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Robert Dooley

Golfers dressed as caddies at a previous Putt & Pub Crawl. Photo from PJ Rotary Club

By Julianne Mosher

It’s going to be a “hole” lot of fun. 

The Port Jefferson Rotary’s Winter Golf Classic fundraiser is usually held every January, but for 2021 they’re taking it to the village on Sunday, Sept. 12.

The fourth annual Putt and Pub Crawl is a community favorite where golfers from amateurs to professionals can golf inside and outside of nine of their favorite restaurants and bars in downtown Port Jeff. 

“This is one of our biggest fundraisers,” said president of the rotary, Robert Dooley. “It’s a bunch of likeminded people who come out to have fun and support our local businesses.”

The Port Jeff Rotary Club serves the local communities of Port Jefferson, Belle Terre, Port Jefferson Station and Mount Sinai. The club’s foundation gives awards and scholarships to local students, works to alleviate hunger in the community through food drives and collections and helps support local nonprofits. 

According to Dooley, the Putt and Pub Crawl started a few years ago when the Rotarians were thinking of new ways to fundraise and help local people, businesses and the community. Normally held during the village’s off-season, the golf outing is geared to bring business to the restaurant scene during a slower time of the year. 

“Port Jeff in the winter is normally a slower season,” he said. “So we let those businesses kill it in the summer, and if there’s any way we can help create a bump in sales during the winter, we’re there to help.”

That’s when the rotary teamed up with business owners to set up golf holes inside and outside their stores, so people could play, drink and eat in an easy, slow-paced event that appeals to everyone. The first outing was in January 2017.

“We tried to do something a little more active, presented this idea, and it turned out that 100 people came that first year,” he said. 

This year, the event was rescheduled from January to September due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“You go at your own pace to restaurant to bar to restaurant,” Dooley explained. “It’s nothing that’s overly competitive — just having a good time and raising some money in a fun, casual setting.” Each restaurant creates its own setup, and many get creative with it. Some fan favorites include a station outside the Port Jefferson Brewery, Tommy’s Place and one inside Barito Tacos & Cocktails. 

Upon arrival and check-in at Danfords Hotel, golfers receive an itinerary with three drink tickets and appetizers for participating locations. 

Starting at 10:30 a.m. and concluding at 6 p.m., the Putt and Pub Crawl is an all-day event where participants can come and go as they please. The event wraps with a reception where various awards are given out including best dressed team and best and worst golfers.

“People are chomping at the bits to help people and organizations in need, and to have fun with their loved ones,” he added. “This is an opportunity to help the community and have fun while doing so.” 

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.portjeffrotary.com. Please note this event is for individuals 21 years of age or older.