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No Snow, No Problem: 3rd Annual Chili Golf Classic the 'Best and Busiest'

Nearly 100 people played golf in the middle of winter to raise money for recreational programming for kids with special needs.

Nearly 100 golfers enjoyed Pittsburgh's mild winter weather while playing in the 3rd Annual Chili Golf Classic on Saturday at Upper St. Clair's three-hole golf course.

"It's the best and busiest," said Barb Joyce, owner of and resident of Upper St. Clair.

Temperatures were in the 30s, with periods of light rain and sunshine. It was a sharp contrast from , when snow boots were a necessary accessory.

Many golfers said they enjoyed playing on the green fairways this year.

"We didn't have as difficult of a time finding the ball," golfer Rich Williams said.

"We can feel our hands this year," golfer Aaron Mansfield said.

And the lack of snowfall made set-up much easier for organizers.

"I like it with no snow, but it adds to the atmosphere. I would have like to have had a few snow flurries," said Ryan McCleaster, assistant director of recreation & leisure services.

Participants played nine holes and took their teams' lowest score from each hole to tally their total score. The team with the lowest score of the day will have their names engraved on the Chili Golf Classic trophy and, of course, won bragging rights.

The person with the lowest individual score won a $50 Dick's gift certificate and a $50 gift certificate.

Other skill contests included three closest-to-the-pin holes and a chance to win $10,000 with a hole-in-one.

After each round, golfers enjoyed free chili, Spicy Baja Chicken soup and drinks in the , courtesy of the event's sponsor, StonePepper's.

Participants loved the food and—more importantly—felt great knowing that the event's proceeds were benefiting the  at the Community and Recreation Center.

McCleaster was happy to see so many familiar faces.

"We have a lot of returning groups, it's good to see," McCleaster said. "We have more golfers than last year, we just keep growing."

"The event's gaining momentum," said Jeff Joyce, owner of StonePepper's and resident of Upper St. Clair.

"We like to be able to give something back to the community. Plus, it's fun."

Share your Chili Golf Classic experiences in the comments below!

Becky Brindle January 30, 2012 at 07:11 PM
Official update! The George Elish, Greg Smith, Harry Dilmore and Jonn Mansfield team won with a score of 21 (-6). Greg Smith was the individual winner of the day with a score of 27 (E).

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