SLIPPERY ROCK — The Butler Eagle County Amateur has become a spectacle in its own right through the years.
The 27th annual 18-hole stroke play event is providing a similar opportunity for its host golf course this season.
Slippery Rock Golf Club and Events Center — formerly Oakview — will host the tournament Aug. 9. Shot gun starts are at 7:45 a.m. and 1:15 p.m.
The facility is under new ownership — by Eric and Julie Prebula and Eric's parents, Gary and Dawn Prebula.
“A couple of years ago, there was a question whether this place would remain a golf course,” Slippery Rock club pro Rob McClellan said. “They've done some fantastic things here.
“The course itself is in tremendous shape. There's some new tee boxes, a new drainage system ... There's been $50,000 invested into the course already and we're going to do more.”
The facility also has a new restaurant.
Eagle Amateur committee member Rob Voltz is a member at Slippery Rock Golf Club.
“The new ownership has done a great job here,” he said. “I'm excited about the tournament coming back here. People who haven't played the course this year will be pleasantly surprised.”
Last year's Eagle Amateur had a 149-golfer field at Lake Arthur.
“My goal every year is to get 160 golfers, 80 in the morning and 80 in the afternoon,” Voltz said. “We've hit that figure a couple of times. We've had between 140 and 150 golfers consistently.”
McClellan is anxious to see Butler County golfers' reaction when they come to Slippery Rock for this year's tourney.
“It will be nice bringing golfers from all over the county up here,” he said. “A lot of them have not seen this course since the new owners came in.
“We have 100 new members here this year. Golf is thriving right now. When golfers see this place, I'm confident they'll come back.”
Slippery Rock last hosted the Eagle Amateur in 2018.
The Eagle Amateur itself has had 18 different champions in the first 26 years. There has been a different champion in each of the past five years: Voltz in 2016, Scott Vice in 2017, Jeremy Enslen in 2018, Brent Rodgers in 2019 and Geoff Patterson last year.
Patterson defeated Jeremy Plaisted in a one-hole playoff last year, marking the first time the Eagle Amateur's overall champion was decided in a playoff.
Mars resident Casey Morrow repeated as women's champion last year. There were more women in last year's Eagle Amateur than in any beforehand.
The Eagle Amateur continues to have four flights: 0-6 handicap in the championship flight, 7-12 in the first flight, 13-17 in the second flight and 18-up in the third flight. The seniors division is for age 50 and older and there is a separate women's division.
“What I'd love to see is more golfers in our third flight (18-up handicap),” Voltz said. “That's our smallest flight every year. People think this tournament is just for the top golfers in the county. That's not true. It's for everyone.
“The top women have been playing. I'd love to see more women in that third flight, too. This event is for golfers of all skill levels.”
Entry fee — covering green fees, Skins game and prizes, but not a cart — is $75. Fee is $85 after July 31 and registration deadline is Aug. 5.
For more information, contact Voltz at 724-822-4189 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Registration forms can be found in various issues of the Butler Eagle. Entry forms will be sent to previous Eagle Amateur participants soon.