Southwest Kansas Pro-Am returns to original format

6/24/2013

Pro-Am returns to original format

Pro-Am returns to original format

By BRETT MARSHALL

bmarshall@gctelegram.com

For much of its 33-year history, the Southwest Kansas Pro-Am Golf Championship has been a three-day, 54-hole tournament played annually now in Garden City at The Golf Club at Southwind and Buffalo Dunes Golf Course.

That had been the traditional format until three years ago when the Pro-Am and its local committee entered into an agreement with the Adams Golf Pro Tour Series, turning the event into a four-day, 72-hole championship.

In the original schedule, amateur teams played on Friday and Saturday with the pros only playing the final round on Sunday, again traditionally at The Golf Club at Southwind.

When the change was implemented in 2010, the tournament had the professionals playing both courses on Wednesday and Thursday before a 36-hole cut was made. On the final two days — Friday and Saturday — amateur teams of four players each — were paired with each remaining professional.

Now, the old format is back, making it more fan-friendly and appealing for the final day.

The 34th annual 54-hole championship will be played Aug. 9 to 11, again with the final round slated for Southwind on a Sunday.

"We just felt like it was time to go back to the basics and do what we do well," said Beth Koksal, Pro-Am tournament coordinator. "More is not always better."

The first official event for this year's Pro-Am will be a Wednesday Ladies Pro-Am at Buffalo Dunes. On Thursday, there will be the Corporate Shootout at The Golf Club at Southwind with a morning start.

In both 2011 and 2012, the tournament's activities included a one-day pro-am in Ulysses.

"It was a good event, and people were happy with it," Koksal said, "but we're short-staffed and you get burn-out. We just felt like it was more than what we could handle and do well with our small staff."

In making the announcement regarding the Pro-Am changes, Koksal also indicated that the Pro-Am would induct former Buffalo Dunes golf professional Paul Parker into its Hall of Fame. Koksal also said that approximately $40,000 was donated to the St. Catherine Hospital Newborn Intensive Care Unit from the 2012 event. The NBICU has been the principal recipient of funds from the tournament since it began in 1980.

For more information on the Pro-Am, go to www.southwestkansasproam.org or go to Facebook at www.facebook.com/SouthwestKansasProAm.

Amateur entries are still being accepted, and interested persons can call (620) 272-2530 or email elizabethkoksal@catholichealth.net

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