Jun. 19—Like strokes on a tough golf hole, the dollars raised by Pioneer PlayDay add up quickly.
It did not matter whether the 34 groups that took on the golf course at Stillwater Country Club played well or not. The 31st annual golf fundraiser was held on a sunny Friday afternoon and regardless of high or low scores, spirits were high as golfers raised money for Stillwater Pioneer athletics.
"It's a great tournament," Stillwater athletic director and head football coach Tucker Barnard said. "Great time. The country club has been doing this for a really long time for Stillwater athletics. It's a great venue."
Barnard, who played in a group with assistant Stillwater High football coach Charlie Johnson, was among other coaches engrained in the Stillwater community. Oklahoma State quarterbacks coach Tim Rattay participated, and he was joined by OSU running backs coach John Wozniak.
"There's a lot of guys that played ball here when they were in school," Barnard said. "It's fun. Everybody here is invested in Stillwater athletics. It really helps us."
There were four holes on the course that golfers could take advantage of to lower their scores. The "game holes" offered unique opportunities that cost $20.
Members of the Stillwater High boys' golf team were camped out on hole seven, a downhill par three that played into the wind.
Cooper Wooten, Max Wolfe, Tripp Schuessler and Collin Schaller were among the Pioneers who hit tee shots for the groups that made a donation. The generosity often paid off for groups, with golfers usually facing just a short putt for birdie.
Most groups took the opportunity to simultaneously help their scorecard and the local school, and at the half-way point on hole seven, over $300 had been donated.
A donation on hole two allowed golfers to move up and take their tee shots in the fairway. Parting with $20 on the par-3 14th enabled golfers to putt at any of the six holes littered around the green — not just the pin tucked behind a bunker.
Brandon Reavins, a parent of a Pioneer athlete, helped run hole No. 14 and collect donations.
"Folks are generous all the time it seems like," Reavis said. "If we bring a few hundred to maybe $500 in on some of these holes it really helps out the athletic program."
Golfers could also purchase "feet" late in the round which allowed them to shorten their putts on the 18th green.
In a dramatic finish, the foursome from Great Plains Bank bested the other group that shot a 49 by edging them out in a winner-take-all chip off.
The fun was not limited to the golf course. Golfers could look to score a deal on items in a silent auction.
People bid on dozens of items including apparel from Stillwater High and OSU, yard signs from GameDay Iron Works, a golf ball autographed by Viktor Hovland and a private wrestling lesson with OSU national champion AJ Ferrari.
"I'd say most if not all of our items are completely donated free and clear," Barnard said. "That ends up being a good profit for us and it's a lot of fun. There's some stuff out there. You can mess around and find a good deal."
While the total amount of money raised for Pioneer athletic teams was not finalized, the ballpark estimate is $40,000 to $50,000.
"This is a big day," Barnard said. "It's really important for us. The average person probably doesn't know how big of an impact this is for us. It's a big deal."