Aronimink Golf Club

With the demise of the SEI Pennsylvania Classic and the Instinet Senior Classic, conventional wisdom might doubt the ability of the Philadelphia area to hold a successful Pro Tour event. But you can throw that kind of thinking right out the door, thanks to the hard work of the PGA of America and the members of Aronimink Golf Club. It may only be March, but the 64th Senior PGA Championship, to be played June 2-8 at Aronimink, is already a success.

Lee Dolan, sales and marketing chairman for the tournament, recently announced that all 20 Corporate Hospitality Chalets and the 50 Champions Club Tables are nearly sold out. “We are obviously thrilled at the response we have received from the area business community,” said Dolan. “In a tight economy, with two local teams building new stadiums and selling luxury boxes, the fact that we are close to selling out our hospitality in eight months underscores our belief that people will embrace this event and are excited to see Fuzzy Zoeller defend his title against the legends of the game in our own backyard. With the right event and an aggressive marketing strategy, Philadelphia is a great golf town.”

“I am impressed that the championship is selling out its corporate hospitality so quickly,” said Bob Pucci, president of the Main Line Chamber of Commerce. “I think the Trophy Club and Clubhouse tickets are great options for many smaller business owners who want to entertain their clients in a more exclusive setting.” A Clubhouse ticket costs $200 and provides access to the championship and Aronimink’s historic clubhouse each of the seven days. At $175 per ticket, the Trophy Club offers poolside hospitality with patio seating and an exclusive pavilion, and is good for each day of the championship.

You can still buy individual tickets now for $30, or at the gate for $40, but they’re going fast. Nearby free parking with free shuttle bus service makes the tournament a great value. Tournament Director Jason Soucy added that children 17 and under will be admitted free when accompanied by a ticketed adult. “One of the goals of the PGA of America is to grow the game. By extending this unique offer, we hope to reach out to kids and parents, and make this a family outing.”

Aronimink Golf Club is an exquisite Donald Ross design and will be a stern test for the pros, playing over 7,000 yards with a par of 70. It hosted Gary Player’s 1962 PGA win and more recently, the U.S.G.A. Junior Championship in 1997. It’s rated in the top 100 courses in the U.S. by Golf Digest.

Aronimink head pro Jim Masserio has qualified for this event, as he did the previous three years. “Earning this berth is more exciting than the others, since this one will be at my home club. Playing at home is an advantage, but sometimes there’s so much going on, it might work the other way.”

Pete Oakley of The Rookery Golf Club in Delaware is the only other local PGA member to qualify.

For information on tickets, hospitality or to volunteer, visit their Web site at www.seniorpga2003.com, or call toll free 1-800-PGA-TCKT.

 

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