After an 18-year stretch, the annual Steve Hull Memorial Classic golf tournament has been canceled.
Tournament director Lindsey Hall confirmed in an email Tuesday that the tournament, scheduled for June 4 at Dancing Rabbit Golf Club, will not take place this year. The golf courses are open at Dancing Rabbit, but the Pearl River Resort is closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and Hall said Thursday the chances of the tournament happening were in question even before the coronavirus outbreak.
“Really, it was one of those things where I was just late getting the word out,” Hall explained. “I actually decided a couple of months ago (to cancel it) before the COVID stuff started.”
Due to family health issues — Hall’s father died earlier this spring — trying to plan a tournament proved too difficult, and the pandemic brought added complications to any potential plans.
“It would have been a lot, and with the uncertainties with COVID and the casino being closed, it wouldn’t have made sense to have it,” Hall said.
The tournament is named after the late Steve Hull, a former West Lauderdale and East Mississippi Community College basketball coach who died of a massive heart attack in 2001, leaving behind his two children, Trex and Baleigh. Each year the tournament raised money to help the Hull children through college. Trex Hull graduated from Mississippi State four years ago, while Baleigh Hull graduated from MSU last year, and the plan going forward is to establish a scholarship fund with West Alabama to reward local high school graduates with scholarship money.
Right now, the plan is to resume the tournament next year, with a tentative date schedule for June 10, 2021, and Hall said he still plans to revamp the tournament now that Hull’s children have completed their college educations.
“We’re not going away,” Hall said. “We’ll continue to have it. We had it for 18 straight years and got phase one accomplished in that we got the Hull kids through college. The timing worked out well. If there was a year to miss it, this was it.”
Having a year off also means extra time to plan those changes, Hall added.
“We’re hoping UWA will set up a foundation, so this gives us a little more time to work out the details on how exactly we’ll transition from raising money for two kids to setting up that foundation and seeing how we choose kids as recipients,” Hall said. “We still want to send area kids to college, and our partnership with UWA will remain the same.”