As surviving players, club members, and fans reminisce this week about the many cherished memories through the years at the Sioux Valley Amateur Men's Match-Play Golf Tournament, we readily join with them to salute this unique and venerable Cherokee golfing classic on its 78th Anniversary.
Spanning 87 years (it began in 1925 and missed some years for war time) the "Sioux Valley Am" has reigned as a favorite tournament and format for thousands of Midwest golfers, and hundreds of Cherokee natives who return "home" each year to make the Sioux Valley Am their annual vacation.
If we've heard it once, we've heard it hundreds of times that the reason so many accomplished golfers throughout the area play in the tournament is because year after year, the Sioux Valley Am organizers "do it right" in conducting a superb tourney.
"It's the Cherokee people," is one of the more popular quotes we often hear when talking with visitors about the tournament. "We love the course, its unique geography, and the match-play format. But it's the people and the fact the Sioux Valley is such a class act that keeps us coming back."
Thanks to the skills of Course Superintendent Ryan Galles and his capable staff, the Cherokee Golf & Country Club course has never been in finer condition. The recent rains have simply put the course's condition over the top, with golfers voicing their amazement at how well-manicured the 9-hole "olde course" is.
Annually, the Sioux Valley Am is a festive, entertaining celebration of the finest in amateur golf, socializing, and reuniting with family and old friends.
This year our hats are off to Sioux Valley Am chief organizers Jason Spooner, Bill Spindler, and Chris Jenness, all accomplished golfers in their own right willing to step up to the plate to help make this Cherokee jewel the best it can be.
Through the years to age and attrition, we've lost many fiercely loyal and beloved Sioux Valley Am participants and supporters. But the beat goes on in their memory as organizers stand today on their shoulders to produce one more unique Sioux Valley Amateur Men's Match-Play Golf Classic.
Congratulations, Sioux Valley Am and Cherokee Golf & Country Club. You make us proud!