Lufkin’s Crown Colony Country Club is bringing professional golf back to East Texas.
About 100 players on the Adams Pro Tour will tee off July 8 in a five-day tournament.
The Dallas-based tour attracts a field of aspiring PGA Tour golfers with an estimated purse of $100,000. The champion’s share is $15,000. Crown Colony’s head golf pro Ben Burns says it will be an economic boost for Lufkin.
“Normally, in any of these towns players come into, they’re bringing close to $400,000 worth of revenue because they’re staying in our hotels, spending dollars at restaurants and their families are coming in to watch,” Burns said.
Lufkin had a professional golf tournament in the 1980s, according to Burns. He wants to revive that tradition.
“People in this area got used to name-brand pros like Fred Couples and Greg Norman and even Payne Stewart. They all came to play in the early ‘80s. So we’re trying to bring professional golf back to the area again,” Burns said.
Lufkin joins a schedule of 14 tournaments on courses in Alexandria, La.; Garden City, Kansas; and Houston, to name a few. Adams Pro Tour president Gary DeSerrano says he clusters the tournaments in Southern and Midwestern states to lessen players’ travel costs. He says East Texas fits the geography and Crown Colony is a reputable course.
“We’ve been trying to get an event in East Texas for many, many years. It’s sometimes difficult because it’s hard to get to the right folks or to meet the right people,” DeSerrano said. “One of the players on the tour who has aspirations to be on the PGA Tour, Sam Fidone, is a member at the club, and has told us several times over the past few years that the club might be interested.”
A Pro Am is set for Tuesday, July 7. Three amateurs will be paired with one pro on an 18-hole round. Proceeds will benefit Lufkin’s school district. Tournament play is open to spectators at no cost. Unlike the PGA Tour, Burns says, these players will be allowed to use golf carts due to summer heat.