Marines

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Bob Songer, a retired Col., gets ready to pull the flag out of the hole during the Big Game challenge at Paradise Point Golf Course aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune Feb. 3. The Big Game challenge is a modified 18-hole course played on the fairways and greens of The Scarlett golf course focused on honing player's short game before heading home for the super bowl.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Joshua W. Grant

Big Game Challenge: Golfers hit greens for unique tournament before big game

3 Feb 2013 | Lance Cpl. Joshua W. Grant

It was a brisk and sunny yet breezy morning aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, but the hot ticket was the game before “The Game” played at The Scarlett.

More than 40 people arrived at Paradise Point Golf Course to play a round of golf at one of the bases golf courses before heading home to watch the biggest sporting event in the United States.

Opened in 1945 The Scarlett course at Paradise Point has over 5,800 yards of golf, but during super bowl weekend the yardage is slightly modified. In order to allow enough players on the fairways during game day, the challenging 18-hole course and original par 70 layout was shortened with special tee locations to allow for a tough short game.

Paradise Point club professional John Johnson stated the specialty course was set up because the super bowl is played the same night, but people can still come out have a little fun before heading home to watch football.

“All 18 holes are set up today as par three’s,” said Johnson. “Most of the customers here are regulars but we’re trying to open up the game to more single Marines as well as ladies. We have the course set up for couples play and the set up allows the usual four hour play time to be significantly reduced.”

With normal games the longer clubs are normally used off the tee like the drivers and the woods, but with the specialty course it forces people to use irons most of the time, added Johnson.

Retired Col. Bob Songer said the friends he normally plays with come out on Saturdays for a round of golf and he has been playing at Paradise Point since the 1980’s.

“We came out for the ‘The Big Game’ challenge for fun even though we played a round here yesterday,” said Songer. “The guys I play with were the same ones I worked with in the Marine Corps, I even was deployed with them. Coming out and playing with them is like a continuation of the time we spent on active duty.”

Whether it’s a football or golf ball people find enjoyment playing either sport, but with the Paradise Point ‘Big Game’ challenge players of all ages can have fun with the mash up of both.