FAQ for Big Cedar Lodge Legends of Golf
February 25, 2014
- The views are expected to be majestic for the newly named Champions Tour event. (Courtesy of Big Cedar Lodge)
Q: Will playing a nine-hole par-3 course configured into an 18-hole competition round diminish the Champions Tour and professional golf?
A: With everyone playing the same golf course under the same conditions, we are confident that the players, fans and television viewers will conclude that “golf is golf” and this event will demonstrate to a time-crunched world that there are alternatives to playing full yardage, 18-hole courses that are fun, entertaining and take less time. There will be an adequate variety of club selection and no small amount of skill involved, even at the professional level, to make for an interesting and viable competition even without par-4 and par-5 holes. Golf is golf, no matter where it’s played.
Q: Will this development be the catalyst to create more unique and interesting opportunities in professional golf?
A: We hope so. With Bass Pro Shops support and involvement with this event, another unique aspect to the tournament is to incorporate several other sporting competitions such as fishing, shooting, archery and hiking during the pro-am days of the event and make it a multi-sport competition for not only the professional golfers but the sponsors and guests as well.
Q: How much of a risk is it to undertake this operation?
A: Almost any undertaking involves risk. When one introduces any form of change, that element of risk will almost always increase. Without risk, an action or a product cannot improve or evolve. We think this innovation will help this tournament evolve in an upward direction.
Q: The Champions Tour has always tried to find the right balance between competition and exhibition. Doesn't hosting this championship on a nine-hole, par-three course push the balance toward exhibition?
A: This historic team event not only maintains that balance but also highlights the Champions Tour as a leader for innovation among professional golf. We believe in continuing to evolve and try innovative approaches to make the game fresh and interesting. The Champions Tour was the first Tour to feature a season-long points competition and the Charles Schwab Cup, now in its 14th year, is always at the forefront of every leading players mind when he begins his season. Walk and talk television interviews during play also happened regularly on the Champions Tour and they continue today. Fan-friendly initiatives such as ‘gallery in the fairway’ and ‘honorary observers’ were also instigated by the Champions Tour. It would be satisfying for people to give this concept a chance and see how it evolves. They may identify with it more than how they currently perceive golf…..slow and expensive. A round on a par-3 course will generally be faster and less expensive than on a typical 18-hole course.
Q: What impact will this have on the Web.com event in Springfield?
A: Fans in this area will now have the opportunity to witness not only the future stars of the PGA TOUR on the Web.com Tour but also the Legends of the game, names that many fans recognize, many of whom are in the World Golf Hall of Fame and still actively competing. From a business perspective, we believe having another Tour event in the region will boost awareness of the area as a golf destination.
Q: Does the short lead time cause any concern for the organizations involved?
A: There will be challenges but we have experienced this situation before, and while it would be preferable to have a greater lead time we feel confident with the partnerships we have established that we can make this happen.
Q: Will there be a charitable component as with other TOUR events?
A: Yes. Details will be forthcoming but local charitable organizations will benefit from the tournament being hosted at Big Cedar Lodge.
Q: What do the leading professionals think of this development?
A: With Tom Watson and John Cook sharing their enthusiasm for this development here today, we think it is clear that our members are excited about the possibilities of the event.
Q: How will you get the field around a nine-hole par-3 course without delays?
A: We have rules and competitions staff working on that process at present.
Q: How will eligibility be determined for the tournament?
A: Eligibility is still being defined. Selecting a partner, as players traditionally do for this team event, may take on a new and different dynamic given that two of the three rounds will be played on a par-3 course.
Q: Why play two rounds on the Top of the Rock Par 3 course and only one round on the Buffalo Ridge 18-hole course?
A: This event is a unique way to show the fans that golf is golf no matter where it’s played. With many discussions currently focused on the time it takes to play, and the expense of the game, we like the fact we can showcase a professional competition on a superbly maintained and challenging Par 3 course.
Note: According to the National Golf Foundation, there are nearly 800 par-3 courses in the United States, roughly 5% of the total number of golf facilities in our country.