What? Sioux Valley time already?
It can't be, can it?
It can't already be time for the Sioux Valley Amateur Men's Match-Play Golf Tournament? The one that draws the top players throughout the Midwest and is played on the venerable, sublime Cherokee Golf & Country Club? That one?
You bet it is, sports fans. And the course has never looked in better shape. Credit the recent accomodating weather and rain, and the hard work of course superintendent Ryan Lux and staff.
This year's Sioux Valley Am is set for Saturday and Sunday, June 17 and 18. The 18-hole qualifying begins Saturday, June 10 and runs through Friday, June 16. On Friday, The last qualifying tee-off time for 18 holes is 1 p.m., and for nine holes 3 p.m.
There also is a special "Early Bird" qualifying on Saturday and Sunday, June 3-4.
Again, your $60 entry fee will get you a nine-hole practice round, an 18-hole qualifying round, and as many rounds as necessary in the two-day match-play tourney, as long as you keep winning.
There will be 16 golfers assigned to each flight in championship through seventh flights. Championship and first flight matches consist of 18 holes, while flights 2-7 are nine-hole encounters.
The popular Consolation Tournament, the make-up test for those missing the Sioux Valley Am cut, will be Saturday, June 24. Yes, Saturday and not the usual following Sunday as had been in the past. And it's free.
The faithful sponsoring merchants again offer some dandy prizes in the tourney, including a new 2006 Chrysler 300 for each hole-in-one on hole number four during first-round play. This sweet vehicle is courtesy of Holzhauer Motors of Cherokee.
Also, for each hole-in-one on number four during first-round play, Speed's Golf Cars is giving away a customized Club Car Golf Cart.
Wowie. That par three hole number four hole must be one tough cookie.
In addition, Golf Etc. of Cherokee will be awarding a KZG Fairway 5-Wood to the first hole-in-one on number eight for both the Championship and consolation weekends, and Royer's Jewelry of Cherokee will be giving away a Seiko Watch to closest to the pin on hole number eight during Championship Weekend.
Also, Coca-Cola will sponsor a long drive contest, as it has done in the past.
By the way, the course is open to soft spikes only, so don't pack the Viagra in your shoe bag.
The player shooting low medal in qualifying wins a $200 Medalist Award. In case of a tie, the award goes to the low score of the first nine-hole match in the tourney. The winner also gains a leg on the Frank Greenwood Memorial Trophy.
Please address all inquiries to Ryan Lux at 225-3900, or 712-225-1875. You can call for tourney flight times after 7 p.m. Friday, June 16.
The defending champion is Todd Sapp of Sioux City who prevailed against all championship flight golfers in 2005, including runner-up Michael Martin of Denver, Colo., the grandson of Sioux Valley Am golf legend, the late Loyal Martin.
The Pro Shop will be stocked with Titleist clubs, balls, and accessories.
Also new this year will be two raffle items, including a new Callaway Fusion Driver, and a 2-night stay and 36 holes of golf at Arrowood Resort in Okoboji. Drawings will be held during the Calcutta and meal on Friday, June 16.
Special entertainment this year will liven the thongs... er throngs... when popular rock 'n' roll band "LSB" takes the stage at the Country Club Championship Saturday night, June 17.
Area golf fans, be sure to stop out at the Country Club during qualifying week and on Championship Weekend to witness some great golf and rekindle friendships and perhaps share a beverage with all the Cherokee natives and former residents who make the revered Sioux Valley Am an annual family vacation.
The Sioux Valley Am. There's nothing like it anywhere.