Conch Scramble golf players party aboard the Risque Life during 2015’s charity event.
By Theresa Java
Seven irons, a driver, four people and a boat is all that’s needed to join this year’s annual Conch Scramble set to take place Sept. 23-24. This is the on-the-water golf tourney’s eighth year with nine floating holes as the target and charity as the objective.
Proceeds from this year’s Scramble benefit to two local non-profits: Coral Shores High School Football Booster Club and Treasure Village Montessori.
“We’ve given away about $40,000 in donations for the last three years,” said Bernice Dion
The Conch Scramble is inviting golfers from all over the world to reserve their spot in what has become one of the area’s most popular events. Application deadline is Friday, Sept. 23 during the kick-off party at Sea Ranch, MM 83 on the Old Road in Islamorada. The open-bar event goes from 6 to 10 p.m. and is graciously being hosted by Islamorada Realtor Patti Stanley. Guest numbers for that party alone are expected to top 200.
Teams can compete for best themed boat among other categories. Paige Prouty, a Key Largo resident, is planning a jellyfish costume — a departure from her previous “Duck Dynasty” look.
Sometimes I hit the ball, sometimes I don’t. It just depends,” said Prouty. “None of us are any good, but it’s a good time, it’s a real kick in the pants.”
It was a decade ago, when Stanley and her late husband John Esslinger dreamed up the charity event. In homage to Esslinger, all legal-aged drinking attendees will be given a Kalik beer upon arrival at the kick-off party on Friday. (Apparently, Esslinger had a strong affinity towards Kalik, the official Bahamian beer.)
The kick-off party tickets, for golfers and nongolfers, are $35 each. Guests can also take part in the large silent and live auctions which include big ticket items like stays at Blue Haven in the Bahamas.
Tee-off begins the following day 9 a.m. at Islamorada Fish Company, at MM 81.5 on the bayside. The teams of four will travel by boat from tee to tee, with a designated driver. Each player gets two shots from each tee venue. The event tests golfers’ skill, precision, and patience. Golfers must supply their own clubs and the golf balls provided are biodegradable and turn into fish food after 90 hours. After the golf event, there is an awards ceremony at the Oceanview Lounge with plenty of food and fun.
Spots in the Conch Scramble are limited and the event sells out quickly — the event is capped at 50 boats. General registration for a foursome is $500. Call the Conch Scramble at 305-522-1590 or firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
Thursday, Sept. 8 at 6 p.m.
MM 94.5, Oceanside
Friday, Sept. 23 at 6 p.m.
Sea Ranch at MM 83 on the Old Road
Saturday, Sept. 24 at 9 a.m.
Starting at Islamorada Fish Company