Punting legend and Thomson native Ray Guy is a busy man, but if he can possibly do something to help a good cause, count him in.
That will be the case this April 1 as the McDuffie Regional Medical Center Foundation will put on its 13th annual golf tournament -- this year dubbed The Ray Guy Golf Classic -- at Rocky Branch Golf Club in Lincolnton.
The money raised by the sponsorships, player's fees, ball drop, putting contest and other activities will go toward the Foundation's purchase of new equipment for the hospital. And that's something Ray Guy is proud to be a part of.
"To put my name on it, if that would help out for them to raise more money for the Foundation, that's great." Mr. Guy said. "Anything that I can do around the community to help and things of that nature, I'm happy to do it."
This is the first year the tournament has been named after Mr. Guy. In the past it was simply called the Annual Golf Classic. But Mr. Guy agreed to lend his name to help drum up some wide-spread support, and so far it has worked.
"It has brought (more people in). It's getting popular," said MRMC Marketing and Public Relations Director Debbie Jones who is also coordinating the event.
Mr. Guy was a member of two THS state football championship teams in the '60s. He then went on to receive All-American honors at Southern Mississippi and was drafted by the Oakland Raiders where he played in three Super Bowls and seven Pro Bowls. He has been inducted into the National High School Sports Hall of Fame and the College Football Hall of Fame.
This year's Classic is a four-person Lauderdale format, and the cost for each player is $100. Lunch and dinner are included in the registration fee. The putting contest costs $5; raffle tickets for the ball drop will be $10, but one lucky ball that gets closest to the hole wins $1,000 for its owner.
T-shirts, golf shirts and hats will also be for sale at the event. And for the not-so-avid golfer, mulligans will be $5 each or three for $10. Prizes will also be given out for closest to the pin, longest drive and for a hole in one.
Normally the tournament is held at Belle Meade, but because of recent renovations to the course it was moved this year. Organizers plan for the tournament to return to Thomson next year.
Anyone interested in signing up should contact Mrs. Jones at 597-5404 or firstname.lastname@example.org. But those hoping to play should hurry.
The field is limited to the first 92 golfers that sign up, and as of now, Mr. Guy has one of those slots.