When a local golfing tradition became too much for one man to handle, the event almost became extinct last year.
However, thanks to the Greencastle Elks No. 1077, the world's only one eye golf tournament will be back this year, when Clody's One Eye returns to Old Hickory Golf Course on Saturday, Sept. 17.
Founder Terry Clodfelter, with help from Tony Sparks, had organized the tournament named for him during its first 17 years. Last year, in spite of purchasing a new diagnostic camera for Riley Hospital in Indianapolis, the organization had no golf tournament.
"When we heard about it, we went to Terry and said, 'What if the Elks take it over and then it won't be all on your shoulders?'" said event chairman Jim Skinner.
Besides being a fun -- if frustrating -- time for local golfers, the event has raised more than $100,000 for the pediatric ophthalmology department at Riley over the years.
The genesis of the event was something that happens at every golf course every day -- a group of friends teasing another over his game. One day Clodfelter, who has no depth perception after losing sight in one eye as a teenager, had enough.
"If you think it's so easy to golf with one eye, why don't you try it?" he asked.
So money was tossed in a hat, bandanas were tied over one eye and a group of golfers found out what golfing with a real handicap is like.
It could have ended there, but the "One Eye" tournament was born. In 1996, they took it a step further, donating proceeds to Riley to help kids with serious eye problems.
When the tournament didn't take place in 2010, the Elks didn't want to see the assistance to kids in need come to an end.
"Our main concern is since it didn't take place last year, people may think it's over," Skinner said. "We want them to know it's alive and well and we are still giving the money to Riley."
The tournament is still looking for hole sponsors, corporate sponsors and teams. The cost is $50 per person and $200 per four-person team. As a donation to Riley, all support of the tournament is tax deductible.
Two flights are planned for the event -- 7:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. A reception will begin at 5 p.m. at the Elks Lodge, 202 S. Indiana St.
Although the Elks have taken the lead in planning the event, Skinner assures longtime supporters that it's still Terry Clodfelter's event.
"He's still very active, as is Tony Sparks," Skinner said.
For more information, contact Skinner at 653-1449, Clodfelter at 653-9322, Allen Gibson at 653-9475 or Brad Alspaugh at 653-7273.
Anyone interested may also visit www.clodysoneeyegolf.com.