Staying the course

When Bill Kaye used to play Asheville’s Municipal Golf Course, says longtime friend Chuck Chiavaras, he used to look around and see the course it could be, rather than the course it was. “He used to say, ‘Golly, somebody should do something with this place,’” Chiavaras remembers.

Tee off (and get a haircut) at the 11th annual Bill Kaye Beutification Golf Tournament: Proceeds benefit Municipal Golf Course. Above, Aaron Presley prepares to swing there as Randy Quinn looks on. photo by Jonathan Welch

After Kaye’s death, Chiavaras did do something. For the past 10 years, the Bill Kaye Beautification Golf Tournament has raised funds to spruce up the public course, including tree and shrub planting and sand-trap improvements. “Just because it is a public course doesn’t mean you can’t have a high standard of aesthetics,” Chiavaras says.

Keeping the tournament alive is Chiavaras’ way of honoring Kaye, the friend who, he says, brought him to Asheville, taught him to golf and introduced him to his wife.

“He was a Renaissance man,” Chiavaras says of Kaye, who owned beauty schools and salons in Asheville and earned money for his own schooling by boxing. On the second day of the upcoming tournament, stylists from the Paul Mitchell Company will set up at the first tee and cut hair for donations to the golf-course fund.

Over the past decade, the number of players in the tournament has grown from 60 to around 140, a number Chiavaras would like to see again or top. And there is still plenty to do at the course, he says, noting the need for an irrigation system to combat the course’s notoriously dry fairways.

The 11th Annual Bill Kaye Beautification Golf Tournament will be held at the Asheville Municipal Golf Course (226 Fairway Dr.) on Saturday and Sunday, June 9 and 10. The format is two-player best-ball, and admission is $100 per player. For more information, call the course at 298-1867.

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