The Chattahoochee Golf Course will host a National Golf Association Pro Golf Tour event for the fourth consecutive year.
The golf course announced Friday its plan to host the Milton Martin Honda Classic from March 18-24. The event will include a Pro-Am on March 20, followed by the four-day headliner event March 21-24.
The tournament, which was canceled last year due to rain, will feature 168 professional golfers with a purse of $200,000. The purse is the highest amount the NGA Tour offers, and is one of only six of the 18 events on the schedule to offer such a high payout.
“The city of Gainesville really gets behind the tournament,” NGA Tour Tournament Director Todd Barbee said. “We could play at Augusta National, which would be great, but if the community doesn’t get behind the event, it’s just not as fun. The community is a large part of why were here.”
Chattahoochee director of golf Rodger Hogan said the city of Gainesville estimates a financial impact in excess of $225,000 from the tournament with players, caddies and family members coming to town for the event. The tournament is free for fans to watch.
For the second consecutive year, Milton Martin Honda will serve as title sponsor of the event. Family Promise of Hall County, a nonprofit organization that helps homeless children and their families through a network of 11 local churches, is this year’s benefitting charity.
Barbee said the NGA Tour selects Chattahoochee for its favorable greens and various obstacles of the course that tests golfers in multiple aspects of the game.
“The greens are some of the best we play on all year long,” Barbee said. “The players love the layout. It demands multiple shots. It demands accuracy. It’s just a good all-around golf course.”
The NGA is a considered a developmental league to the PGA Tour and is the third-largest professional tour in the United States. Many of the current PGA golfers competed in tour in previous years, including 2012 Masters Champion Bubba Watson and major tournament winners John Daly, Jim Furyk, Keegan Bradley and Zach Johnson.
“Many of the stars you see on the PGA Tour today got their start on the NGA Tour,” Hogan said.
Current PGA golfer Ted Potter Jr. competed at Chattahoochee in 2011, and is currently among leaders in the second round of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am in Pebble Beach, Calf.