Of all the ways to raise money for the Islanders Children's Foundation, playing a round of golf is near - if not at - the top of the list for the New York Islanders.
So the team congregated at Bethpage Red and Blue on Tuesday for a the team's 10th Annual Golf Outing, splitting off for a scramble tournament with fans and raising over $195K for the ICF in the process.
"It's fun to get out here," Cal Clutterbuck, whose group won the tournament, said. "It's nice to see people come out and donate their money and we donate our time and have a good time in the process."
The tournament offered a relaxed atmosphere for players to connect with the fans. Clutterbuck has golfed with the same fivesome for the past four golf outings, so they've gotten to know each other well. After they play 18, there's a dinner and silent auction at the clubhouse. Lucky golfers depart with signed sports and movie memorabilia, as well as a host of other prizes.
"It's a great way to get into the community and a way to meet the people who support you all year round," Casey Cizikas said. "You don't have to be good - you can just come out with the guys and hang out. Everybody enjoys getting out, hanging out in the sun and hitting a golf ball."
Cizikas' sentiment goes double for Doug Weight, as the Islanders Head Coach is another avid golfer. He was out at Sebonack Golf Club with the former Islanders' captains last week, but as much as he loves golf season, he's happy to trade in the clubhouse for the rink.
"It's a great event," Weight said. "Everyone comes in a couple of days early with that excitement and you can feel it. We want to get the season going. We love our players, they're good people and it's an exciting time of year."
It's the first official team event of the season and the one time of year that fans should be excited to see their teams on the course. It means they're doing good work for the community and that the Islanders are almost back on the ice.