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Sigma Chi Alumni Show How it's Done
For 25 years, Sigma Chi alumni have been getting together to play golf. It started with eight guys walking the courses, playing 36 holes on a Saturday and stopping for hot dogs in between. It grew to three foursomes, then four, then 10. By 2015, 116 brothers hit the links, with 125 more showing up for the Steak Bake that weekend.

The tournament runs over a weekend, with golf at the White Course on Friday and the Blue Course on Saturday. There are contests each year with prizes for Longest Drive, Straightest Drive and Closest to the Pin, as well as second and third place in the Net and Gross flights. This past year Team "FALL ’98" nabbed the coveted "Tacky Jackets" after they carded a 57 to finish Saturday’s team scramble at the Blue Course. They won out over teams with names like "Team Thome" and "Team Beagle." Unfortunately, the vaunted "AARP Team" didn’t make it to the 2015 Classic to fight for the title.

It’s time for these alumni – brothers – to see each other each year, and some come from places like California and Colorado to meet up. It’s more than a golf outing – it’s become “The Granddaddy of Them All” … a time-honored tradition that just reinforces the friendships they have cemented during their time at Penn State.

“The friendships, these guys are my lifelong friends,” Joe Conaty ’82, who was the the Tournament Director for over 15 years says. “The people I talk to every week in my life – daily – are my fraternity brothers. It’s very cool.” 

What’s the secret to such a successful event? First, it’s the relationships. Sigma Chi has more than 1,000 alumni who are active in communicating, coming back to campus to visit their fraternity house and, most importantly, keeping up with each other. While their golf classic is a highlight of the year, they meet throughout the year for pheasant hunts and other outings.

Next, their planning makes attending easy. They have a hotel group-rated for the event, and the weekend’s activities split into days so guests can plan to attend some or all of the events. Lastly, it’s the location. With a plethora of catering options, accommodations that range from newly built hostels to affordable hotels and golf courses at the ready, Happy Valley is just ready to come back to. Penn State helps in the planning, by scoring the event and by having the Penn State Golf Shop be the Award Supplier. According to Steve Eskey, Assistant Golf Professional at the Penn State Golf Courses, “Sigma Chi has the longest running and the largest Alumni Golf event at Penn State. We are proud to have hosted them for 25 years.”

Sigma Chi already has their 26th Golf Classic rapidly approaching.