By now, you’ve probably heard the great news that the PGA TOUR is returning to Genesee County in 2018. In case you haven’t: The Ally Challenge presented by McLaren, an official PGA TOUR Champions tournament, will be held Sept. 10-16 at Warwick Hills Golf & Country Club in Grand Blanc.
Not only does this bring professional golf back to our region, but it also gives us a wonderful opportunity to welcome an estimated 50,000 visitors from across the state and elsewhere. In addition to the money raised by this charity-driven event, the week-long tournament will provide a tremendous spike in traffic for our county’s restaurants, hotels and other businesses. The PGA TOUR Champions and The Ally Challenge estimate the tournament will generate $20 million each year, for the three years the tournament is committed to Warwick Hills.
There’s also plenty to like for the “little guy and gal.” And by that, I mean the youth, of course.
A tremendous effort is being made to make The Ally Challenge a truly family-friendly event. It begins with free admission for children, ages 17-and-under, accompanied by an adult. Tickets for adults start at just $35 for grounds access during the tournament days of Saturday and Sunday. Tickets for Thursday’s Pro-Am event are just $20. But there’s more. In addition to the opening round, Friday activities will feature The Ally Challenge Community Concert at Warwick with country stars Big & Rich. Anyone with a Friday ticket to the tournament will be able to attend the concert at no additional charge. And there are sure to be further big announcements from the tournament over the coming months related to the schedule of events and more fun for the entire family.
I’m confident that one of the top reasons the PGA TOUR decided to come back to Genesee County, in addition to our terrific fan base, is our quality of-life infrastructure. Moreover, the commitment to our community by the organizers and sponsors of The Ally Challenge presented by McLaren, is evident by their attention to detail and the partnerships they’re investing in to help make this an event the whole family can enjoy. I’m also pleased that the planners have tapped the expertise of the Flint & Genesee Convention and Visitors Bureau in executing their vision for the weeklong festivities.
This will be a chance to see some of the greatest champions in professional golf and a great way to celebrate the 2018 golf season in our area. I encourage residents to come out and be a part of it all. And be sure to bring the kids!
Tim Herman is the CEO of the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce.