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NFM Chamber to host golf tourney in October

August 23, 2017
By CHUCK BALLARO ( , North Fort Myers Neighbor

Calvin Peete was one of the most successful golfers on the PGA tour in the 1980s. He was also a resident of North Fort Myers.

So, when the North Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce decided to put on a golf tournament, it was only fitting they name it in honor of Peete, who died of cancer in 2015.

On Oct. 21, the chamber will host the Calvin Peete Memorial Classic at Magnolia Landing Golf Corse, with an 8 a.m. shotgun start.

Lenny Cannova, president of the chamber, said it is really an honor to have Peete's name associated with the event.

"He was a resident of North Fort Myers for many years and a professional golfer and we thought we would do the honor to name the tournament after him," Cannova said. "I've been to a bunch of tournament and I've never thrown one. When I became president, I wanted North Fort Myers to have one."

Peete was the most successful African-American golfer in PGA history prior to Tiger Woods, with 12 wins between 1979 and 1986. His best season was in 1982, when he won four tournaments and finished in the top 10 of two majors.

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Peete, who didn't start golfing until he was well into his 20s, was known for his accuracy off the tee, and in 1984 won the Vardon Trophy for lowest scoring average.

As for the event, it will be a best-ball scramble format open to men and women. There will be contests for the longest drive and closest to the pin on the par-3s, with a $10,000 prize for a hole-in-one.

Afterward, there will be a luncheon in the restaurant, where the winners of the tournament and raffles will be announced. Silent auction items will include golf equipment and memorabilia.

Cannova said they are looking for not only golfers, but also sponsors, silent auction and raffle items and other donations.

Cannova said golfers have already signed up and the Lee County Insurance Agency has already jumped on board as a gold sponsor.

The cost is $75 per golfer and $350 for a foursome, which includes a hole sponsorship.

"There's still room for golfers and spots for gold, silver and bronze sponsors," Cannova said. "We already have seven foursomes lined up and we've had a lot of great donations from local golf shops."

Peete's wife and two daughters are expected to come for the event, as well as play.

For more information on registration or to donate, call the chamber at 997-9111.



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