SO ONE DAY….
Jack Lupton and John Stout had the idea to have a Member-Guest at Lookout Mountain Golf Club. It was 1959, the event has flourished and is filled with great and fun stories. Mr. Lupton and John “Hollywood” Stout won the initial tournament. Legend Lew Oehmig’s name became synonymous with the tournament winning it 8 times with 8 different partners. Pat Corey is only 1 win shy of Lew Oehmig with 7 Red Coats and Lex Tarumianz and Jimmy Chapin have placed their hands on the trophy 5 times. King Oehmig and Boyd Dethro may be the only team to win both the Junior Swing Ding and Swing Ding.
The King of the Swing Ding was always “Chops” Bryan. He was Chairman of the event from the late 60’s until the late 80’s. His idea for the tournament was that it was to be a big party with a little golf thrown in. One of his funniest stories occurred when he and Tom Moore played together about the time the movie Goldfinger came out. They showed up for their golf dressed as Goldfinger and Oddjob. The story says that Chops was a dead ringer for Oddjob.
The Swing Ding is filled with funny stories. Like the time, a group decided that they didn’t want the Friday night dinner/dance to end. They decided to take the band to Kyle Holley’s house behind #8 green for the rest of the evening. Needless to say, none of the attendees arrived at the course the next morning with any sleep.
Or the time Pat Dorsey hooked his tee shot on #1, the first hole of sudden death, left of the lake on #12. This was back when there were trees blocking his approach from that angle. Pat drilled a 3 wood over the trees to within 2 feet of the hole to make birdie and win the match and the 1st Flight.
Another story was the time Lew Oehmig had the course record in his sights. They had closed out their match on #17. He decided to play #18 to try to make birdie for the course record. He hooked his drive into the woods. At finding his ball in the trees, he looked up and commented, “Well, it’s 90% air”. He proceeded to hit his ball through the trees to within 3 feet of the hole. He made the putt and set the course record of 63.
And what would the Swing Ding be without its annual “Most Fun Award”. It went to such characters as Coach Stamps and Bob Beasley. George Fontaine and the late Gaston Raoul, these men would win it every year in which they “competed”. They never won a match.
This event has one of the strongest histories of any private club event in the South dating back to 1959. This special event was created to be a celebration of life with some golf. The setting couldn’t be better with our Seth Raynor designed golf course and the scenic views of multiple states from most every part of the course.
Our club transforms for the Swing Ding every year, whether you are warming up for your round with Swing Ding logoed range balls or during play hearing the Bluegrass or Jazz bands perform under the big top. This is not your ordinary tournament; it is an event you will remember for years to come.