Verplank, Begay host inaugural Oklahoma Tribal Challenge Golf Tournament

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The inaugural Oklahoma Tribal Challenge Golf Tournament took place at Ponca City’s beautiful Lew Wentz Golf Course on September 19th. Hosted by PGA TOUR Professionals Notah Begay III and Scott Verplank, the Oklahoma Tribal Challenge benefits the important work of the Notah Begay III Foundation and efforts to promote physical activity, health and wellness and combat childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes in Native American communities. 

“This event has been a truly impressive display of how passion and collaboration can help the Foundation educate the public and raise funds to combat the childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes epidemics facing Indian Country,” said the OTC host, four-time PGA TOUR winner and NBC Sports/Golf Channel Analyst Notah Begay III.

The tournament started Friday morning with a Junior Clinic.  Over 50 children from Native American communities were present to receive hands-on lessons with both Notah Begay III and Scott Verplank. “Some of these children have never picked up a golf club before today.  We are hoping to teach them about a sport that they can play for the rest of their lives,” said Verplank, a five-time PGA TOUR winner.

The four-man scramble tournament, with over 80 players, featured teams from Oklahoma Tribes and Oklahoma Tribal Vendors & Partners.  Notah Begay III was on the 10th hole, providing helpful tips and giving teams an extra edge, helping them compete in a closest to the pin contest.  Scott Verplank, playing the 14th hole, worked with teams tee to green, even reading a few putts for players.  The team from Konami Gaming won the event, shooting 14 under par.

This year’s inaugural Oklahoma Tribal Challenge raised over $25,000 to further the impact that the Notah Begay III Foundation has had on thousands of young people through innovative programs and outreach.  Since 2009, the NB3 Foundation has reached tribal communities and schools to support childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes prevention for more than 20,000 Native American children in 13 states.  Native American communities have been awarded $1.2 million in grants directly for childhood obesity and diabetes prevention.  In the last year alone, over 4,800 Native American children were served by NB3 grant programs.

For more information about NB3 Foundation and its work in Native communities, please visit:

About the NB3 Foundation
In 2005, Notah Begay III (Navajo/San Felipe/Isleta Pueblos) a 4-time PGA TOUR winner and current NBC Sports/Golf Channel Analyst, established the Notah Begay III Foundation (NB3 Foundation), a 501-3 non-profit organization that works to address the profound health and wellness issues impacting Native American children.  The mission of the NB3 Foundation is to reduce childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes among Native American children. The NB3 Foundation is setting a standard for investing in promising and community-driven programs, research and advocacy that can prevent obesity and type 2 diabetes ensuring healthy and successful futures for Native American children and their communities. This holistic approach seeks to increase Native American communities’ access to healthy and affordable food, nutrition education, physical activity and opportunities to build healthy communities with goal of reversing the epidemics of childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes. To date, the NB3 Foundation has served over 20,000 Native people in 13 states.

For more information on Notah Begay III and the NB3 Foundation,

About Lew Wentz Golf Course
Nestled on the east side of Lake Ponca in Ponca City, Oklahoma, Lew Wentz Golf Course was designed by Floyd Farley and opened in 1953. The golf course covers 125 acres of rolling terrain and offers a challenge to all golfers. Lew Wentz has hosted numerous professional and amateur golf tournaments, including the Oklahoma Open. 

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Ken MacLeod

Publisher Golf Oklahoma | Oklahoma's No. 1 Golf Source

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