The Bristol Bay Times

At the 2023 Tundra Golf Classic, Unalaskans remember a friend

This year’s Tundra Golf Classic was a swing...and a hit! Over the weekend, nearly a hundred Unalaskans — many in costume — came together to play golf in Pyramid Valley. One organizer said the high turnout was a fitting homage to a recently-lost member of the community.

The local branch of the Alaska State Firefighters Association co-hosted the event with KUCB.

“A lot of folks [are] coming out and having a good time, eating and hitting balls,” said Fire Chief Ben Knowles. “Obviously, with the passing of Campbell, it’s a really good tribute to him that people are showing out.”

Campbell McLaughlin was a longtime Unalaskan known for bringing his A-game to Tundra Golf. He made a point of playing every year, usually arriving in his iconic kilt. McLaughlin passed away in July.

The weather was mild this year, with patches of sunlight amid rolling clouds. Cool temperatures in high humidity kept players comfortable both days of the tournament.

Karen Macke won the Closest-to-the-Pin contest for the second year in a row, with a ball landing nine inches from the pin. Carlos Tayag took home bragging rights for the Longest Drive competition. Team Campbell Classic won the two-day, 18-hole golf tournament with a score of 58, followed closely by the Coast Guard team with 61. The highly coveted Team Spirit award went to the Seattle-Tacoma Box Company team in matching tutus.

When they weren’t out on the green, golfers gathered around the bonfire and indulged in pulled-pork tacos fresh off the grill, with proceeds going to the local firefighters association. Hoodies and t-shirts emblazoned with the Unalaska department’s logo were for sale, too.


Overall, Tundra Golf raised over $12,000, to be split between the local branch of the Alaska State Firefighters Association and KUCB.

A big thanks to this year’s event sponsors: ACE Air Cargo, Alaska Marine Trucking, Alaska Ship Supply, Alaska Waste, Alyeska Seafoods, Arctic Chiropractic, CMA Terminals Alaska, Coastal Transportation, Hope’s Mom, ILWU Unit 223 Dutch Harbor, Kloosterboer, Knik Construction, Matson, North Pacific Fuel, Norwegian Rat Saloon, OptimERA xG, OSI, Ounalashka Corporation, Pacific Stevedoring, Resolve Aviation, Resolve Marine, Seattle-Tacoma Box Company, Trident Seafoods, Unisea, and Westward Seafoods.