Claude Akins Memorial Golf Tournament Brings Record Number of Golfers This Year

(BEDFORD) – The Bedford Recreation Foundation Claude Akins Memorial Golf Tournament brought a record number of golfers this year.

A total of 648 golfers and a record of 108 teams participated.

“We had to turn people away this year. This was a good and bad thing, ” according to Golf Pro Taylor Graeter.

The six-person scramble offered more than $30,000 in prizes. Play began at 7:15 a.m. with afternoon rounds starting at 1:15 p.m. both days.

Phillip Thompson prepares to take a swing on the #13 Hole at Otis Park

The Claude Akins Memorial Golf Classic tournament is held annually in the memory of Claude Akins in Bedford. The funds received from the ceremony provided funds for the Bedford Recreation Foundation Scholarship and are also provided to the Akins Scholarship for graduating students of Bedford North Lawrence High School. The funds are also utilized for various projects that include recreation and developments.

Claude Akins

Claude Akins was an American actor and was raised in Bedford. He was born on May 25, 1926 and died after battling cancer at the age of 67 on January 27, 1994. His parents were Ernest Marion Akins and Anna Maude Akins. His father was a stonecutter and then served as a policeman. His mother was a housewife.

Akins was a television, stage and film actor. He is mostly recognized for his role in the TV series titled B. J. and the Bear as Sheriff Lobo, and later in a spin-off series entitled The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo and stared in the TV series Movin’ On on NBC.

Record Number of Golfer played this year with a total of 648 golfers, some were turned away

“The 2018 Tournament was a big success with more than $40,000 raised,” says Joe Elliott, who helps organize the event. “Not only does the Bedford Recreation Foundation strive to provide a first-class golf tournament for everyone’s enjoyment but most importantly the funds raised by this event are at work helping to enhance the quality of life in our community. Your generous support of this tournament will allow this organization the opportunity to continue our mission of contributing to important and worthwhile projects that not only we can enjoy but, future generations can benefit from.”

Food was served at the Shelter House for golfers who played in this year’s Akins Memorial Golf Tournament

Many of the golfers would not comment on how well they did or didn’t do, but many return year after year for the fun.

“I have a lot of fun, there is not anything better than playing golf,” said Mike Kirby of French Lick.

On Saturday, Kyle Materson hit a hole in one winning a cruise according to Taylor Graeter who watched the moment unfold.

Troy Blanton came from Missouri to play in the Golf Classic.

“It is such a beautiful day to be able to play. The golf course is in great shape,” stated Blanton.

Proceeds from the tournament have benefited:

  • BRF & Claude Akins Scholarships
  • Local Special Olympics
  • Playground Equipment
  • Otis Park Golf Course
  • Otis Park Bath House
  • Otis Park Junior Golf Program
  • Citizen Recognition Awards
  • Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence County

Since 2014 the Bedford Recreation Foundation has contributed more than $250,000 in funding to the following organizations:

  • Spring 2019 – $75,000 Pledged for Proposed Spray Park at John Lowery Pool
  • More than $12,500 in donations to Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence County
  • $1750.00 contributed to Lawrence County Aquatics
  • Fall 2018 – 12 New Trees Planted at Otis Park (31 Trees in the Last Three Years)
  • Fall 2017 – Upgrade to Greens at #11 & #14 & Enlargement of Greens at #2 & #12 at Otis Park
  • Materials for the construction of the Jim Flick Golf Practice Facility at Otis Park Golf Course
  • Indoor Putting Green for Golf Practice Facility
  • $5,000 towards construction materials for Soccer Complex Covered Pavilion
  • New Wilson Park Little League Field Scoreboard
  • Renovation of Otis Park Stone Picnic Pavilions including new grills
  • Purchase of 20’ Diagonal Screen Outdoor Projection System to show movies
  • New Sod for #17 Blue Tee plus one load of sand for Bunkers at Otis Park Golf Course
  • Materials for new siding, soffit, and fascia for Clubhouse, Cart Barn and Range Ball Building
  • $12,000 towards irrigation on Otis Park golf course tee areas
  • Red Brick Patio renovations – including concrete, sod, irrigation, and landscaping.

The Bedford Recreation Foundation will be looking at some future projects, which include a possible Splash Pad at John Lowry Memorial Pool and next year start efforts in restoring the historic stone wall at Otis Park.

This year’s tournament was a success with many having a great time.

Bedford Recreation Foundation Board Members include:

  • Noah Browning
  • Holly Davis
  • Joe Elliott
  • Tom Elliott
  • Barry Jeskewich
  • Jessy McKey