Pros and Hackers Unite for Charity at the Conquistadores Classic of Tucson Pro-Am
It’s been almost nine years since Tucson golfers had a hometown, big-name pro-am to play (or dream of playing) in. Come March, the drought is over.
High-profile pro-ams were retired with the Tucson Open in 2006 and the arrival of the pro-am-less World Golf Championships Match Play Championship. Now that the Tucson Conquistadores are calling the shots again, a pro-am is scheduled March 18 and 19 with the debut of the Conquistadores Classic of Tucson Champions Tour event on March 16-22 at Omni Tucson National Resort.
Champions Tour pro-am fields are well stocked with big names and all-time greats; all 81 players in the field will play in the pro-am. Since there are just three days of competition and no cut line, the guys tend to be a lot more laid-back. Jay Warren, the Conquistador spearheading the upcoming Two-Day Classic Pro-Am, expects a sell-out. “The word is the Champions are awesome to play with,” he said. “Totally relaxed, lots of fun and happy to be strolling down the fairway with you.” Conquistador tournament chairman Joe Brossart added, “These guys are all in when it comes to supporting our fund-raising efforts, too. Many have a history with us from the Tucson Open days; it’s almost like a reunion.”
Playing golf isn’t the only adventure. Tuesday evening (March 17) players will be matched with their pros at the exclusive pro-am pairings party. Amateurs and their guests can expect a festive, all-inclusive dinner party and a high-end gift pack filled at least $500 worth of swag.
On Wednesday and Thursday, players have access to VIP parking and the pros’ hospitality room; hosted meals, snacks and beverages will be handy throughout the day. The grand finale is Thursday evening’s awards party: count on plenty of cheers, boo’s and high-fives among players and their pros.
If you love golf, no experience can compare to playing with a golf great – it’s as close to playing on Tour as most of us will ever come. Experienced pro-am amateurs said there are plenty of colorful tales about life on Tour and even a few golf lessons from pros over the course of an 18-hole round. They also preach that a super-low handicap is absolutely unnecessary to have the time of your life.
Golf commentator and former pro David Feherty summed up the pro-am experience from a pro player’s perspective in Golf Magazine. “Some of the best fun I’ve had on a golf course has been with complete hackers who had enough confidence in what they do in other walks of life to laugh it off without self-consciousness, while enjoying the walk and the banter.” Most pros will tell you, too, that no matter how badly you play, they’ve seen worse. So if you shank your ball into the water at Omni Tucson National, it will be the most memorable lost ball of your life.
Submitted by Joan Liess