanship and integrity, as well as to promote camaraderie and social interaction.
Once the event got going, Rio Bend’s golf course was lit up like a meteor shower with a plethora of hot-pinks and neon greens gliding through the mid-summer night sky similar to stardust.
The tournament entailed a 14 hole game as opposed to 18 holes due to safety and competitive purposes as some holes and fairways are intentionally designed to be difficult, which wouldn't have aided the fun and lighthearted atmosphere.
During the tournament, music was provided as well as cart service for drink, snacks, and more glow-balls.
The 14 hole scramble lasted long into the night and concluded near midnight.
Team Leos and Team Gonzalez shared first-place ranking at an even par. Since Team Leos shot a better front-nine, they were awarded tie-breaker honors.
The second place score went to Team Arce at +2 and Team Mercado placed third with a score of +5.
For the Closest to the Pin competition, Alan Arce took home an undisclosed cash prize.
The final category of competition came down to the threads for the Best Dressed Team.
Team Highlights consisting JB Guerrero, Javier Guerrero, and Luis Ortega took home the dapper-drip honors and prize which included a portable ice chest, sleeves of various golf balls including glow balls with UV flash light, pro-shop hat, golf towel, golf club/ spike brush, various tees, bug repellant, and snacks.
“We agreed on white tops with grey pants and then just added on from there,” said JB Guerrero. “Then we thought about adding glow-paint to our wardrobe to accompany the glow-stick style accessories. If was fun team bonding but mainly we wanted to show support for the hard work that the organizers put in pulling off the event. We also wanted to show our spirit for the local community here at Rio Bend and across the county."
As per organizers, the main focus of the night-ball series is to have fun and interact with one another as opposed to the more competitive daytime tourneys.
Pro Shop staff highlighted that the golf tournaments are open to the public, one must call the Rio Bend Pro shop or look on the course Facebook for upcoming events. There is another Glow Golf Tournament slated for next month with a day to still be determined.