Clear Creek events get new names as course’s tournament season starts this weekend

Published 3:35 pm Thursday, July 28, 2022

Two of Warren County’s major golf tournaments have gotten a facelift.

The Clear Creek Classic and Warren County Open — formerly known as the Clear Clear Club Championship and Warren County Championship, respectively — will have new names and looser participation requirements as the county’s competitive golf season tees off this weekend.

Clear Creek Golf Course pro Ronny Ross said the rebrands were a way to allow more people to play, and make the tournaments a bit less intimidating for more casual players.

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“A club championship scares people to death if they don’t play competitive golf. So we changed to the Classic,” Ross said. “Just changing the name, the sign ups went through the roof. We had two people sign up and now we’ve got 40. It makes them feel like they’ve got a chance.”

The Clear Creek Classic is scheduled for this Saturday and Sunday at the county’s public golf course in Bovina. In previous years, only members of Clear Creek’s golf club — a membership allows for unlimited golf and other perks, rather than paying for each round separately — were allowed to register.

This year, Ross has loosened that restriction. The tournament is still for course regulars, but all pass holders and

“frequent players” are permitted to play. A “frequent player” is defined as someone who plays 20 rounds per year on the course.

The 36-hole tournament starts Saturday morning, and the entry fee is $50. There will be flighted divisions based on age for men’s players, and a separate division for women.

Tee times and pairings will be announced Friday on Clear Creek’s Facebook page. Players can register by calling the Clear Creek clubhouse at 601-638-9395 or by visiting in person.

The top five finishers in the Regular division and the winner of the Senior division will qualify for Clear Creek’s Warren County Cup team. Prizes in the form of golf merchandise will be awarded to the top finishers.

“It’ll be a fun weekend. We don’t have a whole lot of stroke play events, so you can test yourself and see where you stand,” Ross said.

The Warren County Championship, meanwhile, has been turned into the Warren County Open. Its participation requirements have varied over time, with the field limited to Warren County residents some years and to anyone with ties to the area in others.

For 2022, Ross opened it to all players no matter their residency status or origins. The new name, he said, was intended to reflect that.

The Warren County Open is scheduled for next weekend, Aug. 6 and 7.

“We turned it into the Warren County Open to let people know that you don’t have to be from here to play,” Ross said. “The last several years they’d opened it to anyone that wanted to play and we kept that. You don’t have to be from Warren County. We just want people to come and have as much participation as possible.”

The Warren County Open is also a 36-hole, two-day stroke play tournament. The cost is $150 per person and the deadline to register by calling or visiting the Clear Creek clubhouse is Aug. 5 at noon.

The entry fee includes a practice round, a cart, lunch both days, range balls, and drinks and snacks both days of the tournament. Tee times will start at 8 a.m. on Aug. 6.

The tournament will be flighted after the first round, with trophies and merchandise awarded to the winners of each flight. There are separate divisions for men 59 and under; seniors 60 and older; and women.
Besides seeing how the best players in Warren County stack up, Ross said the two-week stretch is a chance to showcase Clear Creek itself.

Ross took over as the course pro in March and has rearranged the layout of the clubhouse, added a food menu, and maintained the course. He said the period from April to June saw some of the highest play rates in the course’s history. Ross said he feels Clear Creek provides one of the best golf values in the region.

“For a $30 (per round) golf course, Clear Creek is as good as any in America,” Ross said. “If you played a course like ours in Nevada or Texas you’d pay $75 or $80 to play. What we’ve been able to do here is amazing.”

• July 30-31, at Clear Creek Golf Course
• Entry fee: $50
• Open to all current Clear Creek pass holders and frequent players — those who play 20 or more rounds a year on the course.
• Tournament includes three age divisions, and the top finishers qualify for Clear Creek’s Warren County Cup team.

• Aug. 6-7, at Clear Creek GC
• Entry fee: $150
• Open to all players
• Tournament includes two age divisions for men, as well as a women’s division.
• The tournament will be flighted after the first round, with trophies and merchandise awarded to the winners of each flight.
• To register for either tournament, call 601-638-9395 or visit the Clear Creek clubhouse.

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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