By Zach Cavanagh

Though COVID-19 gave them a bit of a delay and required new protocols to be put in place, as there are everywhere in life now, the Dana Point 5th Marine Regiment Support Group will be able to go forward with its 11th annual Combat Golf Tournament on Sept. 21.

While all of the golf slots already have been sold, the Support Group is still looking for sponsors of Marines and Wounded Warriors in the tournament, which will be contested at Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club in Mission Viejo. Individual sponsorships for a Marine or a Wounded Warriors are $150, which pays for each veteran’s golf, boxed lunch, range balls and swag bag, including a mask for COVID-19 protocols.

Supporters for the event include local businesses and organizations, including sponsorships from the City of Dana Point and The Toll Roads. Some sponsorships remain available. For those interested in a sponsorship, contact event chair Patti Short at 949.500.4951.

All proceeds from the event go to the Dana Point 5th Marine Regiment Support Group to help the active-duty Marines of the 5th Marine Regiment and their families, along with the Wounded Warrior Battalion West at Camp Pendleton.

The tournament has been organized with full COVID-19 guidelines, including one person per cart, unless players request to ride together. At each hole, pins will stay in the cup, except on the par-3 holes. On par-3 holes, a masked and gloved volunteer will tend the pin. Registration is also set up with social distancing, and masks will be required. Check-in begins at 9 a.m., with the tournament starting at 11 a.m.

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 protocols mean the removal of some of the tournament’s signature events for this year. There will be no putting contest, and the supremely unique flak jacket experience will not go on for this year’s tournament. In previous editions, golfers would have to avoid “snipers,” delicately maneuver through “minefields” and obstacle courses, then attack the hole by taking a swing while wearing a flak jacket and helmet.

While those golf-specific events are out for this year, there is still plenty of off-course fun when the tournament concludes. There will be a no-host cocktail hour on the patio outside the Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club, an awards ceremony and the annual helicopter ball drop. Tickets to enter the chopper ball drop are $10.

For more information on the tournament or on how to sponsor a Marine or Wounded Warrior for the tournament, check out danapoint5thmarines.com/combat-golf.

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