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June News-Laughlin Memorial Hospital Long Drive Shoot-Out and Pro/Am Tournament

NEWS RELEASE  -  June 8, 2017  -  Contact:  Betty S. Weemes ... 787-5117

Tennessee Laughlin Memorial Hospital Long Drive Shoot-Out and Pro/Am Tournament

The 17th Tennessee Laughlin Memorial Hospital Long Drive Shoot-Out and Pro/Am Tournament, benefiting the scholarship program at Laughlin Memorial Hospital, will be held Thursday and Friday, June 15 and 16, with Greeneville Federal Bank as the title sponsor.  All events will be held at Graysburg Hills Golf Course.

Photo:   (Left to right) Tom Gregory and Larry Coughlin, co-chairs of the 17th Tennessee Laughlin Memorial Hospital Long Drive Shoot-Out and Pro/Am Tournament 2017; Bart Hartsell, who partners with Laughlin Health Care Foundation in this charitable event; Bobby Wells, senior vice-president of Greeneville Federal Bank, the title sponsor of the event; Betty S. Weemes, executive director of Laughlin Health Care Foundation, and Tony LaMarca, also co-chair of the golf event in front of Weemes.

Bart Hartsell, Laughlin Memorial Hospital/Laughlin Health Care Foundation, and the entire Greeneville community over the past decade have built one of the best-known and most-respected tournaments on the long-drive calendar.  This annual event has raised a tremendous amount of charitable dollars and also filled a critical medical need in the community by supporting healthcare scholarships.

Long-drive competitors from across the nation are coming to town for this exciting, one-of-a-kind tournament:  The Tennessee Shoot-Out.  The preliminary rounds in the long drive will begin Thursday, June 15 at 8:00 a.m.  And, on Friday, these young men will take position on tee-boxes to delight the pro/am players and tee-off for the teams during the pro/am.

The pro/am tournament will play a full field on the 27-hole course at Graysburg.  Registration for the pro/am begins at 8:00 a.m., Friday, June 16, with a shotgun start at 9:30 am.  Approximately $3500 in gift certificates will be awarded in the pro/am.  Plus, Bachman Bernard Chevrolet will offer the hole-in-one prizes. 

A golfer could win a 2017 Chevy Trax on Number 8 Knobs with a hole-in-one, compliments of Bachman Bernard Chevrolet.  Other exciting prizes on all other Par 3s.

Laughlin is one of the sites across the nation to be selected by Golf Channel to provide long drivers a pathway to the World Championship to be held in September.

The top, long-drive hitters will go head-to-head, club-to-club in shoot-out competition on Thursday, June 15, beginning at 8:00 a.m., and will continue until each visiting professional long driver has given it their best shot to place in the top spots.  Final competition will be held on Friday after the pro/am.

All of the exciting long drive-events are free to the public and golf enthusiasts are encouraged to come out to watch these young men from across the United States as they hit “the long ball.”  Hartsell, local long-drive professional, said, “This is a rare opportunity for the community to see professional, long-drive golfers from all over the country perform at their peak during this shoot-out, so come out to Graysburg and enjoy these events.”

There will be bleachers at the Number One Tee for the shoot-out, but spectators are encouraged to bring a lawn chair.
The First Tee of the Tri-Cities is coordinating the Junior Invitational.  For more information about the First Tee’s activities, visit the Web site at
Following the First Tee Invitational, (approximately 12:00 p.m.), Hartsell and visiting long drivers will conduct a Junior Clinic for young golfers with tips and instructions for the driving range, putting, chipping, trick shots, and other fun activities.
The First Tee of the Tri-Cities was formed by the Tennessee Golf Foundation “to promote golf in Tennessee through activities that positively impact youth and families, provide accessibility, instill core values, and foster camaraderie while creating enduring memories,” according to the website of The First Tee of the Tri-Cities.

In a joint statement, co-chairs, Tony LaMarca, Larry Coughlin and Tom Gregory, said, “We are anticipating another premier golfing event for scholarships on Thursday and Friday, June 15 and 16.  The revenue mission remains:  To encourage individuals to pursue education in the critically needed areas of the healthcare profession.  It is anticipated that with financial support and other motivational factors the best and brightest of individuals will be attracted to healthcare careers; we are excited about the 2017 event.”

For additional information about the shoot-out or the pro/am tournament, call Laughlin Health Care Foundation at 423.787.5117.