WESLEY CHAPEL — No matter how casual a golfer is, there are some days where the sticks are more important than the briefcase.
On Friday afternoon, Pasco business leaders came together at the Quail Hollow Golf Club for a day away from meetings, paperwork and sales pitches to kick back and enjoy the links with friends and colleagues. The Central Pasco Chamber of Commerce's annual golf tournament is a fundraiser, social occasion and a scramble format competition that has brought together many Pasco business leaders over the last 26 years.
"We've got about 46 golfers today," first-time tournament director Rocky Contreras said. "This is the longest-standing continual fundraiser the chamber has. It's been a great chance for people who aren't in the chamber to get to know business leaders in the community outside of the usual 30 seconds to a minute that you get in the everyday work setting."
It's the social aspect that's enjoyable for players like Jerry McCarthy, a State Farm insurance agent. Having been a member of the Central Pasco Chamber for 28 years, McCarthy said the event is a way to see colleagues from a different perspective.
"In the meetings, everyone is on their game," McCarthy said. "This gives you a chance to see everyone in a different light. Any kind of social interaction like this is good for the business community. It's always been a good event, and I like that it doesn't require me to be too athletic."
Other players take it a bit more seriously. Wesley Chapel's Don Hassey doesn't own a business, but is an experienced scramble player who regularly teams up with friends to take their best shot at scramble format tournaments.
"My buddies and I play to win," Hassey said. "In the last two tournaments we've played in, we finished second. I've been looking forward to this one because of the course. It's got some history to it and it plays very nice."
The course changes for the event every year, but Contreras was happy to have taken it to a club like Quail Hollow, where a recently redesigned championship-style course brings all the challenges and beauty that a first-class event can offer.
"This course is widely considered one the nicest in the area," Contreras said. "It's been redesigned and really offers the golfers a great challenge."
Contact the chamber at centralpascochamber.com.