GOLF, Ill. (Nov. 30, 2011) -- The 2013 Western Amateur will be held at The Alotian Club, one of the nation’s premier golf courses, Western Golf Association and Alotian Club officials announced today.
Opened in 2004, The Alotian Club, in Roland, Ark., is ranked No. 14 on Golf Digest's biennial ranking of "America's 100 Greatest Golf Courses." The course was built by Little Rock businessman Warren Stephens and was identified by Golf Digest as the best new private course in the country in 2005.
“We’re very fortunate to be able to bring our world-class amateur championship to such a highly-regarded facility,” said Vince Pellegrino, vice president of tournaments for the Western Golf Association. “The Alotian Club has received accolades since the day it opened. We expect our field of top-ranked amateurs will be thrilled to have an opportunity to compete on such a prestigious course.”
Renowned golf architect Tom Fazio designed the course, which measures 7,480 yards from the championship tees. The course plays 6,780 yards from member tees and 5,385 yards from forward tees. The course’s signature trait is elevation change, with the most dramatic coming at the sixth hole with a 100-foot drop from the tee to green
For The Alotian Club, hosting the 111th Western Amateur championship will provide a high-profile platform to showcase the course’s beauty and challenging design while also highlighting the club’s support of caddies and the WGA’s Evans Scholars Foundation, which grants college scholarships to deserving caddies.
“Caddies are an integral part of the history and tradition of golf. That's why I wanted a caddie program at The Alotian Club,” Stephens explained. “Since 1930 the Chick Evans Scholarship Program has sent 10,000 caddies to college, including two from The Alotian Club who are attending Northwestern University today. Hosting a first class competition and supporting scholarships for caddies made the decision to welcome the Western Amateur to Arkansas an easy one."
The Alotian Club’s two current Evans Scholars, brothers Joe and Kevin Evans, both are majoring in economics at Northwestern. Joe is a junior, and Kevin is a freshman.
“We anticipate continuing to partner with The Alotian Club in developing more young caddies who will qualify for the Evans Scholarship,” said Pellegrino.
The WGA originally planned to take the 2013 Western Amateur to Olympia Fields Country Club south of Chicago as part of an announced eight-year rotation of the championship among Chicago area clubs. With The Alotian Club extending an invitation to host the Western Amateur, it was decided to shift the championship out of the Chicago rotation in 2013.
“We were honored and excited to learn The Alotian Club was interested in hosting one of our championships,” said Pellegrino. “We discussed a possible change with Olympia Fields officials, and we then made a joint decision to move the championship. We appreciate the club’s flexibility in agreeing to the move, which will allow us to broaden our reach and mission to other markets, particularly to a venue that also been very supportive of our Evans Scholars program.”
Olympia Fields, a strong and loyal partner with the WGA and its Evans Scholars Foundation, is hosting the U.S. Amateur in 2015, and the decision will allow club officials to solely focus on course preparations and logistical planning for that national championship.
“Working together to reach what we see as a win-win situation for both the club and our organization has only served to strengthen the existing bonds of friendship and respect we’ve enjoyed for many years,” Pellegrino added.