A total of 10 teams, each consisting of four golfers, came out to participate in the seventh annual Chili Bowl Classic at the Courses of Clear Creek Saturday.

After spending the chilly morning out on the course, the golfers came back in to enjoy some chili for lunch and comradery with their fellow golfers. The team consisting of B.D. Ballard, Carl Olmstead, Paul Wangler and Faga “Funky” Paau, came in first place with a score of 60, which is 12 under par. They each were awarded a $55 gift certificate to the Courses of Clear Creek golf shop.

Golfers were glad to be back on the course after the holiday break. Chuck McPhilomy, assistant manager of the Courses of Clear Creek, was a major part of planning the Chili Bowl Classic and was happy to kick off 2020 with the annual event.

“Every year we do it. We do it in January, while it’s still cool,” McPhilomy said. “It starts the new year for us and the new season basically. It just gets people out here.”

McPhilomy believes that the most challenging part of this event for most golfers is the weather, although it was pretty clear on Saturday.

“This is not too bad today. Past years we’ve had it cold, miserable, drizzly, you know,” McPhilomy said. “At least the rain moved out this morning. Typically, it is the weather (that) is our biggest challenge.”

The players share a special camaraderie because several of them regularly play at the Courses of Clear Creek, but there are always a few new players that are curious to see what the golfing events have to offer.

“A lot of the time, we get new people coming out to see what’s going on. It does give a little peak of the interest because we’ve been very mild this winter compared to past years. Golfers get the itch you know. Especially if they are from up north or getting back from a deployment,” McPhilomy said. “A majority of my players are retirees or civilians that work here on post, but I do have some younger Soldiers out there playing today.”

McPhilomy’s favorite part of working on the event was registration. He was excited to welcome people back after the holidays.

“That’s people I haven’t seen for two or three months and getting to see them back out here and get the friendships going again. I don’t mind doing the paperwork and all that kind of stuff that’s part of the job… I don’t mind doing all that kind of stuff, but I enjoy meeting the people again and saying, ‘Hey, good to see you back out here.’”

The next event at the Courses of Clear Creek is the Phantom Warrior Golf Scramble. An ongoing event taking place at the Courses of Clear Creek is Unlimited Golf, providing unlimited fun on the course from Monday-Friday through Feb. 2. For more information on either of these events, visit https://hood.armymwr.com or call 254-287-4130.