BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs Golf Tournament Expands to Three Courses
The BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs golf tournament just got bigger! The tournament – a record-breaking attendance, revenue and charity-raising event on the Nationwide Tour – is expanding to three courses for 2005.
The tournament, which has been played at Cliffs Valley and The Cliffs at Keowee Vineyards courses the past four years in upstate South Carolina, has added The Cliffs Communities’ latest course, The Cliffs at Walnut Cove, near Asheville, N.C. The Cliffs at Walnut Cove is a Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course. Nicklaus and his four sons have participated in the tournament the past two years.
By adding a third course, the tournament has expanded in significant ways. The tournament is the Nationwide equivalent of the PGA TOUR’s AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Celebrities and amateurs will play three different courses over three days. The addition also places more emphasis on western North Carolina supporters of the tournament. Although western North Carolina has been emphasized each year, all events were held in upstate South Carolina. With the addition of Walnut Cove, the hope is to bring economic stimulus to the Asheville and Hendersonville areas and make it easier for fans to see their favorite celebrity and professional golfer up close.
“The addition of a third championship course has always been part of our long-term strategy,” said Doug McGrath, co-chairman of the BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs and vice president of South Carolina Charities, Inc. “This step is an evolutionary process that ensures the BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs remains the premier event on the Nationwide Tour. This tournament continues to provide unique benefits to the community, the charities and our sponsors. We are honored that The Cliffs Communities has chosen this event to unveil The Cliffs at Walnut Cove development to the world.”
“Adding a third golf course to the rotation allows us to offer our golfing amateurs more value for their sponsorship contribution,” said Tournament Director Darin MacDonald. “Companies can now entertain clients on three world-class golf courses. It also provides our spectators more options to see professional golfers and their favorite celebrities up close.”
“We are proud to associate ourselves with such a special event and are pleased with the addition of Walnut Cove,” said Robert Hitt, manager of public affairs for BMW Manufacturing Co. and co-chairman of the BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs. “This tournament allows us to give back to a number of worthy charities and a community that embraces us. Although it crosses over a state line, we consider western N.C. to be a part of our community. It is very important to BMW Manufacturing to be a good corporate citizen, and this is one of the ways we do that. Each year we have raised more money for area charities, and we are looking forward to keeping that tradition alive in 2005.”
“We are excited to host this event on our golf courses for the fifth consecutive year and are proud to provide financial support to local charities,” said Jim Anthony, president of the Cliffs Communities. “The BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs tournament truly brings us together as a community in a fun-filled, exciting atmosphere of good-hearted competition. It is our pleasure to create another memorable tournament experience this year, and we look forward to working with South Carolina Charities to raise record-breaking proceeds for the organizations that so diligently serve those in need in the upstate and western North Carolina.”
“The growth of the event, which is clearly one of the top tournaments on the Nationwide Tour, has exceeded our expectations,” said Bill Calfee, senior vice president of the PGA TOUR and chief of operations for the Nationwide Tour. “We look forward to a long and mutually-beneficial relationship with the community. The BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs is the leading contributor to charity, and that speaks volumes about what we’re all trying to accomplish at every level of the PGA TOUR family.”
The 2005 tournament will be played April 28-May 1, 2005. All four rounds will be televised live by The Golf Channel. Last May’s fourth-annual event raised a record $763,646 for 31 upstate and western North Carolina charities. The first four tournaments have raised more than $2.4 million for area charities.
The BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs is the only tournament on the Nationwide PGA Tour where amateurs and celebrities are grouped with Nationwide PGA Tour professionals in a three-day best-ball competition. Amateurs, celebrities and pros will rotate between each of the three courses on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with the seven lowest scoring pro-amateur and seven lowest scoring pro-celebrity teams advancing to play Sunday’s final round at Cliffs Valley. Celebrities will play once at each course on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Cliffs Valley will still serve as the host course. The professional winner of the overall 72-hole event will take home $112,500 from the total purse of $625,000, which is one of the largest purses on the Nationwide Tour. Amateurs and celebrities will compete for individual prizes and cash donations to the charity of their choice out of the beneficiaries selected by South Carolina Charities, Inc.
For more information on the BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs golf tournament or sponsorship opportunities call (864) 297-1660 or visit the tournament’s website at www.bmwcharitygolf.com.