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Former member inspires annual golf tournament

Saturday, June 6, 2009 | 9:40 p.m. CDT; updated 11:49 p.m. CDT, Saturday, June 6, 2009
ason Cooley and Jeff Glenn comment on each other’s outfits before the Country Club of Missouri’s third annual Knickerbocker Golf Tournament. The tournament and its theme are inspired by Steve Inslee, a past member of the country club known for wearing argyle socks and vintage knickerbockers at tournaments.

COLUMBIA — Members of the Country Club of Missouri came out Saturday for a special round of golf decked in knickerbockers, golf caps and plenty of plaid.

Saturday marked the third annual Knickerbocker Golf Tournament at the club. The tournament gives members the chance to let their guard down and play a round of golf in eye-catching duds.

“It’s all about fun. It’s a real social event and people love it,” said Jonathan Tips, head PGA golf professional at the club. “It’s funny to laugh at people in their different outfits.”

Pastels, plaids, checkers, bow ties, nothing was off limits. At the Knickerbocker, the more eccentric, the better.

The idea came from Steve Inslee, a lifelong member and former chair of the golf committee at the club. A well-known member, Inslee was known to occasionally hit the links in time-honored golf garb. After his death in 2006, the club put on the tournament in Inslee's honor.

“The first year was almost like a memorial. We used it as a college fund-raiser for his kids,” said Tips. “The following year we used it as a club fund-raiser. It’s really taken on a life of its own now, it’s whatever we want it to be. What it comes down to is a huge party and a day to have fun.”

Following the tournament, the club hosted a social gathering complete with an end of the school year pool party and live music from The Comic Book Band.

The 62 golfers looked like a field of Payne Stewart impersonators. Stewart, who died in 1999, was known for his colorful golf wardrobe. Clay Bethune matched black and white checkerboard knickers with a black cap and tall white socks.

David Dinwiddie somehow pulled off a purple polo, orange knickers and multicolored socks.

“I came out today just for the fun of it,” Dinwiddie said. “It’s a good excuse to dress like a clown.”

Instead of emphasizing competition out on the course, the tournament challenges participants in the dressing room.

“I missed it last year so I’m trying to outdo all these other guys’ dress,” said Jim Bornhauser, dressed in matching Irish green knickers, cap and argyle socks. “It’s an event where you can play with new people and have fun. That’s what golf is all about.”

Bornhauser said the spirit of the event matched Inslee's personality.

“He was a fun loving guy,” Bornhauser said. “He lived life and lived it large. He was eccentric, so I feel like I’m honoring him in a way with these clothes.”


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