Town Talk: Trashmasters swings back into action |

Town Talk: Trashmasters swings back into action

Long-running golf tournament returns to Snowmass Club on Sunday and Monday

The Trashmasters golf tournament returns to the village with festivities on the Snowmass Club golf course July 11-12, 2021.
Jeremy Wallace/Snowmass Sun file photo

The Trashmasters Golf Tournament officially begins at 8:45 a.m. Monday at the Snowmass Club golf course with the official swearing-in of players.

A VIP kickoff party for players, donors and scholars precedes the tournament at 5 p.m. Sunday at Three Peaks Bar and Grille.

You don’t have to be the best player on the green to nab accolades at the Trashmasters golf tournament in Snowmass Village.

You can even score some points for being far less than the best. Hit a ball onto the paved cart path? That’s a Willie, named for Willie Nelson’s “On the Road Again” tune. Find yourself in a particularly difficult spot on the green? If the lie’s so bad it puts your reputation at risk, that’s a Billie, a cheeky jab at former President Bill Clinton.

But it still helps to play a decent game at “the world’s most unique golf tournament,” which returns to the Snowmass Club golf course Sunday and Monday. The points-based system gives kudos for “trash” moves like Willies and Billies but also takes the usual scoring into account to determine who gets to don a coveted mustard-yellow jacket at the end of the tournament.

Players are eager to get back out there and start swinging after last year’s tournament was canceled due to the pandemic, according to organizer Jeffrey Sivess.

“We actually are probably going to have the biggest tournament we’ve had in over a decade,” Sivess said. There are more than six dozen registered so far and still room to sign up. “The regulars are excited; we’ve had some old donors that are back, and we’ve had some, as they say, new blood.”

In addition to the yellow jacket honor, there also are prizes like $5,000 cash and a new car for two hole-in-one contests and a $1,000 cash giveaway for a putting contest.

But the real winners here are the local students who benefit from funds raised at the annual event.

“We’re all about taking care of the local kids and the scholarships,” said Cameron Wenzel, a member of the Trashmasters board and alumni of the scholarship program who will serve as the “judge” conducting the swearing-in come Monday.

(Wenzel, a born-and-raised villager who manages Snowmass Sports, is not actually a judge with any legal powers but will certainly be dressed like one when he asks competitors to play, “The trash, the whole trash and nothing but the trash, so help you golf.” There won’t be the usual ceremonial cannon blast due to fire restrictions, but there will still be plenty of hoopla to kick off the round.)

The Trashmasters organization has tallied 29 years and counting of college scholarships for graduating seniors in the Roaring Fork Valley, totaling nearly $1.5 million in awards, Sivess said.

Sixteen award recipients are currently enrolled in a four-year program and four more from the class of 2021 join the ranks this year; 76 Trashmasters scholarship alumni have graduated.

The organization looks for students who want to make a difference in the world and in their community. Wenzel is certainly part of that community-minded cohort as a core merchant in the Snowmass Mall and said that the financial support can help make higher education possible for hardworking students.

Registration for the tournament and donations help fund those scholarships; it’s $500 for an individual to play and $2,000 for a foursome.

When the tournament was canceled last year, the Trashmasters didn’t want to chalk it up to a Mulligan, Sivess said. The organization was still able to give out four $16,000 scholarships thanks to donor support.

“It was all for the generosity of our donors, even though there wasn’t a tournament,” Sivess said.

Those who wish to participate or donate can sign up at


A VIP kickoff party from 5-8 p.m. on Sunday at the Three Peaks Bar and Grille will set the ball in motion for this year’s tournament with live music, food and drinks and a silent auction for players, donors and organizers.

The party will include a Hall of Fame ceremony honoring this year’s inductees, Il Poggio’s Teddy Green and Matthew Moerdyk, and Trashmasters scholars will make an appearance. The tournament also recognizes Raybob Greiser as this year’s Jan Rifkin Memorial Outstanding Volunteer.

“It’s kind of a local appreciation tournament,” Jeffrey Sivess said.

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