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Mead’s Zane Mularski drives during the District 8 4A boys golf tournament at MeadowWood Golf Course on Tuesday. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

Inaugural tournament at Kalispel offers unique format for area prep golfers

The newest addition to the high school golf schedule offers a unique field of competitors.

The Spokane Area High School Golf Championship debuts today at Kalispel Golf and Country Club, with more than 100 boys from 20 area schools representing every classification (1B, 2B, 1A, 2A, 3A, 4A).

Next year, it’ll be the girls’ turn. Organizers hope to make it an annual event, with boys and girls competing on alternate years.

There is no cost to the players, and they’ll be treated to an awards banquet. Another unique aspect: A $500 donation will be made to the school of the overall team winner, and $300 donations will go to winners in the remaining classifications.

The tournament, presented by the Kalispel Tribe of Indians, is the brainchild of long-time course superintendent Jeff Gullikson, who is also the golf coach at Northwest Christian.

“I’ve always wanted to provide an opportunity for players of all abilities to be able to compete in a premier format and on the best course in town,” Gullickson said. “When the Kalispel Tribe purchased the golf club, it became clear that their vision for supporting the community and giving back to others aligned perfectly with the vision for this tournament.”

Tee times apparently will feature groups with players from several classifications.

“That’s one of the unique parts of this, because we don’t get a chance to see the other classifications. My kids may see some of the other kids in summer in Washington junior (tournaments), but not during the school season,” Mead coach Paul Peters said. “I know Jeff has thought about this for a long time. I believe at the awards (banquet) they’re really going to try to acknowledge the kids, and what they’ve accomplished. After we finish, I’m thinking we’ll think that was pretty cool.”