Conway Regional Golf Classic raising funds to improve health

Golf can be good for your health.

A study by the Swedish Karolinska Institutet has shown that those who play golf have a death rate almost 40 percent lower than non-golfers.

The study, which was published in the “Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports” in 2008, attributes these benefits to the fact that golf is a good form of low-intensity exercise.

The Conway Regional Health Foundation has some additional reasons. Last year’s Conway Regional Golf Classic raised $30,000 to help pay for the ongoing expansion and renovation of the medical center’s surgery department and obstetrics areas. The donation was part of the ONE Campaign which has a goal of raising $2 million to support the $32 million project which is expected to be completed at the end of May. The first surgical cases will take place in early July.

This year’s golf tournament organizers are hoping to raise even more money for the project, attracting corporate sponsors from throughout Central Arkansas for the 16-hole, four-player scramble. The Conway Regional Golf Classic will tee off on Monday, June 11, offering morning and afternoon rounds of golf.

Conway Mayor Tab Townsell lines up a putt.

So far, there has been one change for the amateur tournament, which is entering its 16th year. “This year each golfer will receive a complimentary ‘super ticket’ which will serve as an entry into all of the on-course contests,” said Marla Hambuchen, special projects coordinator for the Conway Regional Health Foundation.

Course contests will include hole-in-ones, putting contests, longest drive, closest-to-the-pin, scratch games and a $100,000 shoot out.

Last year 51 teams participated with 45 sponsors on board. Hambuchen and a large contingent of volunteers from Conway Regional are expecting even more golfers to dot the course at Centennial Valley Country Club this year.

“The tournament has been growing steadily over the past 10 years and this year promises to be the most fun tournament ever,” said Hambuchen.

For details about sponsoring a team, call 501.513.5778 or visit