By Brian Livingston / firstname.lastname@example.org
The Meridian Star
Ask any golfer and they will tell you to center-cut a tee shot down the middle of the fairway is a feeling like no other.
That was the feeling Steve Hull had on a bright sunny day playing Dancing Rabbit at the Pearl River Resort. He had just sweet spotted his drive down the fairway on a hole that was designated as a long drive contest. He turned to his scramble mates, Lindsey Hall, Al Brown and Art Matthews, with a big grin on his face saying, "I just smoked that one."
During the golf cart ride down the fairway Hull was as giddy as a school child because he could see his ball well past the marker for the long drive contest. Hull's euphoria quickly turned to disappointment for him, and a barrel of laughs for his mates.
True, Hull had hit a very good drive. What was also true was he'd outdriven all the women in the tournament. Oh well, he took the disappointment, and subsequent ribbing from his close friends, with a smile. That was Steve Hull.
A short time later, Hull would succumb to a massive heart attack and die on the course.
The 12th Annual Steve Hull Memorial Golf Classic is set for Thursday, June 6 at the Dancing Rabbit Golf Club on the Pearl River Resort in Choctaw. It is a day Hall and Brown agree is bittersweet.
"I wish we didn't have this tournament because that would mean Steve was still with us," said Hall, who is the sports director for WTOK in Meridian. "But it is sweet in that we get to raise money for Steve's children to continue their education."
The four-person scramble has a 10 a.m. shotgun start utilizing both of the awarding winning courses at Dancing Rabbit, the Azaleas and Oaks. The first 20 teams will have their choice of which course to play. The tournament will be flighted with prizes going to the top three teams in each flight. Check-in is no later than 9 a.m.
"By arriving early golfers will be treated to a variety of fruits and drinks," Brown said. "Following the competition a late lunch including hamburgers and hot dogs with side items will be on the menu, along with cold beverages."
The cost is $600 per team, which is tax deductible. The entry fee includes the round of golf, lunch, T-shirt, goody bag and door prizes. There will also be closest-to-the-pin prizes on all par 3s and a longest drive hole. Valuable prizes for hole-in-one and giveaways of golf outing packages on premier courses in Mississippi and Alabama will be available.
Dancing Rabbit pro and director, Mark Powell, said this is one of the biggest events each year at the resort and he has watched it grow from just a few of Hull's friends to golfers who never met Hull but who wanted to contribute.
"This event has grown to be one of the most important tournaments we host each year," said Powell. "I am glad we are a part of it."
Lisa Hull, Steve Hull's wife, said this tournament has paved the way for Trex and Bailey to achieve their educational goals. She said Trex has now taken a job with the University of New Orleans in Baton Rouge while Bailey is a junior at West Lauderdale and weighing her higher education options.
"Lindsey, Al and all of Steve's friends, the supporters of this tournament over the years, have meant so much to us," Lisa Hull said. "There are no enough words to express how thankful we are to so many people."
Lisa Hull said once Bailey graduates college, the proceeds of the tournament will go to a general scholarship fund for other deserving students.
"We would like to keep Steve's name alive in the future of education for other students," Lisa Hull said.
When Steve Hull died, he was 39 years old and a coach at East Mississippi Community College in Scooba. Steve Hull was a former coach at West Lauderdale High School.
Hall said the support from officials at the University of West Alabama has been there from day one.
"The university is honored to be a part of this event each year," said Tom Stipe of UWA. "We will be there as long as they need us."
"We just couldn't do this without the excellent support from our sponsors and the golf teams that come out for this," said Hall.
Hall said a limited number of rooms have been blocked off for Wednesday, June 5, at The Silverstar Casino for $79 plus 7 percent tax. To reserve a room call 1-866-447-3275 and ask for the reservations department. Once you get an agent on the phone, tell them that your group code is "GHULL13". All room reservations must be made by midnight on May 15.
A hospitality room on the evening of June 5 will also be available. This is a presidential suite at The Silverstar. A meet and greet with others in the tournament will be held June 5 from 7 p.m. until everyone leaves. Snacks, free beverages including beer, water, cokes and liquor will be provided.
Deadline to enter is Friday, May 31. All proceeds from the tournament will go directly into a college fund that has been set up for Steve's two children, Trex and Bailey. Make checks payable to the Steve Hull Memorial Fund.
For any questions or more information, contact Lindsey Hall at 601-703-2091.