LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Monday had staging crews and Crown Colony County Club employees busy on and around the putting grounds getting it ready for the 2015 First Bank and Trust East Texas Open.
Ben Burns, Crown Colony County Club golfing pro, said the impact of this tournament is huge, "They estimate that it could bring upwards of $400,000 to the economy."
A year ago, Burns and Crown Colony Country Club General Manager Lin Lentz began working on getting Adams Pro Tour to Crown Colony.
"We're looking forward to this week. It's a good track," said Kris Neal, Tour Director of the Dallas-Fort Worth-based organization. "It's a good course for us. I think a lot of the holes are a really good test for our guys."
At least 120 professional golfers are registered and a host of amateurs are in Lufkin for this tournament. Part of the lure is Crown Colony's course legacy as being a challenging place to play. That's one reason why 2nd-year pro Joe Doramus drove from Little Rock to compete.
"I heard it was not too long, but it was very demanding off the tee. And it was kind of a shot maker's course. So, I figured it would be a good test to come down," Doramus said.
The tournament benefits Lufkin ISD Education Foundation, which awarded its first high-achiever scholarships this year.
"I think the people on the education foundation are really seeing the value of doing this event. And Ben Burns--the head golf professional, and I are very hopeful we can make it an annual event," Lentz explained.
Burns added, "Most of us know a lot of the industries have moved out of Lufkin area, and surrounding areas. We want to bring that back and show them we're a vital part of the economy around here."
The Adams Pro Tour tees off in Lufkin officially on Wednesday, but there are clinics and practicing happening on Tuesday. For the complete schedule click on the Crown Colony Course link.