Southwest Kansas Pro-Am returns to Garden City courses

Brad Nading
Garden City Telegram
Dan Woltman drives the ball off the No. 3 tee box at The Golf Club at Southwind during the final round of the 2019 Southwest Kansas Pro-Am.

Tournament raises funds for hospital’s NBICU

After a year away due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Southwest Kansas Pro-Am golf tournament is returning to Garden City’s two golf courses.

This 2021 tournament’s dates will be changed for play and activities to June 6-12, rather than past tournaments held in August. This is the 41st year for the event.

The tournament is a major fundraising event for St. Catherine Hospital’s Newborn Intensive Care Unit.  Funds from this year’s event will go toward the purchase of a Neoview video intubation system, which enables video laryngoscopy for tracheal intubation on the most fragile patients. 

The Pro-Am is partnering with the APT, the All Pro Tour, for professional golfers to make the week-long stop in Garden City.

“We are truly excited to renew our partnership with the Southwest Kansas Pro-Am and to build upon the 41 years of history the event has,” Gary DeSerrano, president of All Pro Tour, said. “Our APT pros are eager to get back out on the golf course to compete. As we saw the second half of 2020, we expect a full field of 132 professionals at the 2021 SWKS Pro-Am. While precautions remain in place at all of our All Pro Tour events this year, we are confident we will hold fun yet safe events for the pros, volunteers, and sponsors. We look forward to our visit to Garden City this June."

Some of the cornerstone evening activities, like the Helicopter Ball Drop, will be brought back and new flair will be added in the form of new events such as the Sip N’ Chip and the SWKS Junior Open Tournament. 

The week’s activities will begin at noon on June 6 with the annual Chevy Shoot Out.  A three-person amateur team will be paired with a professional for the event. A change this year will feature both men’s and women’s divisions. An entry fee of $100 is due by June 3.

The Pro-Am portion of the tournament will be held on June 7-8.  Four-person amateur teams will be playing with a professional.  Amateur teams play a scramble format and may use the professional’s tee shot and score on each hole.

Amateurs are invited to form their own teams that adhere to the following handicap limitations: 1 Player (0-5 Handicap), 2 Players (6-25 handicap) and 1 Player (handicap 26+). Teams with higher handicaps will be permitted. Each team will alternate play between The Golf Club at Southwind and Buffalo Dunes golf course for this two-day event. Professionals are assigned to amateur teams at each course. Daily prizes are awarded to the top five teams, including ties at each course.

June 7 will also feature the popular LifeSave Transport Ball Drop at 7:30 p.m. at Buffalo Dunes.  Numbered golf balls are dropped from a helicopter on to a green with the closest to the pin winning cash prizes.  Golf balls for the event are $25 each or five for $100, and available for purchase at St. Catherine Hospital’s The Nook or online.

The day will also feature the traditional Long Drive Contest at 7 p.m.

The professional golfers will take to the local courses from June 9-12 for the actual tournament. The final round for the tournament has moved from Sunday to Saturday, with play from 7 a.m. to approximately 2 p.m. to crown a champion.

Youth can take advantage of a Junior Clinic from 6-7 p.m. on June 10 at Buffalo Dunes for tips from professionals.

A new event for youth this year will be the Southwest Kansas Pro-Am Junior Open.  The tournament will be held from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on June 11 at Buffalo Dunes.

Steps to combat COVID 19 will be in place during this exciting week. For a list of those, please reference COVID protocol guidelines listed on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, and the Finney County Health Department

For more information on the SWKS Pro-Am and the schedule of events, visit