COLLEGE GROVE, Tenn. (Feb. 16, 2022) – The future stars of the PGA Tour will return to middle Tennessee in just over two months.
The Simmons Bank Open for the Snedeker Foundation will be held May 5-8 at The Grove. Media day for the Korn Ferry Tour tournament was held Wednesday in the clubhouse at The Grove.
Dignitaries for Simmons Bank and the Tennessee Golf Foundation – which handles operations for the event – joined 2012 FedExCup champion and Nashville native Brandt Snedeker at the podium to recap last year’s tournament, as well as highlight what fans and players can expect in 2022.
“I think the biggest reason it was a success is because of the people involved in it,” said Snedeker, whose family foundation is the main beneficiary of the tournament. “This is a growing event that is only going to get bigger and better. All the feedback I got from players last year is that it was the premier event on the tour. I’m just a conduit to try and bring people together to benefit a great cause and raise a bunch of money for people in middle Tennessee.”
“Simmons Bank has been a phenomenal sponsor. They’ve really came through for us and want to make this the premier tournament on the Korn Ferry Tour. After our first year, I know we can do it. Everyone involved last year did an unbelievable job. I think we’re moving in the right direction, showing off how good Nashville is at hosting events.
During the media day, Tennessee Golf Foundation president Whit Turnbow and Simmons Bank Nashville market president Paul Craig presented Snedeker with a check for $250,000 for the Snedeker Foundation, based off proceeds from the 2021 Simmons Bank Open.
“Unbelievable,” Snedeker said. “I’m really excited about what it will do for our foundation and be able to give back to those in need in middle Tennessee. I can’t thank Simmons Bank and the Tennessee Golf Foundation enough for deeming us worthy of this donation, and now it’s our job to be great stewards of that and make sure it gets back into the community.”
Turnbow talked about how vital it was to have someone like Brandt Snedeker involved in the efforts of not on the Simmons Bank Open, but all junior golf initiatives across Tennessee, to insure their successes.
“Sneds is the best,” said Turnbow. The Tennessee Golf Foundation and The Snedeker Foundation work closely together on the Sneds Tour – a statewide junior golf tour that caters to kids ages 4-19 of all skill levels.
“He doesn’t just put his name on it. He’s actively involved in what the long-term vision of that tour looks like, and it’s the same with the Simmons Bank Open. We don’t do anything that Sneds doesn’t have input in. His involvement is much deeper than I think people realize.”
Simmons Bank Open tournament director Mike Hammontree stated that attendance was over 12,000 fans for the 2021 Simmons Bank Open, despite several challenges involving inclement weather throughout the course of tournament week.
The tournament raised over $275,000 for charities, including The Snedeker Foundation, Our Kids, The First Tee, FrankTown Open Heart, and Puppies & Golf. Additional charities will be beneficiaries in 2022.
Some of the other highlights coming in 2022, according to Hammontree:
- The Simmons Bank Open will partner with Hero Hut, a non-profit organization focusing on building community for veterans and first responders through collaborative spaces at events nationwide. The Hero Hut will feature food and beverage hospitality for our community heroes and their families, as well as local resources and networking opportunities available to veterans. https://www.herohut.org.
- Simmons Bank Open and the Korn Ferry Tour have issued a special exemption to Tim O’Neil, a member of the Advocates Pro Golf Association Tour (APGA), which was established in 2010 with the mission of preparing minority golfers to compete and win at the highest level of professional golf.
- The Simmons Bank Open will partner with Kulture City to make the the tournament a
Sensory Inclusive environment. Kulture City is the leading non-profit for sensory accessibility and acceptance for those with invisible disabilities. Kulture City will have a Sensory Activation Vehicle on site for any spectator needing a quiet place during the tournament, as well as provide Sensory Bags for those in need. https://www.kulturecity.org.
- The Simmons Bank Open has partnered with Nashville based Hattie B’s to donate meals to Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee. For each registered volunteer at the 2022 Simmons Bank Open, Hattie B’s, Simmons Bank, and the Simmons Bank Open will each donate four meals, with the goal of providing 30,000 meals to Second Harvest of Middle Tennessee. You can register to be a volunteer at www.simmonsbankopen.com/volunteer.
- On Friday, May 6th, the Simmons Bank Open will host “Foundation Friday” at The Sandtrap, celebrating local non-profits that specialize in providing support for children and families in our community. For a donation, fans will be able to participate in unique activations with Kulture City, the Jordan Thomas Foundation, Safe Haven Family Shelter and more. Proceeds from the day will go to support these foundations as well.
The popular Sandtrap area will return, and be expanded, in 2022, including the floating island green and food trucks adjacent to No. 14 green.
Tickets for the 2022 Simmons Bank Open go on sale March 1. Throughout the tournament all active and retired U.S. Military, National Guard, Reservists, Veterans, First Responders, and Healthcare Workers will be admitted free with proper identification at the main gate. Also, any junior will be admitted free with a paid adult. Tickets can be purchased at SimmonsBankOpen.com.
QUOTE FROM KORN FERRY TOUR PRESIDENT ALEX BALDWIN ON THE SUCCESS OF THE 2021 SIMMONS BANK OPEN: “The success of the inaugural Simmons Bank Open for the Snedeker Foundation in 2021 cannot be understated. Every aspect of the tournament exceeded expectations, and this tournament has quickly emerged as a favorite of our players. I have no doubt that this tournament will continue to get better and better because of the hard work and passion of the Tennessee Golf Foundation and their incredible staff. Players raved all week about the outstanding course conditions at The Grove, which were only rivaled by the great food and southern hospitality of the staff. The passionate fans came out in force and created an incredible atmosphere all week, and it’s been great to see Austin Smotherman, this year’s champion, teeing it up on the PGA TOUR after earning his card. Working closely with Brandt, the Snedeker Foundation and Simmons Bank, it’s truly inspiring to see the positive impact the tournament has made – and will continue to make – in the Nashville community for years to come. When people ask about the best event on the Korn Ferry Tour, the Simmons Bank Open is certainly top-of-mind and one that will battle for that title annually.”
Source: Simmons Bank Open; posted on February 18, 2022 by Darren Reese