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Eagle Point's future remains partly cloudly

Eagle Point Golf Course could be about to move forward.

Majority owner and designer Robert Trent Jones is negotiating with part-owner Chris Galpin in hopes of reaching an agreement that will improve the facilities at a course already recognized as one of the premier public courses on the West Coast.

When negotiations are complete, the next step likely will be the construction of a clubhouse, for which the foundation is already in place.

Galpin will take over most daily operations of the course and facilities, and Jones will maintain a financial interest and have a say in decision-making, according to sources involved in the project.

The new clubhouse would be the final ingredient to put Eagle Point on par with the Running Y Resort, near Klamath Falls.

Running Y has course-side condominiums and a lodge that can be rented. It also has a restaurant on the course and a large clubhouse and golf shop.

Eagle Point has nothing to match that, other than approximately 60 new homes, either finished or nearly complete.

Eagle Point still doesn't have a head golf professional, an assistant pro, golf director or general manager. The word is that most of those jobs will be filled when Galpin and Jones reach an accord.

Can you hit a relatively straight short iron shot from 125 yards out?

Do you feel lucky?

Would you like to win $2 million?

If you answered yes to the aforementioned questions, keep reading.

The $2 million Hole-in-One Shootout for Kids would be quite a bonanza for an individual, even with the prize being paid out over 40 years.

The Shootout will be June 3-6 at Stewart Meadows Golf Course's driving range.

While qualifying is from 125 yards, the money shot will be from about 150 yards out. All you have to do is hit the ball into the hole. You have to do it with a flock of people watching.

In qualifying, those who hit a shot within a six-foot circle advance. In the semifinals, the five who hit it closest to the hole, using the same six-foot circle, move on to the finals.

There, if someone hits it into the hole, it's $2 million. If not, the closest to the hole wins a trip to Mexico.

The contest benefits the Shack Teen Center of Medford, Ashland Youth and Family Resource Center and Butte Falls Teen Center.

Since golfers must pay $1 for each shot they hit in the contest, the profits could be significant.

I've studied this, and I've discovered that hole-in-one shootouts make more money than golf tournaments, says Debbie Wilson, director of the Shootout. This contest puts golfers of all abilities in position to have a chance to win.

All it takes is one good, or lucky, shot. At the right time.

Golfers should remember they are also doing this for kids, which is a great cause, says Wilson. We hope they come out and buy a lot of balls, and we hope somebody wins.

The semifinals are at 2 p.m. Sunday, the finals at 5 p.m.

There will also be putting and chipping contests similar to the Shootout. Golfers will pay $1 per ball to chip or putt to try to qualify for the finals.

A hole-in-one from 70 feet away in the finals of both contests would win $5,000.

Eagle Hardware, one of the major sponsors for the event, will hold putting contests on Memorial Day on a large putting green made out of artificial turf.

Randy Hammericksen is the Mail Tribune's golf columnist. He can be reached at 776-4499.