If you have driven down Saginaw Rd. on the south side of Grand Blanc you know the Ally Challenge is in town. Michigan State Police barricades outside of Warwick Hills Country Club slow traffic for pedestrians crossing the road. The clubhouse parking lot is full of media vans, professional golfer and caddie parking. The course is beautiful and ready for the PGA Tour Champions to do battle this weekend.
The Closing Holes at Warwick Hills
Seventeen and Eighteen is where the tournament will likely be decided on Sunday afternoon. Here is a sneak peek at the closing holes before the drama starts.
The Schedule for the Ally Challenge presented by McLaren lists the day-to-day activities at the Country Club for the tournament week. Monday and Tuesday the pros play practice rounds. While their caddies document yardage and the slope of greens. Corey Pavin, Bernhard Langer, Fran Quinn, and Rocco Mediate were just a few of the pros we met on the course.
Wednesday and Thursday the professionals’ team with the amateurs for the fun and games of the pro-am. The biggest stars had the largest followings. John Daly teed it up in the Wednesday afternoon session.
Wednesday’s Pro-Am Photo Gallery
The Media Center
Constructed in the clubhouse at Warwick Hills, the media center is geared up to be a busy place. Two-time Buick Open winner at Warwick Hills, Kenny Perry stopped by the media center to reminisce about playing here in his prime. “It was always a venue I truly loved. Always felt comfortable coming to this golf course. It’s a course you have to drive it well, it always had great putting surfaces…So I’m excited to be back. I had a smile on my face when I heard we were coming back here.”
Friday’s Special Event
The Tournament starts on Friday and concludes with the final round on Sunday. Tickets are still available to the event. Friday evening features a concert on the driving range with opening act Count’s 77 taking the stage at 6:30 and the main act Big & Rich coming on at 8 pm.
Rumors once started, often run wild. So take it with a grain of salt. Word is a very special guest will visit the stage Friday night. Some “Old Time Rock and Roll” might “Turn the Page” and show of his “Night Moves.” We just can’t tell you who it is.
Interesting Facts About the Ally Challenge
- Organizers expect the Ally Challenge to have a $20 million dollar impact on the community and surrounding area.
- Parking at Grand Blanc High School is only $5, shuttles run continuously. Proceeds from parking income go to the school.
- It takes almost 1,000 volunteers to assist in presenting the event to patrons.
- The Purse for the Tournament is $2,000,000 with the winner taking home $300,000.
- A total of 78 Players are competing including 27 or the top 30 players on Tour.
- The Buick Open was played at Warwick Hills 51 times between 1958 and 2009.
- In a testament to the popularity of Warwick Hills, 69 of the players competing in this inaugural edition of the Ally Challenge also played here in a Buick open.
- Ten golfers playing this weekend have won the Buick Open.
- Vijay Singh won the Buick Open 3 times, Kenny Perry twice. Both are Playing this weekend.
Enjoy daily coverage from the Lasco Press live from Warwick Hills Country Club.