MILLEDGEVILLE — The Milledgeville Country Club will host the Georgia State Amputee Golf Tournament beginning Friday with a shotgun start at 12:30 p.m. for the four-person scramble prior to the individual stroke play portion the following two days.
In memory of former tournament director, Ray Rice Sr., the tournament serves as inspiration to current amputees both locally and internationally.
Rice was a below knee amputee and an avid golfer.
“He was one of the first certified practitioners in prosthetics in the state of Georgia,” Bill Eason, tournament director and long-time friend of the Rice family, said. “(Rice) would go see individuals and make them an artificial arm, leg or whatever they needed. He understood what it took to work with these people.”
He helped form and played in the Georgia State Amputee Golf Tournament in the 1960s and 70s in Warm Springs, Ga.
The last tournament there was before his death in 1987, so the Rice family decided it would bring back the Georgia State Amputee Golf Tournament as a tribute to his name. The Rice family also formed the Ray Rice Sr. Memorial in 1993.
Eason suggested that the Milledgeville Country Club would be a good site for the tournament.
MCC head golf professional Dave Franklin did a great job in hosting the annual tournament for more than 10 years and has returned to the position in time for this year's event.
According to Eason, the credit for the event's success is given to the businesses that have continued to support the tournament since Milledgeville became the home site 21 years ago.
There are 75 players signed up for the opening day scramble and 60 playing in the two-day stroke play portion beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday. Awards and a cocktail party follow Friday's team play.
The publication of the tournament goes all over the world through the World Amputee Golf Association.