Home » Sports » Brown County Amateur hoping for stacked field

Brown County Amateur hoping for stacked field

By Rich Palzewic
Sports Editor

BROWN COUNTY – Despite the area being gripped in the COVID-19 pandemic, the Brown County Amateur (BCA) golf championship is moving forward with the hopes of drawing a stacked field.

The BCA, a 54-hole event, will be held Aug. 7-9 at the Brown County Golf Course in Oneida.

“I’ve been playing the Brown County course for about 25 years,” said Bob Warpinski, one of the event organizers. “In retirement, I’ve done some work on the course with maintenance. A few years ago, I became a volunteer event promoter.”

Warpinski, who describes himself as an average golfer, said he’ll play in the event.

“The course is in great shape,” he said. “Some would argue the best-ever, and I’d agree. We’ve done tons of trimming and drainage work and all new greens were installed six years ago. It’s been a great year for golf courses weather-wise.”

The BCA has taken place every year since the 1960s and used to be broadcast on television, but in recent times, the number of participants had dropped by about half.

“When I started in the early ‘90s, this tournament would fill up a month before the start of the tournament with 200 players and have a waiting list,” said Warpinski. “Maybe golf isn’t as popular as it was then? It takes lots of time and skill to play, and we are dealing with other family diversions.”

Jimmy Ostrowski, who operates Jimmy O’s Golf Shop and the Trout Creek Pub & Grill at the course, gave another reason numbers have dropped.

“We probably have fewer players take part because of all the courses built around us,” he said. “As far as I’m concerned, that’s the main reason. There was no Royal St. Patrick’s, Thornberry or the Green Bay Country Club until more recently.”

Despite the numerous courses in the area, Ostrowski said business has been good.

“We’re booking tee times and are filled from sunup to sundown,” he said. “We’re the only game in town. Younger kids and families are coming more. I think that’s due to the COVID-19 pandemic and people wanting to get out. Golf courses around the state are breaking records – there’s been a resurgence.”

Warpinski and Ostrowski said they’d be “over the moon” if 150 participants entered the tournament, but 100 is probably a more realistic number.

“It’s one of the few 54-hole amateur tournaments in the state,” Warpinski said. “We also have a two-day senior tournament within the main tournament and have great prizes and trophies. You don’t have to be a great golfer – we accept all levels of play. You get slotted with golfers of the same ability.”

Ostrowski said a few a years ago, the rules were changed to allow anyone in the country to play.

“Years ago, It would sell out with having only Brown County residents, but now we get players from all over the country,” he said. “Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Tennessee and Wisconsin will be represented this year.”

Players must be male and 18 years of age or older, and the cost is $90, which doesn’t include green fees.

The cost of the senior tournament is $60.

“You don’t pay weekend rates and also get reduced cart fees,” Warpinski said. “It’s important to note, about 80 percent of the entry fee is given back to the players in the form of perks before they even tee off. A $20 gift card to Hinterland Brewery, a $20 voucher to the pro shop, a beverage per day and unlimited range balls are also included. It’s probably a $200 weekend, but you can’t play a course like this with everything included for that price anywhere else.”

Nicolet Bank, Hinterland and Melotte Distribution are the major corporate sponsors, combining to give about a $6,000 investment to the tournament.

Jimmy O’s Golf Shop and the Trout Creek Pub & Grill are also sponsors.

“The investment by our major sponsors is given all back to the players,” said Warpinski. “Last year, Melotte offered a case of meat to the player in each flight who had the low and high score of the day – 43 cases of meat total. That’s $1,600 worth of brats and hamburgers. You can still play poorly and get prizes.”

Warpinski said defending champion Kari Hannula, six-time winner Bob Pyle, three-time winner Todd Westrich and members of the St. Norbert golf team are all scheduled to compete.

“The tournament has been propped up by the older guys for the past five or six years, but now it’s time for the younger guys to get involved,” Warpinski said. “It would be nice to get the (University of Wisconsin) Green Bay guys to come out.”

Participants can register for the event by stopping by the golf course or calling 920-497-1731.

For more information, CLICK HERE.

Facebook Comments
Scroll to Top