Greenbrier Classic added to PGA Tour Schedule

The historic Greenbrier ResortThe PGA Tour and The Greenbrier recently announced that they have entered a six-year agreement, through 2015, whereby the historic West Virginia resort will sponsor and host The Greenbrier Classic as part of the FedExCup, beginning the week of July 26-August 1, 2010.

The new tournament will be held on The Old White Course, The Greenbrier’s original of four golf courses, dating back to 1914. The Greenbrier will form a separate non-profit charitable organization to serve as the tournament operator.  

The announcement was made at The Greenbrier during an afternoon press conference that included resort owner James Justice, West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin, World Golf Hall of Fame member and Greenbrier Golf Professional Emeritus Tom Watson and, by videoconference, PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem.

“We are absolutely delighted that The Greenbrier, recognized as one of the truly great resorts and golf destinations in the world, will become part of the PGA Tour in 2010 with The Greenbrier Classic,” Finchem said from Akron, OH, where he was attending this week’s World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational. “From our ongoing discussions with Jim Justice, I can tell you how totally committed he is to creating an exceptional tournament that is befitting of such a historic resort.”

A West Virginian who was born and raised near The Greenbrier, Justice said he has had his sights on bringing a PGA Tour tournament to The Greenbrier from the time he purchased the resort and The Greenbrier Sporting Club, a private equity, residential community, in early May.

“Players and fans alike will be stepping into the American story and experiencing a true national treasure,” said Justice. “The genuine warmth of West Virginia will resonate among all that join us.”

The Greenbrier Classic

The Greenbrier has had considerable involvement with professional golf over the years. The Greenbrier Course, built in 1924 and renovated by Jack Nicklaus in 1977, played host to the 1979 Ryder Cup Matches as well as the 1994 Solheim Cup Matches. It also played host to a Champions Tour tournament from 1985-87.

World Golf Hall of Fame member Sam Snead, the winningest player in PGA Tour history with 82 victories, served as Golf Professional Emeritus from 1994 until his death in 2002. And Watson became The Greenbrier’s second Golf Professional Emeritus in 2005. The Golf Club also features a large collection of Snead and Watson memorabilia.

“West Virginia has an incredibly rich golf heritage and The Greenbrier is a legendary golf destination, so it makes all the sense in the world for the PGA Tour to choose this resort and our state for this prestigious tournament event,” said Gov. Manchin. “I believe the excitement of the Tour and the national exposure will bring even more people to our state to discover our great golf and hospitality.”

The Greenbrier

Measuring nearly 7,000 yards and playing to par 70, The Old White Course originally was designed by Charles Blair MacDonald and most recently underwent an extensive renovation by Lester George to return it to its original design, reopening in 2006. In preparation for the tournament, minimal course modifications are expected to add a couple of tees and the practice facility will be enhanced.

“The Old White Course will make a tremendous tournament course in a traditional sense and The Greenbrier will provide a great experience for both the players and the fans,” Watson said. 

 

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