The fairways were not manicured, the greens were not green and lining up for a tee shot could mean trying to avoid hitting cattle.
Those were the challenges faced by golfers taking part in the first Cow Pasture Xtreme Golf and Sporting Clays event Saturday at the Wilson Ranch south of Brownwood.
Although donations were accepted, the event was free for the three-man teams involved, with proceeds benefiting The Deer Project.
The initiative, now in its second year, is designed to provide food to needy families in the community. Local deer processors have again agreed to process deer donated by hunters at a cost of $35, which is then given to Good Samaritan Ministries. Angelia Bostick, executive director of Good Samaritan, said the tournament and sporting clays will help the hunters who donate deer, but may not be able to afford the $35 processing fees.
“We have a great response from hunters in the area, but, it is difficult for some of them to pay the $35 fee for each deer they donate,” Bostick said. “This event is to raise money to help with that cost.”
Bostick said the goal for this year’s hunting season is “25 and 25.”
“We want to take in 25,000 pounds of processed venison and raise $25,000 to help with the cost of processing, as well as raise awareness so that more hunters who are willing will become involved.”
As the golfers arrived on their all-terrain vehicles, so did Monte “Hawkeye” Henson, a three-time world champion saddle bronc rider and Pro Rodeo and Texas Rodeo Hall of Famer.
“I got a call from a friend of mine who told me this was going on,” Henson said, who traveled from Mesquite to attend. “It is for a really good cause and I knew that I wanted to be here.”
Bill Hicks, former Howard Payne University coach, who traveled from Midland, and Don Carper, who came from Amarillo, acted as the marshals for the event.
“They are here pretty much just to have fun and guide people around the course,” said Dub Wilson, who with Weldon Wilson donated the use of their family land for the tournament.
For those who chose not to golf, shooters took part in a sporting clays event.
“There was something for the golfers and the hunters,” Bostick said.
Participating processors in the Deer Project are M&M Deer Processing, Perk’s Deer Processing, Santa Anna Wild Game Processing and Ted’s Deer Processing.
In 2008, the Deer Project brought in 5,229 pounds, which provided 15,687 meals.
“We really are hoping to do more than that this year,” Bostick said.