Coast Invitational swings into amateur golf action

The 105th annual Oregon Coast Invitational is in full swing. Participants have traveled to Astoria from as far as Arizona, Illinois, Boston and Florida for the biggest week of the year, representing 81 different country clubs and counting.

For some, the week is consumed of many games of fascination at the arcade in Seaside, building sandcastles at the beach, and getting stomach aches from giant bags of saltwater taffy.

For others, it is about winning each match to advance to Saturday’s finals, eventually running down the hill to claim the crystal.

But above all, the week is all about family reunions. In a combination of blistered hands from golf grips, and sandy toes from the beach, the week of the Oregon Coast Invitational is the highlight of the summer to many families who use the week to finally spend quality time together.

While brothers and sisters for one another, the rest of the family plays in the match behind, or follows along in the gallery. Who would have thought that in 1910 the Oregon Coast Invitational would turn in to what it is today — where generations compete in the match-play event.

For more than 40 years the tournament has been restricted to those 21 years of age and over. However, last year was the first year the field was open to 18-year-olds.

A fourth-generation golfer, Taylor Swingle, qualified this year for the Championship Flight of the Grand Champions Division. His grandmother, Mary Swingle, also played in the Oregon Coast Invitational when she was 18.

The door opened for other young players such as 2015 Seaside High School graduate Sam Hinton and Riley Elmes, who followed in the footsteps of their family members to play at the age of 18.

Today, second-generation golfer Anthony Arvidson continues to dominate the field, following his impressive round that gave him Grand Champions medalist honors Saturday.

Arvidson defeated David Berlant in Monday’s first round of the Grand Champions division, while Hinton got past Frank Nau, and will face Ilwaco’s Jack Whealdon in a Wednesday match.

Whealdon’s brother Patrick also won Monday, and will face Mike Swingle in a second-round match Wednesday.

In the Junior/Senior division, a battle of the locals will take place Wednesday as Medalist James Folk takes on past Junior/Senior Champion Jack Cartwright.

The Women’s, Seniors and Super Seniors begin their first rounds of match play today.