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story.lead_photo.caption Photo submitted Alexander Apoiskis plays golf on his high school team, the POA's Junior League team and will part of the Pro/Am tournament for the NWA Charity Classic next week.

When organizers went looking for teams for the Pro-Am that accompanies the NWA Charity Classic they may have used the slogan, "For young and old alike." It would have fit.

Among the almost 50 teams signed up for the Pro-Am portion of the golf tournament is one made up of retirees and one made up of high school students.

Concordia, a senior living community in Bella Vista, sponsored a team and they had little trouble finding three golfers.

"A good number of our residents still golf," Cindee Johnson, marketing director said. "They have such a love for golf, they just want to keep it alive."

One of the golfers, 97-year-old Jerry Smith, took Johnson's exercise class earlier in the spring to improve his swing.

Vold Vision, with an office located just outside of Bella Vista on Highway 71 sponsored a team and offered it to Darryl Muldoon for his junior players. Muldoon, golf operations director for the POA, is coaching a PGA junior league team.

"We have our own golfers," Jessica Betts, communications director, said, "But it's just one day for us. It's a big step for them (junior golfers) to grow their experience. It'll be a neat day for us too to cheer them on from the side lines."

Muldoon had his golfers write about their experience so far.

Alexander Apoiskis wrote that he started playing golf when he learned he had a heart condition that kept him out of other sports.

"So I started picking up golf clubs to keep myself in competition and after awhile began to fall in love with the process of getting better," Apoiskis wrote. "After visiting the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, I was told I could play all sports again, but I already knew that golf was my best option. Golf has showed in my life that there is always a chance of doing something great, and I believe that golf is what I will be known for."

Parker Dunham wrote that he likes that golf is strategic.

"I also just love the challenge it brings, instead of being physically exhausting it is rather mentally exhausting," Dunham wrote.

Braxton Muldoon wrote that golf taught him, "humbleness, patience, dedication and lots of life skills that I apply to school every day."

Darryl Muldoon believes the young golfers will learn a lot from the pro they play with..

The pro's are happy to do it, Charlie Teal of the Bella Vista Foundation said.

"It gives them a chance to interact with supporters and a chance to play the course one extra time," he said. "A little bit of practice in a fun setting."

The professional players also have a competition among themselves during the Pro-Am. A really good hole, a birdie or an eagle, will win them some cash.

Later on Tuesday, some of the pros will stay to help Bella Vista staff with a junior golf clinic. After that is a long drive contest.

The professional golfers play Tuesday through Saturday at the Country Club Golf Course. BV's Bar and Grill, including the patio with a view of the ninth and 18th hole, as well as the first tee, will be open during the week. It will be closed on Monday, June 10, for the Pro-Am party.

This weekend, June 8 and 9, anyone can get a preview of the Pro-Am party silent auction. It will be set up in the ball room at the Country Club. In fact, Teal said, the items will have a "Buy it now" price so they can be purchased immediately. Items include a week at an Orange Beach condo, casino packages and a helicopter flight, he said.

The funds raised by the silent auction and by the Charity Tournament are divided among five local charities; Village House, the Bella Vista Animal Shelter, the Courtesy Van, the Boys and Girls Club and the Sunrise Rotary.

General News on 06/05/2019

Print Headline: Pro-Am a mixture of young and old

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