The new "Fourth Major of Adaptive Golf"
In the last five topsy turvy months, we've seen all regular and adaptive sports events either postponed or in a very few cases, cancelled. We believe that these unfortunate events have provided us with the perfect opportunity to make a mark on Adaptive Golf and to establish Tucson as the new epicenter of youth, collegiate, and competitive Adaptive Golf.
While there are national championships and opens in virtually every disability category, there are no true "all abilities" championships in today's adaptive golf schedule. After discussions with many of the top ranked Adaptive golfers in the United States, every single one thought that an annual "major" involving all abilities is exactly what Adaptive Golf needs. With the assistance of Visit Tucson and others local sponsors, we are well into planning with the scheduled tournament start date of 4/19/21.
We will host a 54 hole pan disability open championship followed by an 18 hole pro-am fundraiser (benefitting the UArizona Adaptive Sports Program ) in an "adaptive pro am" type format in which each foursome would optionally feature an internationally ranked adaptive golfer. We will be hosting a variety of adaptive golfers, including many world ranked players in the amputee, single limb, spinal, TBI, cognitive and vision impaired divisions. This will be a WG4DG (World Golf Ranking for Disabled Golfers) Premier and Challenge event that will be sanctioned by the USGA, R&A and EDGA.
We are actively seeking local and national financial partners and sponsors to assist in the underwriting of the tournament, with proceeds from the tournament going to local youth/adaptive golf programs, select adaptive veterans golf programs, and Native American youth golf programs in the state of Arizona. We will provide the adaptive golfers with golf and amenities at a level not unlike a PGA event, with the help of our friends at Visit Tucson and others crucial community members. This will not only have the potential of being a major tournament in adaptive golf, but an event of which Tucson can be proud.
Schedule of Events
- Monday 4/19 - Player Practice Rounds (Players are responsible for booking tee times with Pro Shop)
- Monday 4/19 - Player Tailgate Reception (location TBD) 4pm
- Tuesday 4/20 - First Round - Standard Shotgun, can be either early morning or early afternoon
- Wednesday 4/21 - Second Round - Standard Shotgun, can be either early morning or early afternoon
- Thursday 4/22 - Final Round - Modified Shotgun with the top 12 players teeing off #1 and balance of field situated on tees 3-17. Should be an early morning if possible, so we can start the awards banquet late afternoon.
- Friday 4/23 - TIU Shootout - Standard Shotgun, 8 am with awards and reception immediately after the round.
Media and Promotional Plans
USBGA National Champion Chad NeSmith courtesy of SI.tv (2019)
Through existing contacts with major media providers between TIU and our sponsors, we will come right out of the gate with an impressive campaign. While we can't expect live TV coverage (at least now), we have preliminary commitments from major media providers such as Golf Channel, Sports Illustrated and others to pick up on this great marketing opportunity that hits the right "buttons" on all fronts. Not unlike the 2019 SI.tv documentary (above), we can produce content for local media as well as major golf media providers and when promoted via a very strong campaign with the help of UArizona, we are confident we will get noticed and can help grow this initiative organically.
The Tournament Site
Our host facility, Sewailo Golf Club
Home of the 2018 Women’s NCAA Champions, the University of Arizona Wildcats
The Land Where Flowers Grow
When it came time for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe to design their own Tucson golf course, they knew they wanted a unique creation. One that would work within the land and honor its natural gifts and wonders. The Tribe hired fellow Native American, Notah Begay III, a Navajo who has made his name both as a player on the PGA Tour and as a commentator on NBC and The Golf Channel. Along with Ty Butler, Begay responded with the amazing Sewailo, or “Land Where Flowers Grow”, in the native Yaqui language.
Blending the natural Sonoran Desert landscape of Tucson with picturesque lakes and streams, Sewailo measures over 7,400 yards from the championship tees, with five different tee boxes on each hole to allow for players of all abilities. It is universally recognized as one of the top golf experiences in Arizona, public or private, and is home to the University of Arizona Men’s & Women’s golf teams.
The Conquistador Paragolf Championship, a 54 hole major adaptive tournament, will be a World Ranking for Golfers with Disability (WR4GD) event sanctioned by the USGA and the R&A. We already have verbal commitments from 25 of the top 100 ranked adaptive golfers in the US, including Amputee, Single Limb, Vision Impaired, TBI, Cognitive, and Spinal divisions. We expect to limit the field to 90 golfers total (based on current interest and historical adaptive tournament numbers).
Tracy Ramin from Michigan (ranked in the top thirty in the world), winner of the Michigan Amputee Championship, and chairman of the Conquistador Competition Committee
Based on previous experience, we expect to be able to commit to 140-150 room nights for the participants. The Host Hotel will be Casino del Sol next door to the golf course. One of our requirements with hospitality needs will be properties that have enough ADA compliant rooms to accommodate the participating wheelchair and vision impaired participants (~15-20 rooms).
2019 USAGA Banquet facility
On the evening of the final round, we will host an awards ceremony and reception for all participants. We are still working on the details of what type of event (semi-formal or casual) this will be as well as the F&B requirements.
Five of the finest golfers in the Midwest!
The golf facilities for both events will be announced by 10/10/2020. Crucial here will be to have a tournament quality facility, a course that is adaptive "friendly", and either onsite accommodations or accommodations in very close proximity to the golf facility for the convenience of the participants.
Food and beverage operations will be "5 star" with the capability of showcasing some of the finest food and beverage establishments that Tucson has to offer. We also plan on offering complimentary local transportation for the participants in the tournament. This needs to be the ultimate experience for all participating. This needs to be the ultimate statement for the City of Tucson.
2021 TIU Shootout Update
We're now intent on making the 2nd annual TIU Shootout the “adaptive pro-am” event immediately after the Conquistador (see above) in April 2021 as opposed to a standalone event, as combining both we feel would have more of a PR impact (and be financially more viable) than a standalone event. With the postponement of the Paralympic Games we need to support these athletes as best we can so they can continue to train and represent UArizona in it’s best light. This isn't just about golf, it's about the UArizona Adaptive Athletic program and promoting the program to the best of our abilities.
Jonathan Snyder (nationally ranked One Arm Golfer) guest speaking at a youth clinic in Illinois. Under Jonathan's direction, his group gave more than 9,400 Adaptive golf lessons in the last year.
We are confident that with your support, we can not only showcase Tucson, but make a huge difference in many deserving lives.
To make this great effort happen!!
We will be reaching out to both old and potential new sponsors, partners, and supporters starting September 15th with new promotional and collateral material that will outline sponsorship opportunities as well as event information. Get on our mail list (click below) to make sure you're kept up to date!