Inside the Ropes at VEMA: Jim Benton


Viera Voice Photo

Viera East Men’s Golf Association members said goodbye to longtime member Jim Benton, who died April 3.

An avid golfer at the Viera East Golf Course, Benton, who was born on July 30, 1938, always played better than his handicap suggested.  He had an open personality and touched the lives of everyone he came in contact with on the course.  Golfing was his passion and ball hawking was his mission in life.  Every game was meticulously replayed hole by hole and for anyone who would care to listen.

When not golfing, he watched reruns of black and white cowboy movies.  Although he and his wife Gail moved to Viera in 1993 and to the golf course in 1999, Benton never wavered in his support for the basketball team at the University of Kentucky. He continued to proudly display anything and everything about Kentucky. 

The Viera East Men’s Golf Association’s Ryder Cup was the highlight of the spring and it drew a large turnout.   It began with the Red team captain and the Blue team captain blindly drawing an A player, B player, C player and D Player for their teams.   Once the teams were drawn, the first round began with a two man versus two man scramble format.  The Red Team forged a 7½-6½ advantage.

In the second round, the Blue Team prevailed 7½-6½  as the event concluded with a 14-14 tie.

Roger Way, Ed Raleigh, Dale Zeigler, Robert Frazier, Craig Smith and Bruce Schwanda each won two matches for the Red Team.

John Gulla, Gene Barrett, David Hill, Bill Oakley, Guy Sullivan and Wilson Butler each won two matches for the Blue Team.

VEMA members will compete in the Club Championship and Masters events later this spring.

The annual VEMA luncheon soon will be held. Sponsors include Cheers Seafood, Bonefish Grill and Outback Steakhouse.