BMW Pro-Am to return to Bright’s Creek next year

Published 4:14 pm Monday, August 25, 2008

The announcement of the host courses came on the heels of last week&squo;s report that the BMW Charity Pro-Am golf tournament set an attendance record this year and donated more than $900,000 to 70+ local charities.&bsp; The 2008 tournament also was held at Bright&squo;s Creek, Thornblade and Carolina Country Club with golfers rotating each day between the three courses.

&dquo;From the players&squo; and Tour&squo;s standpoint, this year&squo;s move to new venues at Thornblade, Bright&squo;s Creek and The Carolina Country Club were very well received,&dquo; said Bill Calfee, Nationwide Tour president. &dquo;All three courses are excellent and we sincerely appreciate the wonderful hospitality they extended to our players and spectators. Their distinct locations allowed us to reach out to new fans in Greenville, Spartanburg and across the North Carolina border in Mill Spring. We look forward to returning in May 2009 and watching the many celebrities and professionals who participate in the BMW Charity Pro-Am put on another great show. We also want to congratulate the tournament organization for another outstanding job in 2008. The event&squo;s $900,000 charitable contribution is yet another example of their commitment to the community.&dquo;

The tournament, televised by the Golf Channel, remains a record-breaking attendance, revenue and charity-raising event on the Nationwide Tour.

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Following seven years in which the tournament called The Cliffs Communities home, tournament officials made a strategic decision to relocate the tournament to attract more people and more community involvement. The result paid off with the highest attendance in the tournament&squo;s history (50,000) and with the most charities receiving funds (72).

&dquo;We are very pleased with the results we accomplished,&dquo; stated Bobby Hitt, president of South Carolina Charities, Inc., and Chairman of the BMW Charity Pro-Am. &dquo;Bringing the event into the community was absolutely the right thing to do. Our partners at Thornblade, Carolina and Bright&squo;s Creek made it all possible. The new courses attracted more fans and sponsors, made access easier for fans and players, and made it much easier to attend the evening events that we hosted. It is now a much more community-based tournament.&dquo;

&dquo;Thornblade Club and our members are once again proud to be a host site for the 2009 BMW Charity Pro-Am golf tournament,&dquo; said Ken Harper, president of Thornblade Club. &dquo;We feel that it has benefitted our membership, many area charities, and the entire Upstate as a whole. We are excited to be a part of such an incredible golf experience.&dquo;

&dquo;We are all very excited about the opportunity to host the 2009 BMW Charity Pro Am,&dquo; said Mike Wood, president of The Carolina Country Club. &dquo;Our membership embraced this event from the start and did such an outstanding job as hosts and volunteers last year. They are all very pleased to be a part of such a wonderful event and one that raises so much for local charities. We anticipate the sponsors who enjoyed the skyboxes and hospitality areas from last year will be on board again due to the overwhelming success and fun that they had during the tournament week. We certainly look forward to working with South Carolina Charities to make the 2009 tournament bigger and better than ever.&dquo;

The BMW Charity Pro-Am is the only tournament on the PGA TOUR&squo;s Nationwide Tour where amateurs and celebrities are grouped with Nationwide Tour professionals in a four-day better-ball competition over three courses. Amateurs, celebrities and pros rotate between three courses on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with the 14 lowest scoring pro-amateur/pro-celebrity teams advancing to play Sunday&squo;s final round. Celebrities play once at each course on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The professional winner of the overall 72-hole event will take home $126,000 from the total purse of $700,000, which is one of the largest purses on the Nationwide Tour, as well as a brand new BMW X5 Sports Activity Vehicle. 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.

The first eight tournaments have raised more than $6.6 million for 125+ area charities.

For more information on the BMW Charity Pro-Am golf tournament; sponsorship opportunities or volunteerism, call (864) 297-1660 or visit the tournament&squo;s website at