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81st Dixie Amateur set for December 19-22

CORAL SPRINGS, (Aug. 31, 2011)—The 81st edition of the historic and prestigious Dixie Amateur appears destined to be the best yet, thanks to new ownership and additional amenities for some of the world’s best amateur golfers.

The Dixie Amateur was acquired this year by ClubLink, one of the world’s largest and most respected multi-course owners and operators. The deal followed the acquisition by ClubLink of Heron Bay Golf Club and Woodlands Country Club, both of which will play host to this year’s tournament.

“We are very proud to be entrusted with the great tradition of the Dixie Amateur and we intend to build upon that tradition this year and in the years to come,” said Tournament Director Dave Salerno, the director of operations at Heron Bay. “ClubLink courses have hosted PGA Tour, LPGA, and Champions Tour events as well as many amateur championships over the years, so we know what it takes to present a world-class tournament.”

Salerno said many significant improvements have been made under ClubLink’s ownership. “ClubLink has made a serious commitment to the Dixie Amateur. They have injected capital to upgrade the playing conditions at both courses and they understand how to ensure all competitors have a first-class experience.

“Pace of play is a problem at some tournaments but it will not be an issue at the Dixie as we will have no more than 120 players on a course at any time, and they will be playing in threesomes at 10-minute intervals. We will have PGA of America members acting as rules officials as well.”

ClubLink has partnered with the Fort Lauderdale Coral Springs Marriott Hotel and Convention Center adjacent to Heron Bay Golf Club to provide preferred rates on accommodations and dining for all contestants.

Additionally, contestants will enjoy an opening-night reception with complimentary food stations at the Marriott, complimentary lunch on the first two tournament days, complimentary fruit and water during the tournament, free range balls, and a valuable welcome gift. Carts are optional and available free of charge.

The Dixie Amateur, designated by amateurgolf.com as one of the “majors” of amateur golf tournaments, originated in 1924 and was played at the old Miami Country Club. Early winners included Frank Stafaci, Earl Christianson, Frank Perpich, Al Besselink, Bill Hyndman III and future Masters champion Doug Ford. With the closing of the Miami Golf Club in 1953, the Dixie was discontinued until 1962.

Since then, the Dixie Amateur has been played continuously at various courses in South Florida. The tournament has always attracted top players and many won or participated in the Dixie Amateur before graduating to the pro tours. Past fields have included future superstars such as Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia. Two-time defending champion Peter Uihlein, the 2010 U.S. Amateur champion, is the latest in a long list of notable men’s champions including Hal Sutton, Ryuji Imada, Brandt Snedeker, Andy Bean, Bruce Fleisher, Lanny Wadkins, Nolan Henke, Len Mattiace and Jesper Parnevik. The women's division has produced great champions such as Angela Park, Vicky Hurst, Meaghan Francella and Alexis Thompson.

The 2011 Dixie Amateur will be played at Heron Bay Golf Club in Coral Springs, Fla., former venue of the PGA Tour’s Honda Classic, and Woodlands Country Club in nearby Tamarac. The senior men will play Dec. 8-10, the men Dec. 19-22, senior women Dec. 30-Jan. 1, and women Dec. 30-Jan. 2.

Heron Bay, designed by Mark McCumber, was the site of six editions of the PGA Tour’s Honda Classic. Woodlands’ famous 6,800-yard East Course was designed by Robert Von Hagge and Bruce Devlin.

For more information, please visit www.dixieamateur.com. To learn more about ClubLink, visit www.clublink.ca.

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