During the Planning Commission meeting on Monday night, approval for the second annual Nashville Golf Open was granted.
The PGA’s Web.com Tour will visit the Nashville Golf & Athletic Club just off of Moores Lane from June 26 to July 2.
The tour first came to town last June and attracted approximately 8,500 visitors, Todd Havron, of Tour Visions Promotions, said. He hopes that with more extensive planning and promotion, the number of people coming out in 2017 will be significantly higher.
“With the promotion we’ll do this year, we really anticipate that we’ll be upwards of 10 to 12,000 individuals,” he said. “An event like this would probably cap out at about 20 to 25,000 at the absolute most. That’s pretty typical for a Web.com PGA Tour event.”
Havron compared the Web.com tour to Triple-A baseball. It is the last step on the road to the sport’s biggest professional stage.
“Seventy-three percent of all the individuals you see that hold a PGA tour card, they graduate from this tour,” he said.
Special events of this magnitude require approval from the city Planning Commission, which was happily given Monday night. However, the tournament organizers must abide by two rules: they have to pay for offsite signage to the event, and they must coordinate with residents in the surrounding area to make them aware of how the tour will affect the neighborhood.
A couple of commissioners spoke up to note how smoothly the event last year.
“I do recall that there was a lot of conversation last year about how we were gonna get all the traffic in and out,” Commissioner John Magyar said. “There were no complaints that I recall any of us heard whatsoever. You guys must have done a really great job.”
Commissioner Carole Crigger agreed, stating that she had not noticed much added traffic on Moores Lane during the previous tournament.
“If traffic is not impacted, that’s a home run for us as well,” Havron said. Documents before the Planning Commission indicate that 1,251 offsite parking spots at Ravenwood High School will be available for tournament attendees to ease congestion.
Tour Visions has a five-year agreement with the PGA to hold a Web.com Tour event at the Nashville Golf & Athletic Club. Havron said the modest size of the first year’s attendance could largely be attributed to the short notice that tournament planners were given to organize the event.
“The tour announced it officially I think Jan. 15…the event took place in June,” he said, commenting on the fact that tournaments like the Nashville Golf Open customarily take a whole year to put together.
Havron is optimistic that the tournament will get more recognition this year, which would lead to more sponsors, a bigger community presence, and more money flowing to the local charities, like The First Tee of Middle Tennessee.
“The PGA Tour had always looked at Nashville for many years,” Havron said. “It’s a great market. Nashville’s hosted the Champions tour. They’ve also hosted LPGA. We’ve hosted professional golf before, but the youth and the resurgence of the Nashville area and all that’s going on…when there was an opening on the tour it was a matter of…where could we go that we could be hosted properly and be welcomed in Nashville.”
The Nashville Golf Open will be held from June 26 to July 2 at the Nashville Golf & Athletic Club at 1703 Crockett Springs Trail in Brentwood. Amateur qualifying tournaments will take place on June 26, while professional practice rounds will be on June 27. The Nashville Golf Open Pro-Am will be underway on June 28, while actual tournament play will commence on June 29.
To learn more about the event, visit the Nashville Golf Open website.