For a golfer attending the tackle industry’s largest trade show of the year, being able to combine catching lunker size bass while playing a top tier golf course is as they say…a match made in heaven.

At the behest of the American Sportfishing Association, which is considered one of the world’s leading advocates in behalf of recreational fishing, Florida Sportsman is sponsoring a new event. The first annual Florida Sportsman Bass & Birdies Classic which takes place on Tuesday, July 15, 2014.

A spectacular golf tournament will be combined with a fishing competition prior to the opening of the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades (ICAST), the world’s largest recreational trade show that’s being held July 15-18 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. In its 57th year, ICAST is produced by the American Sportfishing Association (ASA). Proceeds will benefit the ASA’s KeepAmericaFishing™ foundation.

Sponsors thus far include Costa Del Mar Sunglasses, Mojo Sportswear and the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Trophy Catch Program. The event also provides a great opportunity to showcase Central Florida’s outstanding fishing and golfing resources.

Contestants in the Florida Sportsman Bass & Birdies Classic are owners, managers and representatives of major tackle companies attending ICAST as well as members of ASA. “The Bass & Birdies format is really exciting,” said Michael McCallister of Cabelas. “I’m not a great golfer, but like many people who love to fish I also enjoy playing golf. This event will make the whole experience of visiting Orlando for ICAST even better.”

The Florida Sportsman Bass & Birdies Classic will be held at the beautiful and challenging 18-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature New Course at Grand Cypress Golf Club in Orlando, a links design similar to the Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland.

“The golf is a Scramble-Best Ball format, meaning teams of four players hit each shot and the best shot is selected,” said Doug Kelly, Tournament Director. “The three other players retrieve their balls and hit from the best position, and the same until the ball is holed out.”

However, on four designated holes, one team member will fish in bass-hungry lakes while the other three plays the scramble. The number of bass caught will result in bonus points taken off the final golf score, so it pays to make birdies and catch bass.

Those entering the event will experience play on a Signature Jack Nicklaus-designed course, golf cart, range balls, bass fishing eligibility, a tournament-embroidered Mojo Polo shirt, a lunch buffet and awards banquet, complimentary lockers and locker room services, customized scorecards with live leaderboard and more.

For more details and sponsorship opportunities at this inaugural event, contact Doug Kelly at 727-724-4949,

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