SYRACUSE Snow fell gently outside the clubhouse at Drumlins Country Club and lay on the ground, too, but already thoughts were turning toward summer, toward golf – and toward the latest edition of the Symetra Tour’s Credit Union Classic.
The 19th renewal of this tournament, third-oldest on the tour, brings more than 140 of the top women’s professional golfers to Central New York, and will be staged for the seventh consecutive year at Drumlins’ East Course.
One big difference in 2014 is the date. At last Friday’s press conference to promote the Credit Union Classic, it was announced that the 54-hole event will take place Aug. 1 through 3, a contrast to the late-July dates so common for most of the tournament’s history.
Tournament director Bill Motto said the slight schedule change accommodates the Symetra Tour’s larger 2014 schedule, whose Northeast swing, which includes stops in Albany and New Hampshire, concludes at Drumlins.
This marks the third straight year that a configuration of credit unions – Empower, Summit and SEFCU – serve as the event’s title sponsors, with Wegmans as a presenting sponsor.
“The tournament has taken great strides”, said tournament chairman Mike Vadala, pointing out that, in 2013, more than 60 local companies took on an active role in helping to promote the event through ticket sales and pro-am spots, a large increase from years past.
Still, Vadala said that “we will need to get the community involved now, so we can have the best event possible.”
Drumlins’ managing director, Doug Freeman, said that, while the contract for the tournament with his facility ran out after the 2013 event, they have renewed for at least this year and are working on securing a longer-term agreement.
Once again, tournament proceeds will benefit the First Tee of Syracuse, a youth golf program designed to teach both the game, and its values, to area children. As the organization’s executive director, Peter Webber, pointed out, more than 40 percent of the First Tee participants are girls, which makes the professionals role models to look up to.