Jun. 27—POUNDING MILL, Va. — The Blue Ridge Junior Golf Tour will visit historic Tazewell County Country Club on Monday, the next stop on this year’s circuit.
This year’s event, which is expected to attract about 100 golfers from 4 to 18 years old, is the Hunter Family Tournament, honoring the family of the late Charles “Budge” Hunter, whose family owned Pounding Mill Quarry and continues to own Hunter Paving in Pounding Mill.
Sloane Hunter, wife of retired Charles M. “Mike” Hunter, said she, Linda Taylor and Dede Green, all associated with the Tazewell County club, were instrumental in starting the Blue Ridge Tour, which began in 1999.
Hunter said some players are carrying on a family tradition that started at the Tazewell County course at Pounding Mill.
For example, Carol Green, women’s golf coach at Virginia Tech and former winner on the Blue Ridge Tour, has a son, J.J. Robertson, who is competing this year. Both of her great-grandparents helped start the Tazewell County Country Club, Hunter said.
They all also have had children who participated on the tour and went on to play Division I college golf.
But much of the impetus centered around the Tazewell County Country Club, which was built in 1927 by ancestors of many who have participated in the Blue Ridge Tour.
Mike Hunter said his father and grandfather were both involved in the club and his grandfather was a charter member.
Hunter’s sons, John David and Charles M. “Budge” Hunter V, played on the tour and also played college Division I golf.
Sloane Hunter said Budge Hunter is now on the club board and is the fourth generation of Charles Hunters to be on the board.
“His great-grandfather Charles was the first vice president and his grandfather Charles “Budge” Hunter gave one of the first 9 holes along with his father and also got the equipment from VDOT (Virginia Department of Transportation) to help develop the course while they were there building the road (Rt. 460),” she said. “Mike was on the board when they built the new clubhouse (after the original was destroyed by fire).”
Mike Hunter’s mother, Nancy Hunter, and “Batch” Peery got the swimming pool started, Sloane Hunter said, adding that she and Peggy Barber spearheaded the project to update the pool 20 years ago.
Hunter said the Green family has been involved from the beginning of the club as well.
“The Greens’ grandfather was in the original group,” she said. “They formed the club and young Garland Green (who has won many tournaments in the region) was on the board a couple of years ago.”
Hunter said Carol and Garland Green were original Blue Ridge Tour participants and, with her son J.J. playing on the tour this year, four generations of the Greens have been at Tazewell Country Club and two generations on the Blue Ridge Tour.
PGA professional Lanto Griffin of Blacksburg, who won the Houston Open in 2019, played on the Blue Ridge Tour as well, she said, and has donated some prizes for Monday’s tournament.
Hunter said many other people have been involved in making the tour a success, giving area kids a chance to compete and possibly be noticed by colleges for scholarship opportunities.
Many, including Hunter’s sons, also had the opportunity to meet golf legend Sam Snead.
“The Blue Ridge Tour wouldn’t have been possible without Linda Taylor who really got the organization going,” Hunter said. “Vic Sorrell was instrumental in lining up the courses and helping in so many ways. Debbie Kitts and Ron Satterfield were always there as rules officials and made things go smoothly. Dr. Rob Jones is the president for the Blue Ridge organization and helped in so many ways to keep it going. Dwayne Belcher has been the tour director for many years and keeps it going strong.”
The club also has the distinction of hosting a member/guest tournament that is the longest running of any golf club in the state except the Country Club of Virginia in Richmond, she added.
“David Stanton and Harris Hart were the ones who started the member/guest in Tazewell,” she said.
On Monday, about 100 area youth will compete on the par 71, 6,127-yard course with boys and girls age 4 to 18 playing in five age divisions.
This year is the 23rd year of the tour and it will conclude with the tour championship at Fincastle in Bluefield, Va. July 26-27.
— Contact Charles Boothe at email@example.com