The name of the game was different for Hank Aaron this past Monday when he visited Jones Creek Golf Course, but the attention and awestruck looks on spectators' faces were the same.
"It was amazing. He's a Hall of Famer," golfer Stephen Robinson said after meeting Aaron on the course.
Aaron was in Martinez on Monday for the first annual Augusta Players Golf Classic, a one-day tournament held to benefit the Augusta Players theater group. More than 100 golfers participated in the event, and the former Atlanta Brave and current home run king met and posed for a photograph with each one.
"I'm here for several reasons," said Aaron, whose car dealership, Hank Aaron Jaguar Land Rover, sponsored the event. "We're trying to raise funds and awareness of the Augusta Players."
For the past 62 years, the Augusta Players have brought community theater to the Augusta area and recently announced their 2006-07 season schedule. Augusta Players President Ellen Hinz said the group has held fundraisers in the past, but this is the first golf tournament.
"We do get grants. However, we depend on community support," Hinz said. "We decided there's so much going on in the community, let's do a golf tournament. It seemed natural."
A team from First Bank made up of Greg Spurlock, John Boone, James Brantley and Phillip McCormick took first place with a one-round score of 53 in the tournament. Danny McConnell, John Carney, Jay Brooks and Steve Pokrywka, of the Family Y team, took second place with a 57, while Team Krause Appraisal consisting of Ashby Krause, Denny Price, Henry Claussen and David Harrison shot a 58 for third place.
A brand-new Jaguar up for grabs to anyone hitting a hole-in-one on hole No. 2 went unclaimed, but Hinz said the Augusta Players raised $1,400 in just the memorabilia that Aaron signed for a silent auction.
Aaron also signed autographs and shook hands.
"He's one of my heroes," golfer Roger Johnson said. "I was a big Milwaukee Braves fan back in the days when he was playing in Milwaukee. He was every bit the gentleman we expected him to be. He's a classy guy. He's very in tune with what's going on and very in tune with Augusta."
For more information on the Augusta Players and the upcoming 2006-07 season schedule, visit www.augustaplayers.com.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.