A pristine course, drivers in the golf bag and — a toilet lid on the green? The 11th annual Redneck Golf Tournament teed off Saturday at Pine Ridge Golf Course with 18 teams, putting a twist on classic golf tournament sportsmanship.

Hosted by Habitat for Humanity, the tournament raises funds every year to help the organization repair and rebuild homes for local families. Last year the tournament raised $13,000; this year’s final amount is still to be determined, director Judy Martin said. The tournament sets up holes with unique challenges: teeing off with oven mitts, putting with plastic flamingos, hitting misshapen balls and banking off a toilet lid, all in the name of charity.

“It’s unique, there’s no other golf tournament like it,” Martin said. “We don’t care how people dress, and they can pretty much do whatever. It’s fun.”

Most people return year after year to play, volunteers said. While last year had a few more teams on the course, 18 groups was a good number to keep things flowing without overcrowding the course, they said. The tournament provided a relaxed environment where all the

players could interact a little more on the holes, donating extra to participate in redneck-themed activities. Some teams even picked redneck-themed names, such as “Mamas N’em Youngens.’”

“Good weather, great course, good cause. We just came out to have a good time,” said participant Jason Medlin, who was playing for his third year.

Pine Ridge Golf Course owner Cathy Harbin received several compliments on her course and the event. The Redneck tournament is a popular event locally, she said.

“People talk about it all year,” Harbin said. “I’m glad they enjoyed it.”

Aside from the golf game, the tournament also included door prizes like golf ball sets, caps and coffee mugs. There were also larger prizes: a massage from Rub Club, and hole-in-one winners won a golf weekend sponsored by Liberty National Bank, Martin said. Starbucks and J. Skinner provided coffee and cinnamon rolls in the morning, and there was chili and hot dogs for a post-round lunch.

Prizes and trophies went to first, second and third place winners, the longest drive winners and “dead blank last,” Martin said. The RPM Staffing team, made up of Hunter Jones, Jason Medlin, Kris Lawson and Ben Caffee won first place; Screen Graphics, composed of Brent Beaird, Alec Beaird, Evan Beaird and Rachel Freeman, won second; and 82 Lawn and Equipment, represented by Ron Jackson, Ray Lafon, Chuck Ray and Gene Kounovsky, placed third. Freeman also won the longest drive for the women’s category and Greg Woodrow won the men’s category.

And, 2019 was the fourth year that Freeman, who golfs frequently, had played in the tournament. She took home multiple trophies and a door prize.

“I feel good, we just came out here to have fun,” she said, smiling.

As for the winning team, they enjoyed the course and were happy with their win.

“We feel good. We actually used our redneck holes appropriately this time,” Hunter Jones said, chuckling.

Macon Atkinson is a staff writer for The Paris News. She can be reached at 903-785-6963 or macon.atkinson@theparisnews.com.

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