WHEELING - As tournament director of the 13th Annual Stoney Hollow Tire Amateur, Tom Gaudino gets a lot of calls like the one he received Wednesday.
A guy from Fairmont was inquiring about the tournament - often revered to as a ''golf event'' because it's more than simply 36 holes of golf.
So Gaudino first went over the cost to enter, then delved into the spoils, which are as plentiful as they come in the amateur golf ranks. Those who enter the Stoney get two rounds of golf on Oglebay's championship course - Robert Trent Jones and Arnold Palmer - free use of the driving range, a meal and drinks each day, a plaque denoting their participation, and a special gift bag.
The man stopped him.
''I've been to Oglebay,'' he said. ''I'd pay $175 just to play the two courses.''
''He said, 'why would I not play?' " Gaudino related.
Those with Speidel passes get a discounted rate, as the Stoney remains one of the tri-state's best values in golf. As of Wednesday, when they opened things with the annual worker's party, 284 golfers had signed up to play in the event.
Though few of these volunteers play in the tourney, they're treated to similar gifts for their work with the on-site scoreboards, as spotters and starters, at the registration table, or driving players to and from the driving range, and driving spectators around the course.
While many of these volunteers are members of the Oglebay Park Golf Club, ''a lot of the people that do it are people who can't really play anymore but still want to be a part of it.'' Gaudino said.
There are four divisions in the Stoney: Championship, Seniors (age 50 & over), Super Seniors (age 62 & over) and First (handicaps of 7 and over). There is a medal and best ball event for each division.
Four-time champion Bryan Myers is returning to defend his title in the championship division, along with last year's runner-up Brian Anania, five-time champion Larry Lis, Jr., and 2005 champion Dave Frey. The 2011 Senior Division champion Jeff Sparks will defend his crown and will be challenged by four-time champion Mark Wheaton. Lynn Martin, last year's Super Senior Division winner, and Tim Bishop, last year's First Division winners, are both returning this year.
The tournament is a joint effort of Stoney Hollow Tire and The Oglebay Park Golf Club. This event benefits junior golf in the Ohio Valley.
A few openings remain for information contact Gaudino at (304) 830-7771 or email@example.com.