As usual, Bob Hope will be in Utah for the Great American Indian Shootout next week, only this time it will be an extra special occasion.
Hope will be celebrating his 86th birthday while he's in town (that upcoming TV Bob Hope birthday special from Paris was filmed weeks ago).Ever since coming out here as a favor to his friend Johnny Miller five years ago, Hope has made a habit of supporting the annual event, which raises as much as $150,000 for the Division of Indian Affairs. This year he'll be honored at a banquet May 29, his birthday, at Little America put on by the Utah Division of Indian Affairs.
The golf tournament will be played the following day with Miller and Rod Curl joining several celebrities such as football's Steve Young, and politicians Norm Bangerter and Orrin Hatch in the scramble event at Jeremy Ranch.
A few spots are still available for the banquet and the tournament. Those interested, should contact Dick Cheney (485-8451) or Tom Lovell (795-2682).
COURSE SHORTAGE: Pat Rielly came up from Los Angeles an couple of weeks ago (no, not that Pat Riley) to visit with members of the local media and local golf professionals.
Rielly is the president of the PGA of America and he was on hand at Willow Creek Country Club for the annual Golf Media Day. It was the first visit, at least in recent memory, by a PGA president.
Of course, Rielly had nice things to say about Utah. ("You have natural environment here that can't be matched anywhere in the world," and "What's happening in the state of Utah hasn't gone unnoticed by the PGA.")
He also made a pitch for public golf courses, saying that there needed to be one golf course built every day in the country to keep up with the demand for golf.
He noted the number of golf courses planned in Utah and added "You're doing an excellent job of planning for the future."
NICE APPEARANCE FEE: Spain's Severiano Ballesteros has won just about every significant golf tournament in the world. The only major golf tournament he hasn't won in Europe is the Italian Open, which he has been playing in this week.
Although Ballesteros might be motivated to play in the $500,000 tournament for that reason alone, he also had an additional incentive for playing. He received $100,000 just for showing up. If he wins, he'll get an extra $70,000.
GOLF IN THE DARK: If you've ever felt in the dark about your golf game, here's your chance to have an legitimate excuse to feel that way.
The West Bountiful Golf Course is holding its first Moonlight Madness tournament of the summer on June 2. The four-person scramble will begin at dusk or around 9:15 p.m., following a dinner at 8 p.m.
How can one play a golf tournament at night? Well, there's a special kind of flourescent golf ball that can easily be seen in the dark, says West Bountiful pro Mike Bicker. The balls only go about 75 percent of a normal ball, but the tees will be moved up to partially compensate.
The cost is $20 per person, which includes green fees, dinner, balls, plus prizes. For more information, contact Bicker at 295-1019.
NCAA REGIONALS: The golf teams from BYU, Utah and Weber State will have their chance this weekend to qualify for this year's NCAA golf championship June 7-10 at Edmund, Okla.
It's the first year for NCAA golf regionals and the three local schools will be among 16 teams competing at El Paso Country Club Thursday through Saturday for nine spots in the nationals. Among the top teams will be top-ranked Arizona State, defending national champion UCLA, along with teams such as Arizona, USC, Fresno State and WAC powers UTEP and New Mexico.
UPCOMING: The local U.S. Open Qualifying will be played Monday at Park Meadows . . . Senior golfers will vie for the Deseret News Trophy at the UGA Seniors Championship at Davis Park Wednesday and Thursday . . . The Glendale Amateur and Valley View Amateur will be played Saturday . . . The Toana Vista Best Ball will be Saturday and Sunday.