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Chamber to host Peete golf tournament

October 18, 2017
By CHUCK BALLARO ( , North Fort Myers Neighbor

If you and three of your friends are looking for a place to play a round of golf this weekend, you may want to head to Magnolia Landing on Saturday. But hurry, or you might be on the outside looking in.

The North Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce will host the first Calvin Peete Memorial Golf Tournament, sponsored by Lee County Insurance.

Lenny Cannova, president of the Chamber, said the sponsorships and foursomes were filling up fast, with prizes that will make people want to come.

"We almost have a full field and lots of prizes. We have a $10,000 hole-in-one and a lot of other prizes. We'll have a 50/50 raffle and lunch afterward. It's going to be a really good time," Cannova said, adding that he thought after the hurricane that participation would be dampened, which it didn't.

Cannova said as of Friday they were two foursome spots available as many signed up when they learned of the Calvin Peete connection.

He also said they wouldn't be able to accept any more spots after Thursday as they have to reserve the carts and prepare the course.

The festivities actually started Tuesday, when the Board of County Commissioners proclaimed Saturday to be Calvin Peete Day.

"Calvin Peete was a great man who did a lot for the community, and I think it's time to give back to him," Cannova, said.

Peete was a longtime North Fort Myers resident who became perhaps the greatest African-American golfer before Tiger Woods.

Peete, who died of cancer in 2015, was one of the most successful golfers on the PGA tour in his day, 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.

Peete's wife and daughter will be at Magnolia Landing and will play, said Cannova, who hopes this will become an annual event.

In the meantime, Cannova said this will be a trial-and-error affair as they learn how to put on a golf tournament.

"We hope this gets bigger and bigger every year. But the big thing we have going is that Mrs. Peete will be here for it and playing with her daughter," Cannova said.

The cost is $75 per golfer and $350 for a foursome, which includes a hole sponsorship. The event will be a best-ball scramble and have a shotgun start at 8 a.m.

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



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