Tournaments Return to the Lake Monticello Golf Course

By Duncan Nixon

The prestigious Peggy Kirk Bell Golf Tour is returning to the Lake Monticello Golf Course on July, 11 and 12 for the Commonwealth Classic. A total of 75 outstanding young female golfers will be teeing off in 25 threesomes. The first tee time will be 10 a.m. and last threesome will tee off at 2 p.m. The players are divided into the Bell National and the Futures National based their average score, not their age.

Many of the players in the Bell National division have average scores under 80. The girls who will be competing in the Bell National come from all over the east coast and one player will be coming in from St. Louis MO. The Lake Monticello course is a challenging lay-out and these girls will be playing it a length of 5,800 yards which is a serious distance. The senior men’s tees on the Lake Monticello course are set at an overall distance of 5,610 yards. The regular ladies’ tees at the Lake play to 5,051 yards. The Peggy Kirk Bell Tour was initially established in 2007 and focused on North Carolina golfers. However, it has grown significantly over the years and now includes a full schedule of tournaments up and down the eastern states. The Commonwealth Classic was originally contested at the University of Virginia’s Birdwood Golf Course. The event moved to Lake Monticello last year and tournament organizers were reportedly very happy with the treatment they received at the Lake. Peggy Kirk Bell was a well-known pro golfer and instructor who advocated throughout her career for women’s golf She was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2019.

Lake Monticello golf professional Mark Marshall said that he will be on hand for the tournament, but that the Tour usually brings its own rules officials. These girls are very serious players, many of whom are trying to secure college golf scholarships so there are likely to be occasional situations were an official ruling on some ambiguous situation is required. Marshall said that in light of the high temperatures expected for the weekend, shuttles may be utilized to ferry players from green to tee box, in places on the course were a long walk is required. Those familiar with the Lake course will understand that it is quite a hike from the 14th green to the women’s tee box on hole 15.

In addition to the PKB tournament, the Lake course will be staging an in-house tournament on the weekend of July 18 and 19. The annual Member-Member event will be taking place that weekend. This tournament is open to Lake Monticello Home Owners’ Association (LMOA) property owners and golf contract holders. Two-man teams will be competing for best gross and best net scores over two days. The format will be the best score in gross and net of the two players is what counts for the team on each hole. The entry fee for the tournament is a mere $10 per player in addition to greens and cart fees when applicable.

Tees used will depend on the player’s age. Competitors who are 80 and over will tee off from the red tees. Those in the 55-79 age group will start from the gold tees. Players 54 and younger will start from the white tees. The starting time on both days will be 8:30 a.m. The deadline to register  for the tournament is July 11.


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