Dinaland golf pro Kris Abegglen describes the Vernal Classic weekend his favorite one of the summer.
The annual tournament is slated for June 22-23 at the Dinaland Golf Course.
“That is our premier tournament,” Abegglen said. “We have increased the tournament by a half of dozen each year. That is trending in the right direction.”
Abegglen is hoping to attract 120 players for the 36-hole tournament this year. The competition kicks off with tee times on the first day and will end in the evening on the second day. The weekend starts June 21 with the Chicago four-man team format.
“The 120 players is almost full capacity,” Abegglen explained. “The reaction has been really good. I feel like it's coming back to where we want it. We have a lot of community support. Our local players are enjoying it and have a lot of success in it.”
During the 2018 Vernal Classic, Nate Green was the runaway winner after shooting a 65 on the first day and a 69 on the second day for a two-day total of 134 for an eight stroke victory to finish with a 10-under score. The par for the course is 72.
Clint Finkbiner finished second with rounds of 70 and 72 for a two-day total of 142. Tyler Labrum was third, collecting scores of 71 and 72 for a 143, while Blake Murray (75-69-144) finished fourth.
“Our staff enjoys it and our players enjoy it,” Abegglen said. “It's a big deal.”
This is Abegglen's third year at Dinaland.
“I have been happy about the progress that has been made,” he said. “We have tried to sustain the really good programs we have had here, but we have also tried to change things up a little bit with the focus on the condition of the golf course and the customer service at the pro shop.”
Private lessons have been a focus point for Abegglen in his tenure at Dinaland.
“I teach a lot,” Abegglen said.
The golf course officially opened on April 6, but usually starts play in March. Abegglen said they have leased 60 brand new golf carts and that has been a positive response from the players.
“When we have nice days we have been extremely busy,” Abegglen explained. “That is a good sign that our club is healthy.”
The ladies group plays on Tuesdays, while the men's association hits the course on Thursday nights. The golfers start at 5:30 p.m. and play nine holes each week.
“The ladies are picking up with good participation with close to 30 players,” Abegglen said. “The men's association has doubled in numbers with players.”
The men's started out three years ago with roughly 40 players and now has around 65.
“That is a good trend for the men and women,” Abegglen said.
The juniors recently started play with their league and play once a week at Dinaland, while the younger players have the opportunity to participate in different clinics.
Abegglen is looking to add a junior high program in the fall where Vernal players will get to play in matches in Roosevelt and Price.
“The big disadvantage for rural golf course is these kids don't get exposed to a lot of tournaments,” he said. “We are trying to increase that exposure so there is a smoother transitions from league to competition with other schools.”
Dinaland Golf Course
21 – Chicago Four-man tournament
22-23 – Vernal Classic
12 – Uintah Basin;
20 – Simplot
27-28 – Dinaland Senior
2-3 – Ladie's Club Championship
3-4 – Men's Club Championship
16 – Deseret Power
28 – USU
6 – Stickman Freedom Days
14-15 – Dinaland Two-Man
21 – Ladies 3-in-1
26 – Monster Scramble