Bratton Brothers Invitational returning to its roots

Bratton Brothers Invitational returning to its roots
50th anniversary will be celebrated March 4 at Craft Farms

The 50th Annual Bratton Brothers Invitational Golf Tournament will be contested in Gulf Shore the week of March 4th, 2019. All rounds will be played on the Craft Farm properties.
“Hopefully six of the original seven cast members (one is deceased) will be present,’’ said event coordinator Greg Waldrop. “We are trying to get Golf Digest and the Golf Channel involved. Not sure at this time if they will work out.
“How many years after this one remain, we do not know,’’ Waldrop added. “In 1970, the cost of a gallon of gas was $0.36. The cost of a 1st class stamp was $0.06. Richard Nixon was President. Average cost of an automobile was $3542.00. The population of Gulf Shores, AL was 909 people. Wow. How things have changed since we started our tournament.’’
The tourney’s local history started when seven Birmingham golfing buddies traveled to Gulf Shores for a weekend of golf, staying in a two bedroom/one bath vacation home near the Intracoastal Waterway owned by the Bratton brothers’ (Bobby, Charles, Joe and Richard) parents. The original cast members were Bob Bratton, Joe Bratton, Roy Dillon, Jim Lynch (deceased), Butch Mitchell, Waldrop and Waymond Whitten.
They played at Gulf Shores Country Club (the only course in the area) for $5 a day plus cart and played 36 holes on Saturday and 18 holes on Sunday. There were very few restaurants in Gulf Shores and the men ate all their meals at the Friendship House (now the Diner) in Gulf Shores and Meme’s Restaurant (damaged by hurricane Frederic in September of 1979 and never reopened) in Bon Secour.
As participants invited more friends, the golf weekend grew into the current BBI, which has been held at 20 plus different golf courses in Alabama and Florida.
Tourney notes: There have been 581 golfers from 14 different states and Canada attending at least one tourney. In 1999, the tourney peaked with 156 golfers. Six players have aced holes during the tourney, including two hole-in-ones the same year – Norman Glass and Timothy Honeycutt (2009); Keith Howell (2015); Charles Martin (1980); William “Sleepy” Phillips (1999); and Waldrop (1972). The oldest winner is Dick Majors (known as Major Dick), who won the tournament at 86 years young. In 2009, the tourney was ambushed by Golf Digest’s Matt Ginella, who presented players with beverage tickets and filmed festivities at the Peninsula Golf and Racquet Club. There is one sad note – 49 BBI Brothers have passed away. (More info at
Pictured: The 49th Annual B.B.I. Invitational Golf Tourney attracted 88 golfers to Gulf Shores, including the tourney’s first 3-generation attendees, Justin Hancock, Tom Hancock (Justin’s grandfather) and Tim Hancock (Justin’s dad). Tom is from Jacksonville, FL. Justin and Tim are from Round Rock, TX.