BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Since 2011, the sultry summer heat that blankets Alabama every year has been pierced by the pings of professionals. The Regions Tradition, held at Shoal Creek every year the tournament has been in the state, is one of the PGA Champions Tour’s five major championships. Shoal Creek is starting its Swan Song, however.
Regions and the PGA Champions Tour announced Tuesday that the tournament would move to Greystone Golf and Country Club starting in 2016. “We’ve wanted a major at Greystone for a number of years,” said Dr. Jeff Clifton, President of Greystone. “We missed hosting an event.”
Previously, Greystone hosted the Champions Tour’s Bruno Memorial Classic from 1992-2005.
To prepare for the return of professional golf, Greystone will have to upgrade all of their bunkers and half of their greens.
“That will benefit us far in excess of what it’ll benefit the Champions Tour” said Dr. Clifton. “They’re here for one week; members will enjoy this year round.”
The cost of the upgrades is included in the deal between Greystone and the Champions Tour. Exact terms of the deal were not released.
Any major sporting event usually draws large crowds. Large crowds, mean a lot of cars on roads in areas that aren’t used to such high volume. However, several residents of the Greystone community say they’re more than willing to deal with this inconvenience.
“We enjoyed having all the people here, and I know the seniors loved having it,” said Jim Herritt. “They always talked about it was the biggest crowd they played in front of.”
The Regions Tradition estimates they’re tournament has resulted in a $53 million impact for Birmingham since coming to the city in 2011.
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