Golf members honor Stiles, raise funds for charity during annual Bavarian Hops Classic
Ocean Pines golfers raised $1,200 during the 15th annual Ernie Stiles Bavarian Hops Scramble, held Aug. 27 at the Ocean Pines Golf Club.
The event, each year, is held in honor of the late Ernie Stiles and is hosted by the Ocean Pines Golf Members Council. Don McMullen and Bob Long coordinated this year's event.
To date, the scramble has raised more than $30,000 for local charities.
“Ernie’s idea was simply to bring together some good people and go out for nine holes, have some good fun, and support some good causes,” McMullen said.
Long said the event always has a lighthearted atmosphere. Longtime traditions include a toast, “Nostrovia,” to good health before teeing off. Players then “head to the course and let their hair down a bit,” he said.
“Ernie ran the Hops Scramble on his own for many years as a fun event,” Long said. “He charged $5 to play and all the money would get paid out to the skin winners. Often, no skins were cleared and the money would go to the charities.”
Stiles created a stick figure, called “the Hops Guy,” who holds a donation box and is placed at the seventh tee. Players donate a few dollars, or maybe more, as they pass by to tee up their shot.
Tournament proceeds often went to Stiles’ favorite charities, Diakonia and the Humane Society, and money collected this year will again benefit those two organizations.
“In other years, the Hops Scramble helped local people who were having a tough time,” Long said. “In 2017, the members took responsibility for the Hops Scramble and that year made significant donations to Cancer and ALS research. After Ernie's passing in 2018, we have again focused on local charities."
Along with the skins (the rewards for winning a hole outright), golfers vie for the coveted “Hops Hat” by getting closest to the pin on the seventh hole. Nongolfers, meanwhile, join in on the fun by being part of a grandstand where they cheer and jeer for players as they attempt their shots.
“Again, our members and friends had a great time at this annual event,” McMullen said. “Congratulations to Kevin Brooks and Jeff Smith, who collected the only skins of the events and went home with all the prize money. And congratulations to John Malinowski IV, who won the rights to wear the Hops Hat with his closest-to-the-pin shot at the seventh hole.”
“Thanks to all for supporting the Humane Society and Diakonia, and thanks to Darin Stuiber and his group for adding to the celebration that took place at the seventh hole,” Long added. “We hope to see everyone again next year!”