Self Regional Womens Health Care Classic was started by Stoney Point Golf Club owner Jim Medford four years ago. The tournament will be played this week at the course in Greenwood. Medford talks about the development of the tournament over the last four years,
At first it seemed like the idea of a professional golf tour stopping in Greenwood and being successful was a reach. However, the Self Regional Foundation Women’s Health Care Classic has become the standard by which all other Symetra tournaments are measured.
“We have enjoyed the fact that the women who play on the Tour have named us their favorite tournament,” said Jim Medford, who brought the tournament to his club three years ago.
Since it began in 2014 the tournament at Stoney Point has set the record for biggest purse on the tour, but more important to Medford it also makes the largest contribution to charity.
“The local charities have been able to put the money to good use. We can see the impact we have on children and women’s health services every day in the area,’ he said.
It is hard to keep coming up with ways to top yourself when you are at the top, This year Medford believes refining the product and creating more interaction with the event sponsors is important.
“We moved our legends Pro-Am to Wednesday. Our sponsors enjoy having the chance to play with Nancy Lopez, Jan Stephenson, Sherri Turner and Hollis Stacey to name a few, and then enjoy the tournament through the weekend,” he said.
Each year attendance has increased and this year Medford hopes the tournament can get close to 20,000 spectators for the week.
“The golf is great. These women all can play and our last three winners have gone on to compete on the LPGA Tour,” he noted.
While some subtle aspects of the tournament have been changed to improve the experience for fans, one area hasn’t been touched.
The par 3, 13th hole along Lake Greenwood is still the place to see great golf shots and have fun. It sets the tone for the entire tournament.
This tournament has made a major impact on the Lakelands area not only for the charities, but also for the local economy. Every hotel room in the area is filled and restaurants stay very busy,” said the tournament director.
Several Pro-Ams started the tournament this week. The special Pro-Am with the LPGA Legends was won by the team of Legend Nancy Scranton, John Ivester, Walter Roark and Ed Gunderson.
Tickets are available at the gate.