A fun time was had by the 103 participants that came out in support of the annual Toast of Taos hosted by the Taos Lions Club held at Taos Country Club June 30, a sizable increase in participants from a year ago.
The 18-hole, "best-ball" tournament was the first part of the annual, two-pronged fundraising event, which began in the morning and concluded in the early afternoon. A wine festival and silent auction was the second part of the event, occurring in the clubhouse and patio dining area of the Terrace Restaurant.
In their 91st year of serving Taos County, the Lions Club of Taos and its dedicated members have worked to fulfill their mission to serve their community through programs such as KidSight, Taos County Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, college and technical school scholarships, Adult Vision, the AVID mentoring program and the Tio Vivo merry-go-round. One-hundred percent of the proceeds from the Toast of Taos go to fund these core endeavors.
Best ball format involves teams of four players each taking turns hitting golf strokes from tee, to green, to hole. Teams play from the best possible lie from a previous shot to increase their chances of minimizing their respective stroke count. The team with the lowest score wins the tournament.
Coming out on top this year was a (mostly) local team made up of Kelen Emery (Taos), Rich Kalenka (Taos), Shaun Payne (Albuquerque) and Tom Blankenhorn (Taos). With lady luck on their side, the foursome finished with an impressive score of 52 - a whopping 20 under par. Having each purchased "mulligans," or extra shots, the team was afforded the chance to tee off at the par-5, number four hole from 100-yards away. And in one amazing moment, a hole-in-one was made by Kalenka - a double-albatross, given the feat occurred at the five stroke hole. It was the first ace earned at a Toast of Taos tournament and the shot that ultimately propelled the team to victory.
Golfers also received a gift bag full of goodies, a box lunch and entry into the wine festival.