Lake of the Ozarks, MO -
Jeremy Lawyer, a pro fisherman who competes on the FLW Tour, doesn't consider himself much of a golfer.
"Maybe miniature golf, but I'm not even very good at that," Lawyer joked.
Nonetheless, Lawyer has golf on his mind these days. Why? Because he will join other well-known bass fishermen November 14-16 to compete in the Missouri Invitational Fish and Golf Pro-Am at Lake of the Ozarks.
The unique event, presented by Ulrich Marine and Duncan Fine Jewelry, will be based at the Old Kinderhook Resort in Camdenton, Mo. Now in its fourth year, the tournament combines two of Lake of the Ozarks' biggest drawing cards: bass fishing and golf.
Here's how it works. At a pre-tournament banquet November 13, amateurs will bid for the pros they want to team with. The pro-am teams fish together November 14 and 16 on Lake of the Ozarks, and will be joined by Missouri country club pros to play a round of golf November 15 at Old Kinderhook's nationally acclaimed course.
Pars, birdies and eagles will translate to extra pounds of bass in the weighted system. So it pays to be good on both surf and turf.
Lawyer and his amateur partner, John Hewkin, were up to the task last year. They complemented each other perfectly in the three-day tournament and took the championship and $20,000 in prize money.
||The nationally acclaimed golf course at Old Kinderhook Resort at the Lake of the Ozarks will be the site of the fourth annual Missouri Invitational Fish and Golf Pro-Am on November 14-16.
For the most part, Lawyer handled the fishing part, Hewkin handled the golf. But each chipped in to help the overall cause. Lawyer sank a key 30-foot putt, and Hewkin caught a big bass to add to the team's total.
Now they will be back to defend their title and Lawyer can't wait. So, he's been practicing his golf game in preparation for the event, right? Umm...not exactly.
"I don't even own a set of golf clubs. I had to borrow some clubs last year," said Lawyer, who is the city administrator at Sarcoxie, Mo.
"I think my wife will tell you that I don't need another hobby.
"But just the same, I had a great time last year. I surprised myself with some good shots, and the fishing was fun.
"It's just a great event."
Casey Scanlon, another FLW pro, thinks much the same way. In contrast to Lawyer, though, he is more comfortable on the golf course. He lives on the Osage National Golf Course in Lake Ozark, Mo., though he doesn't have as much time to golf as he would like.
Fishing and golf -- that's an ideal mix for Scanlon. That's one of the reasons he is such an enthusiastic supporter of the Missouri Invitational Pro-Am.
"When I was younger, I even worked at a golf course," he said.
"I am not a great golfer, but I can usually hold my own.
"And the fishing is usually good at the time they have this event. It's a change of pace for us, and they roll out the red carpet for us."
Other nationally known pros such as Dion Hibdon, James Watson, Mike McClelland, Stacey King and Marcus Sykora are expected to compete.
The event is the brainchild of Bob Renken, who runs the Old Kinderhook Lodge and Golf Club, and Bob Bueltmann, who operates the popular
website and is active in the bass-fishing scene at Lake of the Ozarks.
Renken and Bueltmann fish together and they saw the possibilities of hosting such an event at the Old Kinderhook complex Renken operates.
The first three years have been a success. The event has attracted national attention from both the bass fishing and golfing worlds, and the participants have given the pro-am rave reviews.
Want to check it out? Admission to the tournament, based at Old Kinderhook, is free of charge and spectators can follow their favorite fishermen on the golf course and on the water.
Here is what to expect:
- The field will include 36 amateurs, who pay a $1,000 registration fee. Most of the field is filled, but interested parties can get on a waiting list by emailing Ben Verhoeff at Ben@BassingBob.com.
- Fishermen will launch at 8 a.m. on November 14 from the Old Kinderhook boat ramp, and will return for weigh-ins at 3:15 p.m. at the resort's skating rink.
- Golfers in the scramble-type tournament will tee off at 10 a.m. November 15.
- Fishermen will take off at 8 a.m., November 16 from Old Kinderhook and weigh in starting at 3 p.m. at the resort's skating rink. The awards ceremony will begin at 4 p.m.