0802 OTT 73 Annual Golf Classic

Mat Usick looked up to the forgiving sky after he pushed his putt past the cup on the fifth hole with his son, Jake, 16, and Brandon Lien, 19 (left to right in background) during the 73rd Annual Chamber Golf Classic at the Ottumwa County Club on Friday.

OTTUMWA — The Greater Ottumwa Partners in Progress (GOPiP) 79th annual golf classic is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, July 31, at the Ottumwa Golf and Social Club.

Shea Greiner, GOPiP vice president of engagement and organizational advancement, said even amidst the COVID-19 pandemic her and GOPiP wanted to continue with the golf classic.

“There has to be a time to go back to normal, something everyone is calling ‘the new normal,’” Greiner said. “With restrictions being lifted, it allowed us to do that. It’s also a great way for businesses to connect with other businesses.”

Social distancing and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines will be stressed. Vendors will wear gloves when serving food and beverages and hand sanitizer will be available throughout the course; face masks are optional.

Proceeds from the event will go toward GOPiP’s mission, which strives to “enrich community, advance economic conditions, and support a robust Main Street for the area,” the website said.

Greiner hopes people will feel encouraged to sign up. Does she anticipate it will be a large event and draw crowds as it did in previous years?

“We hope so,” she said. “We are hoping we sell out. Some teams have dropped out and some are not participating because of COVID-19. We have a great committee who has been planning this event and taking suggestions. We’re moving forward and looking for teams and sponsors.

“I love seeing everyone and socializing, seeing what’s going on with everyone,” Greiner added. “We encourage people to come out and have a good time.”

Golf will be limited to 44 foursomes. Participants can also sign up to become a hole sponsor. Those interested can contact Greiner at 641-814-5901 or at shea@ottumwaiowa.com.

Chiara Romero can be reached at cromero@ottumwacourier.com.

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