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Legend Lee Elder to host clinic at historic Las Vegas National

If you had to pick a course where golf legend Lee Elder should give a clinic, Las Vegas National Golf Club would be the perfect choice.

Elder, 82, was the first African-American to ever play in The Masters and is an iconic figure in professional golf. He was an idol of Tiger Woods and helped pave the way for fellow minority golfers.

Las Vegas National opened in 1961 as the Stardust Country Club and is a previous host to events on the LPGA Tour and PGA Tour. Elder played the course during the Sahara Invitational, a tournament that was played from 1958-76. The course was also one of three played during the 1996 Las Vegas Invitational when Woods won for the first time on the PGA Tour.

Elder returns to the National this Saturday to host a free and open-to-the-public golf clinic at 10 a.m. Following the clinic, kids can play for free with a paying adult. Call the pro shop at 702-889-1000 for details.

Elder won four times on the PGA Tour and eight times on the PGA Tour Champions. On and off the course he was a player who made an impact.

I was fortunate to spend time with Elder a few years ago at Las Vegas Golf Club. He was there to host a clinic for members of the Valley View Golf Club and The First Tee of Southern Nevada. After giving the group several golf tips, Elder sat on a bench for an hour talking about the sport and interacting with anyone who wanted a moment with him.

From that bench, Elder shared how he persevered through the difficult times and attained success in his life.

“I achieved excellence with the help of the almighty,” Elder said. “I knew I had a partner and there was someone that could get me through. There were plenty of times when I turned to him when I was in a mode where I might not have made it, but I knew there was someone looking out for me.”

TOPGOLF TOUR HITS LAS VEGAS

Topgolf, the international golf and entertainment conglomerate with 26 locations serving 13 million “top golfers”, is launching the Topgolf Tour in conjunction with the PGA Tour and LPGA Tour. The 4-story Topgolf Las Vegas opened in June and will be the site of the Topgolf Tour Championship on Nov. 12-13. Topgolf features a dart-like golf experience where players score by successfully hitting to various targets.

Regional tournaments for two-player teams are scheduled in 16 cities with the winning team from each location qualifying for the Las Vegas championship. The local Las Vegas qualifier is scheduled for Nov. 6 at Topgolf Las Vegas. For all details and content visit tour.topgolf.com.

LAS VEGAN ALEX CEJKA SEEKS GOLD

German golfer Alex Cejka, who lives in Las Vegas, has qualified to represent his native country in Rio Olympics. Cejka is thrilled to play, despite other golfers pulling out of the Games for various reasons, most notably the threat of contracting the Zika virus.

“I may only have this opportunity (for the Olympics) once in my lifetime,” Cejka told PGATour.com. “I am almost at the end of my career.”

Cejka will be joined by fellow German Martin Kaymer. Cejka plays several courses in Las Vegas including TPC Las Vegas, TPC Summerlin and The Las Vegas Country Club.

DEAL OF THE WEEK

Buy 12 rounds of golf with cart at Chimera Golf Club in Henderson for $249. Rounds must be played by Sept. 4, 2016.

BEAR’S BEST ON STAGE

Since 2011, more than 40,000 golfers have combined to raise $3 million dollars for The Fisher House through the annual “World’s Largest Golf Outing.” On Aug. 1, the Jack Nicklaus-designed Bear’s Best Las Vegas will host one of the nationwide events.

The tournament is a four-person scramble and is $69 per player. To sign up visit WorldsLargestGolfOuting.com.

STARS ON, OFF COURSE

NBA-TV Analyst and former UNLV Rebel All-American Greg Anthony played Bali Hai Golf Club during the NBA Summer League. Former New York Knicks teammate Charles Oakley also played a few holes.

The golf notebook appears each Thursday. Freelance writer Brian Hurlburt is a two-time author who has covered golf in Las Vegas for more than two decades. He can be reached at bhurlburt5@gmail.com. Follow on Twitter: LVGolfInsider

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