After receiving rave reviews from all constituents, the “Champions Course” at Rock Barn Golf & Spa will return for the 2014 Greater Hickory Kia Classic at Rock Barn, which is set for Oct. 13-19 in Conover.
“Our 2014 tournament will be in the same relevant October week we had last year,” said GHKC Executive Tournament Director Jim Correll. “With just one tournament between our event and the Charles Schwab Cup Championship, the Greater Hickory Kia Classic will again help determine the Charles Schwab Cup Champion. That should make our field quite strong as it did in 2013. We had a dramatic final-round battle last year, and with the same dates, the same course and a strong field expected, we could have a similar event in 2014.”
After torrential July rain damaged the Jones Course and a vital bridge at Rock Barn Golf & Spa last year, the Greater Hickory Kia Classic utilized the “Champions Course,” an 18-hole layout blending portions of the Jackson Course and the Robert Trent Jones, Jr. Course at Rock Barn.
The back nine holes of the Jackson Course served as the front nine of the Champions Course, and holes one through six and 16 through 18 of the Jones Course were played as the back nine of the Champions Course with the tournament concluding on the par-five 18th hole behind the clubhouse.
Champions Tour professionals, fans and tournament officials praised the “Champions Course” layout, and with that information in mind, the “Champions Course” returns in 2014.
“We expected the ‘Champions Course’ to receive positive feedback, but I think I am safe in saying it exceeded our expectations,” Correll said. “One of the best results was that the Greater Hickory Kia Classic became a much more compact event. Our fans were able to watch the tournament on more holes and move between the front side and back side much more easily than in previous years. In addition, home owners on the back side of the Jackson course had never had the Greater Hickory Kia Classic in their back yards before so we saw tournament parties in locations that never had them before. It really was a terrific atmosphere, and we are thrilled to bring it back this year.”
The 12th annual Greater Hickory Kia Classic features a week of special events and attractions, including exhibitions, pro-ams and three days of Champions Tour competition among some of the greatest legends in golf.
For more information, please call (828) 459-4000 or visit www.greaterhickorykiaclassic.com.
To read more of this story, pick up the Friday edition of Catawba County's community newspaper, The Observer News Enterprise, at newsstands throughout the county.