Moose’s Loose loses shotgun start, but not its important mission |

Moose’s Loose loses shotgun start, but not its important mission

Moose Barrows takes a shot during a past Moose's Loose scramble golf tournament at Rollingstone Ranch Golf Club.
Matt Stensland

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The Moose’s Loose Tournament has its own rules. The scramble-style tournament, which fundraises for the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, is in its 41st year. The format, the honey-pot bets and the prizes haven’t gone anywhere, but the tournament won’t have one special thing this year: the shotgun start. 

Unlike track, the shotgun start doesn’t send participants running from one single location to another. Rather, it signifies the start of the tournament, with all golfers beginning at once, but at different holes around the course. This year, with COVID-19 protocols in place, golfers will have tee times to ensure separation between groups, and the tournament will take place over two days — Sept. 22 and 23 — at Rollingstone Ranch Golf Club. 

“We almost said we weren’t going to do it, just because of the COVID thing,” said event founder and namesake Jim “Moose” Barrows. “But golf was doing so great, so we said, ‘Oh, we’ve got to have the Moose’s Loose.’”

While it may not have the same flair or the same amount of people participating, the Moose’s Loose Pandemic Tournament will still serve its important purpose: raising money for the SSWSC scholarship fund. 

“It’d be criminal if some kid in the Yampa Valley couldn’t become a skier in Ski Town USA because it’s too expensive,” Barrows said. “I grew up that way. We didn’t have any money, but we always managed because there were people who looked out for us.”

Barrows, who grew up in Steamboat, found massive success in Alpine skiing as a youth competing in the Rocky Mountain Division. In 1962, he won every event in the division and was voted Skier of the Year by Rocky Mountain News. 

As someone who thrived because of his scholarship opportunities, Barrows does his best to give back to the SSWSC. This year, scholarships are all the more important, since the pandemic has affected finances for so many families.

If you go

What: Moose’s Loose Golf Tournament
When: Sept. 22-23
Where: Rollingstone Ranch Golf Club, 1230 Steamboat Blvd.
Cost: $120 per player

“Anytime we’re gathering in a traditional event feels good, but in terms of the benefit of the event for scholarships for athletic performance, there’s a need there more than ever,” said SSWSC Associate Executive Director Jon Nolting. “It takes more significance that way. We’re hopeful that we’re able to travel to competition with athletes this winter. The one thing we know is it’s going to be more expensive, when we put in all the COVID precautions that we’re taking.”

Nolting estimated the tournament brings in about $10,000 to 15,000 each year. 

To aid their existing and prospective members, SSWSC recently released a list of the available scholarships as well as a short description of each. 

The tournament is filling up fast, but Nolting said more tee times might become available. Upon registering, groups must call the golf course at 970-879-1397 to select a tee time between noon and 2 p.m. Teams can be four or five people and must include a female and a team captain. 

“It’s a really fun event for the camaraderie, seeing everybody right before everyone tees off and the after-tournament party and we can’t do those this year,” Nolting said. “We’re going to miss that component, but in terms of everyone having a fun time for a good cause, that’ll still be there.”

To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.

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