The Great Rivers Council of Boy Scouts of America has moved its 18th annual golf tournament in support of the scouts to align on the calendar with the once-in-a-lifetime celestial alignment that will take place Aug. 21 in the sky above Mid-Missouri.
That's the day of the long-awaited total solar eclipse that will cross directly over Jefferson City, and the Great Rivers Council is capitalizing on the event by giving golfers the chance to hit the green while the sky goes dark that afternoon with the "Total Eclipse of the Sun" golf tournament.
"Darkness will fall in the middle of the day. Planets and stars may appear. The temperature could drop 10-15 degrees. Animals and insects may behave like nightfall has set. You may think you have seen a 'total' solar eclipse before, but chances are you have not, and you certainly have not played golf during one!" the event's website reads.
There will be two simultaneous golf tournaments — one at the Jefferson City Country Club at 516 S. Country Club Drive and the other at the Country Club of Missouri at 1300 Woodrail Avenue in Columbia.
The tournament is a four-person scramble that will begin at 11 a.m. Registration and practice areas will be open at 10 a.m. Food, beverages and snacks will be provided before, during and after golf. "There are prizes for teams, and you will be challenged by closest to the pin, long drive and hole-in-one contests," the event's flyer states.
The top team prizes at each location have not been determined yet but are usually cash prizes, said Greg Baker, the council's development director.
He said typically 36-40 teams sign up for the golf outing every year, but they are hoping the eclipse gives them a boost in numbers. The eclipse tournament will remain this year's only golf outing in support of the scouts.
In addition to the food and beverages and chances to win prizes, each player will get one glow-in-the-dark ball to prevent the eclipse from slowing down anybody's game.
Players also will get a commemorative T-shirt and eclipse viewing glasses, according to a news release.
"Scouting continues to rely on events and contributions from members of the community for funding of the quality programs we are able to deliver," the council's Scout Executive Doug Callahan said in the news release.
"A team entered in this tournament contributes the necessary resources to pay for camps and fund other District and Council Scouting activities," he said.
All but $90 per player is a tax-deductible donation to Boy Scouts of America, Great Rivers Council.
For $250, single players may register to play at one of the two courses on the day of the eclipse.
A team of eight that plays at one of the two courses will pay $1,000; for $1,800, the team can play at both courses.
An Eagle Scout team will pay $1,200 to play at one of the two courses and get a hole sponsor sign. For $1,800, an Eagle Scout team can play at both courses and get a hole sponsor sign.
Baker said registration as of Friday was about half full. People can register at www.bsa-grc.org/give-to-scouting/special-events/golf-tournament/42018. Registration will be possible the day of the event, if it's not sold out.