The Art Shell Celebrity Golf Classic.

May 16, 2013

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PRINCESS ANNE, Md. - The 2013 version of the Art Shell UMES Celebrity Golf Classic & Junior Tournament will be held June 11-12 at Great Hope Golf Course in Westover, Md. The annual event benefits the University of Maryland Eastern Shore's (UMES) Professional Golf Management Program and Division of Athletics.

NFL, UMES and CIAA Hall of Famer Art Shell returns to host the tournament and bring with him a bevy of friends and colleagues from professional sports and UMES Athletic lore. The celebrities will partner with foursomes on the course to enjoy a full round of fundraising golf.

Among those returning is Redskin Great and Super Bowl MVP Doug Williams who attended his first event last year.

As it did when it debuted in 2010, the Art Shell UMES Junior Tournament will feature an 18-hole tournament on June 11 for golfers ages 11-to-18.

The next day, the Art Shell UMES Celebrity Golf Classic gets underway for adults with a shotgun start at 8 a.m. Golfers will play 18 holes in a scramble format and attend an awards dinner in the Henson Center on the UMES campus that evening.

In addition to Williams, other celebrity-athletes who are scheduled to tee it up June 12 include gridiron greats Otis Sistrunk, Carl Kammerer, Reggie Branch, Clint Harris, Emanuel McNeil and UMES alumni Curtis Gentry, Earl Christy, Emerson Boozer and Mack Alston.

Some history-making professional golfers will participate as well. One is James Black, who at age 21 became the first black golfer to card a first-round 67 in his PGA Tour debut in 1964. Fred Engh, a UMES Hall of Fame golfer and the first Caucasian student-athlete in UMES history will also be there. Fred, a noted author is also the founder of the National Alliance for Youth Sports and creator of the Hook A Kid on Golf program.

UMES' Golf Academy director and men's golf head coach Marshall Cropper, the Shell tournament director and former player for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Washington Redskins, said it should be another great year for the event.

"We see having the junior golfers participate as a way of introducing them to a course of study at the university," Cropper said. "Of course, we hold the tournament to raise funds to help students enrolled in our golf management program and our athletic department. This lets the golfers and celebrities know we are serious about golf at UMES from juniors through college students, they can see their investment in action."

UMES is one of 20 colleges in the nation with the PGA-sanctioned major, and the only one at a historically black institution. Students in the program not only hone their golf game, they also learn the business and marketing skills golf resorts and related venues look for in club professionals.

"Since this golf event began in 1991, it has always attracted the interest of local golfers - and the support of local businesses," said Cropper, a UMES graduate. "We and our students are counting on both again this year."

Player registration is $200 per individual and $750 per foursome and includes 18 holes of golf, a Birdees on the Bayou Pairing Party, food and beverages on the course, the awards dinner and commemorative gifts. Non-golfers can attend the Birdees on the Bayou Pairing Party for $25 per person or $200 for a table of eight. The reception features New Orleans-style cuisine with entertainment and other festivities.

Shell, who grew up in Charleston, S.C., said he's proud to be a UMES alumnus and enjoys being the host for a fundraising event that benefits students - especially those who are the first in their families to attend college.

"During difficult economic times, it is as important to rally together to support students who desire more, and who can achieve more, if just given the opportunity," Shell said.

For more information, or to register for the tournament or one of the associated events, call 410-651-8045. A variety of sponsorship opportunities are available. The event is an activity of the UMES Foundation.

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