Gobbler Hollow to host 2000 Hooters Tour

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 12, 2000

More than 200 community members gathered at Gobbler Hollow Golf Course on Tuesday evening to officially welcome the new course to the business community of Greenville in an after hours event sponsored by the Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce.

The staff at Gobbler Hollow used the gathering as an opportunity to announce the young course's plans to host part of the 2000 NGA/Hooters Tour later this summer.

Golf Buddies Incorporated President Jim johnson said the event will be held here in Greenville on Sept. 11 through 17, and will attract hundred of players, spectators and workers to the area in support.

"We're expecting 165 golfers alone, and most of them bring their families," Johnson said, "and Hooters is anticipating another 500 to 600 people just from corporate sponsorships."

Johnson added that more than 1,000 spectators are expected to come to Greenville for at least one day of the week-long event and hotels for the weeks are expected to be brimming.

"The Hooters people have already booked 45 hotel rooms in the area for coporate sponsors and support staff," Johnson said. "So this is going to be big thing for the community."

Johnson said the September event will be held just two weeks prior to the NGA/Hooters Tour Championship in White Pine, Ga., and full participation from the professionals is expected.

He said the tour will be providing expert personnel to help set up the course for professional play and will be using the 14 member golf staff from Gobbler Hollow for all day-to-day operations such as mowing and preparing the course. He said negotiations for the tour began in October of last year, while the course was still under construction, but its layout and difficulty level impressed tour officials.

"They were able to assess what the course would have to offer based on what it would be like when construction was complete," Johnson said. "They seemed to really like the challenging nature of this course and said it would suit their needs perfectly."

Johnson said the course will be played as a par 70 during the tour event, indicating that it is not as long as other courses on the tour, but he said tour officials believe the small greens and challenging iron shots will compensate for the shorter distances.

"They liked this course because it is real challenging in iron play and they felt it would act as an equalizer for some of their better iron players against the longer hitters on the tour," Johnson said.

The NGA Hooters Tour was founded in 1988 to provide professional golfers an opportunity to compete in a professional atmosphere and achieve financial success. The tour emphasizes strong community support and benefits local charities through well-organized events. The tour has helped more that 100 professionals aquire their PGA, Senior PGA and Nike Tour cards since its beginning.