New dates and tickets for charity are win, wins for Turning Stone's upcoming PGA Tour event
Atunyote Golf Club, designed by Tom Fazio, one of the most graceful, well manicured courses on the PGA event schedule, is the venue for the 2010 Turning Stone Resort Championship, Aug. 2-8. The late summer dates are a welcome change from the fall slot where the tournament was stuck the past three years. When last year’s event, part of the Fall Series, was held (Sept. 28-Oct. 4) it was rainy and cold, so cold, those spectators who braved the nasty weather were attired in ski jackets and rain gear. The players weren’t too thrilled with it either.
But in Central New York, anything can happen after Labor Day. I grew up in the Finger Lakes and remember it snowing in early October. Maybe we’ve become soft. If you watched the Open in St. Andrews, you could see the cold miserable weather did not deter the hardy Scots from turning out to watch the action.
Still in this part of the world, we softies expect a certain level of comfort when we walk the fairways. Thus the date change. Notah Begay III who was on hand for a recent media event, applauded the date change but cautioned, “You can leave your snow caps at home, but you might want to bring your umbrellas.”
Even though the Championship is sharing a time frame with the Bridgestone Invitational in Akron, Ohio, according Ray Halbritter, Oneida Nation Representative and CEO of Nation enterprises, the schedule conflict, “has not affected our field.” Indeed they have a full field of 132 players, more than last year.
Halbritter went on to suggest they are keeping their fingers crossed for the future hoping to work their way into a slot where there are no conflicts in dates.
PGA Tour players are happy too. They love this course which by the way is the only PGA tour event held on Native American soil. They appreciate the Oneida Nation hospitality and the extensive practice facility, arguably the best on the circuit. Greens are in perfect shape (at least they were before the media hackers came out to play the course ), flowers are everywhere and clubhouse facilities are superb, the stone and wood structure enhanced by several original pieces of Native American art work.
One thing for sure. When you drive through the artfully designed heavy wrought iron gates, along the winding road lined by acres of wild flowers and fields to the clubhouse, you are in for a visual feast.
It’s also easy to get to with the Syracuse airport less than an easy half hour away — no traffic grid lock.
Steve Tasker, former All-Pro Special Teams player for the Buffalo Bills who talked about The Buffalo Bills Pro-Am to be held on Wednesday said, “The course is spectacular. Immaculate. Clean as a whistle.”
Indeed, Atunyote gets the least amount of play of any course on the circuit with just 3,700 rounds a year. Priced almost twice as high as its sister courses, Kaluhyat and Shenendoah, with a private clubhouse and gated entrance, play is limited.
One huge big deal is Turning Stone’s “Tickets for Charity” program. How many times have you seen charities getting 100% of ticket revenue? Rarely. Well, that’s the deal here. More than 100 charities from Upstate New York such as the Rescue Mission, Ronald McDonald House, and St. Lucy’s Church, receive the total amount of whatever tickets they sell. The Full Monty. I love it.
In addition to watching PGA Tour action, you can enjoy the family-friendly Buffalo Bills Fan Zone with Bills-related interactive displays. There is also the CNY PGA Learning Center where you can hit into nets and a 9-hole outing challenge presented by US Kids Golf.
Other special events include a Cultural Showcase Tent highlighting the history and traditions of the Oneida Nation; a Tuesday clinic for kids 6-16 by Notah Begay III (admission complimentary on Tuesday); and the Turning Stone Experience Tent showcasing resort amenities with samples from the kitchen and entertainment.
General admission tickets are $25-$35. Children under 12 get in free and a family package at $60 includes two adult tickets, two youth credentials and two kids’ meal vouchers along with VIP parking. (315-361-7469).
Central New Yorkers should plan on coming out for this one, whether they play golf or not. It’s going to be great theater. And forget your umbrella. Rain? What rain. Click here for more info about the Turning Stone Resort Championship.
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