CLINE: TOUR Championship provides nice perks for local veterans

Todd Cline

Todd Cline

This is a big week for golf fans with the last major of the year — the PGA Championship — taking place. With Tiger Woods having won this past weekend, there will be even more of a buzz as the pros prepare to play at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, N.Y.

But next month will also feature a big tournament for local golf fans as most of those same big names — including Woods and Phil Mickelson — come to Atlanta to play in the annual TOUR Championship at historic East Lake Golf Club. The tourney — which runs Sept. 19 through 22 — provides a unique perspective with its smaller field and smaller galleries, allowing golf fans to see their favorites up close.

What also makes the tournament unique is its admission policy for veterans. The TOUR Championship provides free admission to all active duty, reserve, military retirees and their dependents for the entire week, and it recently reached out to make sure veterans in Gwinnett are aware of the opportunity.

It’s the tour’s way of saying thanks for their service.

“We are constantly humbled by the service and sacrifice of the men and women of our nation’s military and their families,” said Tom Clark, executive director of the TOUR Championship. “We hope that our ticket policies and other events and enhancements show our gratitude and give those who attend our event a day to relax and enjoy some well-deserved R & R.”

In addition to the ticketing policy, there will also be special events for the military during the week of the tournament. Two local Atlanta wounded warriors will be treated to a Callaway fitting just like the pros receive — getting a custom set of clubs after touring the Callaway equipment van.

Throughout the tourney, military members and their families can enjoy the Birdies for the Brave outpost on the 16th hole. The Outpost serves complimentary food and beverages to military members, giving them a chance to enjoy the day (or days) even more. On the first day of the tournament there will be opening ceremonies, inlcuding a military band, a jump team and the presenting of the colors.

It’s a great chance for local veterans to enjoy themselves and a nice way for the tour to say thank you.

Email Todd Cline at todd.cline@gwinnettdailypost.com. His column appears on Wednesdays.