Friday is the start of the official entry period for the 80th World-Herald Publinks golf tournament, which provides a unique experience for public-course golfers.
For starters, there’s no entry fee. Just pay your greens fees and cart fees during competition.
You can be 15 (the minimum age for eligibility) or in your 80s, male or female, a 70s shooter or a 90s shooter. There’s a level of competition for everybody. And the competition format is match play — you against your opponent, winner moves on to the next round.
The Publinks offers a championship flight (based on a qualifying tournament June 2), seniors flights (ages 55 to 64, and 65 and older) and a women’s flight. Most golfers will be grouped by score and placed in as many 32-player flights as it takes to accommodate all entries.
The signup is simple. By Monday, go to one of the 21 participating public or daily-fee courses around the Omaha area. Either play an 18-hole round from the appropriate tees (middle/white tees for men, forward/red tees for women) and record the score on the entry forms found in the golf shops at the course, or complete the form listing your average score.
Be honest. Don’t be a sandbagger, such as the one who normally shoots 85 and puts down a 92.
Make sure to use the proper entry form — yellow for the championship flight qualifying, white for seniors, pink for women and blue for the regular flights.
All entries will be collected Monday. The Publinks committee will flight the tournament and make first-round pairings that will appear Wednesday in the Sunrise and Metro editions of The World-Herald. Entrants should find their pairing and contact their opponent immediately to set up a match that’s mutually agreeable as to course, date and time.
First-round matches must be completed by June 5. The winner reports the result to the newspaper and will advance to the next round that begins June 6.
To enter the championship flight qualifying, you should be capable of breaking 80 consistently under tournament conditions. Championship flight golfers will be assigned tee times for the qualifying round June 2 at Johnny Goodman. The lowest scorers will fill the 32-man Don Lee Championship Flight, which has until June 5 to complete the first round. Tee times for those matches will be available on June 3 at a course to be announced.
Match play will continue in all flights leading into the finals June 24 at Benson Park.
There are a few restrictions, notably that members of private clubs (including social memberships) and their families are ineligible for the Publinks. Golfers in the championship flights may not use riding carts during qualifying or matches.
You’re eligible for the Publinks if you’re a public-course golfer who lives or works in the eight-county metro area — Douglas, Sarpy, Washington, Cass and Saunders Counties in Nebraska and Pottawattamie, Harrison and Mills in Iowa — or stationed at Offutt Air Force Base.
Omaha: Benson Park, Eagle Run Links, Elmwood Park, Goodman, Knolls, Indian Creek, Miracle Hill, Pacific Springs, Spring Lake, Stone Creek, Tiburon. Bellevue: Tregaron. Blair: River Wilds. Carter Lake: Shoreline. Council Bluffs: Bent Tree, Dodge Riverside, Fox Run. La Vista: La Vista Falls. Offutt AFB: Willow Lakes. Papillion: Eagle Hills, Tara Hills.
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