News: Cherry Point Hosts 23rd annual Commander’s Cup
Story by Lance Cpl. Glen Santy
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY STATION, N.C. - The extensive amount of cars filled the parking lots of Miller’s Landing and the Sound of Freedom golf course. The recognizable beeps that came from hand-held devices of car alarms combined with the clanking of over-sized golf bags made the area sound like the heart of a Las Vegas casino. The long line of neon polo T-shirts snaked its way through the grass and into the parking lot marking the beginning of the 23rd annual Commander’s Cup amateur golf tournament.
Roughly 170 contestants participated in the tournament Friday and Saturday at the Sound of Freedom golf course. The event was hosted by the Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point commanding officer, Col. Phillip Zimmerman.
“I love this tournament,” said Zimmerman. “It’s an opportunity to bring active duty and retired service members together along with members from the community.”
“I think this event is outstanding,” said retired Sgt. Maj. Jim Bisesi, one of the few members who has made it to all 23 tournaments, “I don’t remember ever missing a year. I’ve volunteered my services here for the past 15 years helping to keep up the golf course, and I appreciate all of the participants that are out here today,” added Bisesi, who served in the Marine Corps at the end of World War II, during the Korean War and twice in the Vietnam War.
The event hosted participants from throughout the country, some of whom, like Bisesi, have played in all 23 tournaments.
Cherry Point had five to seven players that have been here every year of the tournament, explained Mike Largent, the Marine Corps Community Services Cherry Point chief executive officer.
There were golfers from multiple states, such as Georgia, Arizona and South Carolina. Also many of the players were either retired or active duty from the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and Army, many whom brought their golf bags sporting their various military branches.
“This event brings the community and military together to form a good partnership with the air station,” said Lt. Col. Trey Meadows, commanding officer of Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 366. “It’s fun being out here, it beats working,” said Meadows jokingly.
The tournament was divided into teams of four. Each team had an A, B, C and D level player. The teams were chosen at random, and for the first time electronically, to make the competition fair. On each hole the two best scores were chosen and put on the score cards.
“Playing in a one-day tournament is hard enough,” said Zimmerman. “Playing in a two-day tournament on a team with four people you’ve never met before makes it a little more challenging.”
Tiger Woods said “I get to play golf for a living. What more can you ask for? Getting paid for doing what you love.”
Though the participants do not play golf for a living they do share the same affection for their jobs, and this event gave them a semi-competitive way to mingle and unwind.