By Beau Eastes

The Bulletin

MOUNT BACHELOR — Mt. Bachelor ski area hopes this is the start of a tradition like none other.

With the sun blazing and the snow melting, 20 outdoor enthusiasts combined two of Central Oregon’s favorites pastimes Sunday at the ski area’s inaugural Snow Golf Tournament. Five teams of four skied and snowboarded their way down Mount Bachelor via the Leeway Run, drilling tennis balls with golf clubs at “holes” made up of flags placed in the middle of a large circle spray-painted in the snow.

“The fairways were a bit damp and brittle, but we persevered and overcame,” deadpanned Colin Morrison, 37, a member of the team Delta Tau Tetherow. “The woods swallowed a couple of balls early, but you get the hang of it.”

“We’re all members of Tetherow (one of the tournament’s sponsors), and we hadn’t been up to Bachelor in a couple of months,” Morrison added, explaining the allure of Sunday’s event. “And it supports a great cause.”

All proceeds from the tournament went to First Story, a Pacific Northwest nonprofit organization that helps low-income families own homes.

“This is our first year, so we’re really hoping to grow the event,” said Claire Duncan, First Story’s executive director. “(With the unusually warm weather) we’re competing with actual golf. Normally in early May, that’s not an issue. Eventually, we’d love to have all the area golf courses playing against one another (in snow golf).”

Participants maneuvered around the mountain’s usual skiers and snowboarders, taking about 1½ hours to finish the course. Not all teams kept score, but those that did battled for custom blazers embossed with “Snow Golf Champions” on the left breast.

“There’s not a whole lot of rules in snow golf,” Duncan said. “There’s a two-club limit, and you have to stay clipped in your skies (when swinging) and have at least one foot still binded if you’re snowboarding.”

Kyle Staggs, also of Bend, and his Get Some teammates made their way down the mountain in style. Staggs, 29, rocked a vintage golf vest and old-school golf bag to carry his and his teammates’ clubs. Other wardrobe highlights from the Get Some team were a pair of bright pink shorts and a blinding neon green sweater shirt.

“This was great,” Staggs said. “You get to mix two of your favorite things and hang out with your buddies.”

— Reporter: 541-617-7829; beastes@bendbulletin.com .

9831897