This will be Bob Perchetti’s last annual Bill Beko Golf Tournament at Furnace Creek as the chairman of the tournament. He founded the tournament over 20 years ago and will be turning the reins over to Vikki and Tom Beko. Bill Beko was a district court judge from 1975 to 1989.
“It has been 20 years and I am retiring,” he said. “This tournament would have pleased the judge. He was a great jurist. He had a thing for the students of Central Nevada. Anything you can do to give out scholarships to help the students pursue a career, he would have been in favor of.”
Perchetti said the tournament has attracted a steady stream of golfers over the years and has provided thousands of dollars in scholarships to local students in Tonopah, Beatty and Pahrump. To date, the foundation has raised $100,000 in scholarship money and given out close to $70,000.
“In the first few years we had over 130 golfers,” Perchetti said. “This year we will have over 80 so it has not dropped off much. We should pick up a few more on the day of the tournament.”
Perchetti no longer golfs in the tournament at 77 years old and says those years are over, but he said some of the best years of the tournament were when he was golfing in it. His best score at Death Valley was 78.
“I was never a great golfer but I was able to golf in the 80s and I just loved the game,” Perchetti remembered. “I remember golfing with the judge when he made a hole-in-one in Bishop. We would travel to Hawthorne, Bishop, Death Valley and to Pahrump to play. We played all those courses with the judge. He got that hole-in-one in the late 70s.”
Perchetti was a close and personal friend to Judge Bill Beko. He said Beko had introduced him into his fraternity and he sponsored him. He also said his father and Beko often hunted with him and were close friends his entire life.
“He was like a big brother or a second father to me,” he said. “I remember when I just started to drive he had lent me his big black Cadillac to take someone on a date and I put a dent in it. I was terrified about telling him but he was really nice about it.”
There were two hole-in-ones at the tournament and one was by Lisa Hamrick of Pahrump. Hamrick is Tim Hafen’s daughter and knew the Bekos well.
“I got a hole-in-one that tournament,” she said laughing. “I remember the hole-in-one and that it was on hole eight. I had lost track of it and didn’t see it going in.”
Hamrick enjoys the game of golf and is saddened that Perchetti will be doing the tournament for the last time. She said Perchetti and she used to golf a lot and she loved trying to best him and his friends, but that was not too often. Hamrick and her family will be at the tournament this year.
The tournament will be this Saturday and Sunday and will be a four-person blind draw scramble. Tee times will start at 9 a.m. and teams will go off every eight minutes.
The cost will be $50 per person, which includes green fees and a cart. Prizes for Saturday’s tournament include individual team awards for the first six teams and longest drives on various holes and closest to the pin on holes two, four and eight.
For golfers coming early, there will be a $10 Skins Game on March 13. For more information or to obtain an entry form, call Bob Perchetti at 775-482-3304 or 482-7721.
For reservations in Death Valley, call Furnace Creek Ranch at 760-786-2345 or fax 760-786-2514. There are 30 rooms reserved so call early and ask for the Bill Beko Tournament.