Navistar Ends Sponsorship of LPGA Classic

The future of Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) golf tournament at the Robert Trent Jones (RTJ) Golf Trail in Prattville, Alabama is at risk after title sponsor Navistar withdrew from the event.

The golf event has been held at the Senator Course at the RTJ Capitol Hill facility from 2007-12.

“Navistar has been proud to be the lead sponsor of the Navistar LPGA Classic for the last six years and we’ve maintained a strong relationship with both the LPGA and the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail,” Navistar spokesman Stephen Schrier said in a news release.

“However, our current business climate requires a reduction of our sponsorship activities, including our sponsorship of the Navistar LPGA Classic.”

Stacy Lewis, who this year became the first American to win the LPGA’s Player of the Award since 1994, won this year’s tournament in September by two shots over teen-ager Lexi Thompson.

According to LPGA Chief Communications Officer Kraig Kann, the LPGA is working on continuing the event in Prattville in 2013.

“The LPGA appreciates and applauds all that Navistar has done to support the Tour and Alabama. While they won’t return to partner with us in 2013, to say that the LPGA, the Robert Trent Jones Trail, and RSA won’t return to Prattville next year is premature, stated Kann.

“We’re all committed to continuing the tradition of women’s professional golf in Alabama and the city of Prattville and are working together to deliver on those goals in 2013.”

Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Capitol Hill, site of LPGA Classic

The SunBelt Golf Corporation and the Robert Trent Golf Trail is in search of a new event sponsor.

Jonathan Romeo, tournament sponsor and SunBelt Golf Corporation Director of Business Development, is in Florida for the LPGA annual tournament owners and director’s meeting.

When asked recently what type of sponsors they might be looking at, Romeo stated, “The LPGA is a world brand and it takes a world company to get the benefit of everything and there are a lot of those here.”

“We are working on a daily basis with the LPGA and with business in the state of Alabama and have for 12 years in a row,” said John Cannon, Sunbelt Golf Corporation President.

“We are working on these events and actually pursuing a new title sponsor and committed, if possible, to continue doing an LPGA event both in Mobile and Prattville.

“We can’t do it ourselves. It requires community and business involvement to make it happen.”

When asked what the deadline would be to have a title sponsor for an event to played in 2013, Cannon indicated that you would get a different answer depending on who you asked.

“In an ideal world, the LPGA would like some answers now,” Cannon said.

The LPGA traditionally announces its partial or full event schedule for the upcoming year in November.

The SunBelt Corporation said it is committed to pro golf in the state but would not rush into anything moving forward.

“We’re not going to jump into a commitment without knowing we can accomplish it and do the event the way we have done it,” Cannon said.

“It’s an expensive proposition. We are working with third parties and groups that have not done something with us.”

Runner up in 2012, Lexi Thompson won the title in 2011

Romeo said the event costs about $3.5 to $4 million annually. According to a study conducted by the Prattville Area Chamber of Commerce, the event has a $7 million impact on the region.

Details

Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail

The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail is a collection of championship caliber golf courses, designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr., distributed across the state of Alabama, as part of investments by the Retirement Systems of Alabama. The Trail started with 378 holes at eight sites throughout the state, and has grown to 468 holes at eleven sites.

The concept was created and executed by Dr. David Bronner, CEO of the Retirement Systems of Alabama.

Website: rtjgolf.com

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Keep your eyes on the horizon and blaze a trail.

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Navistar LPGA Classic Goes Ahead as Scheduled

Navistar LPGA Classic will go ahead as scheduled—from September 20-23 in Prattville, Alabama—despite a shakeup in the Navistar management.

The news of shakeup in the Navistar’s upper management triggered concerns of the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) officials and players as they wondered what impact the management shakeup would have on one of the most prestigious LPGA tournaments, bettor.com reported.

Now that the company has undergone the change in senior management, the LPGA officials are keen to announce that the Navistar LPGA Classic will not be hurt, and it will be held according to its schedule.

Although players are happy to see the tournament’s schedule intact, the Navistar officials said that they will definitely be coming up with new plans regarding the sponsorship of the LPGA event for the future.

Navistar, which has been operating for years and boasts a massive presence in the market, was troubled by its engine strategy that put a drag on the company’s profitability.

Under pressure due to failure of the engine strategy, the CEO Daniel Ustian announced his immediate retirement.

Despite being hit by operational issues, the Navistar management responded quickly to the growing concerns of LPGA stars and officials, saying the tournament will remain intact.

Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Capitol Hill, site of Navistar LPGA Classic

However, the company’s officials did not tell what they plan to do about the future events of the tournament.

Steve Schrier, a spokesman for the Navistar, said the company’s officials are glad that they are going to stage another edition of the tournament and hope for the best.

“Dan Ustian’s retirement from Navistar will have no impact on our plans for this year’s Navistar LPGA Classic and we look forward to another great event in September,” Schrier said.

“We are currently re-evaluating all of our sponsorship initiatives, including our investment in the LPGA. We have developed a long-standing partnership with the LPGA and the team at (the) Robert Trent Jones (golf course) and we will provide clarity on future commitments later this year.”

The spokesman pointed out that the company wants to stick to Prattville in future as well, as most of the LPGA stars like the course.

Details

Navistar
Navistar International Corporation is a holding company whose subsidiaries and affiliates produce International brand commercial and military trucks, MaxxForce brand diesel engines, IC Bus brand school and commercial buses, Monaco RV brands of recreational vehicles, and Workhorse brand chassis for motorhomes and step vans. The company also provides truck and diesel engine service parts. Another affiliate offers financing services.

Website: navistar.com

Navistar LPGA Classic

Lexi Thompson returns to defend her 2011 title

The Navistar LPGA Classic is partnering with the Wounded Warrior Project to honor all those serving in the military. WWP’s mission is to “honor and empower wounded warriors” of the United States Armed Forces.

Website: navistarlpgaclassic.com

Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail

The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail is a collection of championship caliber golf courses, designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr., distributed across the state of Alabama, as part of investments by the Retirement Systems of Alabama. The Trail started with 378 holes at eight sites throughout the state, and has grown to 468 holes at eleven sites.

The concept was created and executed by Dr. David Bronner, CEO of the Retirement Systems of Alabama.

Two of the courses currently host events on the LPGA Tour: The Senator course at Capitol Hill, which hosts the Navistar LPGA Classic, and The Crossings course at Magnolia Grove, home to the Avnet LPGA Classic.

Website: rtjgolf.com

Worth Pondering…

Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.

—Goethe

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What Would You Name the Alabama State Parks Golf Trail?

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is seeking help in naming the State Parks Golf Trail.

The concept is similar to what is used by the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, which has become a major tourist attraction in the state.

With the recent announcement of new course names and logos for the golf courses, the Alabama State Parks now want to promote their courses collectively, as a trail.

With six courses that range from Joe Wheeler State Park in the northwestern corner of the state, to Lakepoint Resort State Park in the east central part of the state, to Gulf State Park on the Gulf Coast, the time has come to promote these courses as a trail of courses that provide quality play and value to the average golfer, according to a recent news release.

The new golf course names are:

  • The “General” at Joe Wheeler, Joe Wheeler’s rank in the Confederate Army
  • The “Oaks” at Oak Mountain, which represents the wide variety of oak trees in the park
  • The “Sanctuary” at Lakepoint, which represents the nearby national wildlife sanctuary
  • “Deer Haven” at Roland Cooper, which highlights the large local deer population
  • The “Refuge” at Gulf State Park, represents the nearby national wildlife refuge
  • The “Eagle’s Nest” at Lake Guntersville, honors the return of our national symbol to North Alabama, the Bald Eagle

Naming the golf courses is part of an effort to entice more visitors to state parks.

Now these six parks need a collective name so they can be promoted as a trail.

Alabama State Parks would like your ideas and suggestions as to what this name should be. For the next several weeks they will be soliciting the opinions of their website visitors to help name the golf trail.

“We’re trying to boost awareness of our state park golf courses,” said Randy Jinks, marketing director for the parks. “Our state park golf courses are Alabama’s original golfing trail.”

When making a suggestion, consider the individual course names and provide ideas that incorporate all the names into a cohesive title. The trail name will be chosen in early 2012.

As part of the rebranding, the courses will also be rated, sloped, and handicapped for the Golf Handicap and Information Network (GHIN) system.

A trail card will allow golfers to visit the six state parks and golf at a discounted rate.

Chad Davis, assistant superintendent at Joe Wheeler Park, said he expects the marketing effort and recent renovations at the park’s lodge to boost visitation there.

“All 75 rooms at the lodge have been gutted to the bare walls,” Davis said. “The sheetrock was removed and replaced. The doors have been replaced. The balconies have been renovated and a lot of other improvement made at the lodge.”

Suggestions needed

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is seeking suggested names for its state park golf course trail.

What do you think? Suggestions can be submitted on the Alabama State Parks website, or emailed to dcnr.parkspr@dcnr.alabama.gov.

Related

Details

Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

Gulf State Park Golf Course (Credit: http://cb4go.com)

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management, and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through five divisions: Marine Police, Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries.

Website: outdooralabama.com

Alabama State Parks

Phone: (800) ALAPARK (800-252-7275)

Website: alapark.com

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If I can hit a curveball, why can’t I hit a ball that is standing still on a course?

—Larry Nelson

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2011 Navistar LPGA Classic: A Financial Hole-In-One

The 2011 Navistar LPGA Classic commences Wednesday (September 15) at Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail’s Capitol Hill complex in Prattville, Alabama.

The four-day event will generate an economic impact of about $7 million for the River Region, a financial hole-in-one, according to a study conducted by the Prattville Area Chamber of Commerce, reports the Montgomery Advertiser.

“We’re looking forward to another great year,” Prattville Mayor Bill Gillespie Jr. said. “What people have to realize is we get the benefits throughout the year of hosting the classic. It’s not just the week when the tournament is played.

“The national exposure the area receives with live broadcasts from the Golf Channel gives us the kind of advertising we could never afford. I have seen golfers in Prattville restaurants months after the classic. When I talk with them, the LPGA always comes up. It’s what brought them to Prattville.”

Across the river, Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange also sees the tournament as a boost.

“There are going to be several events held in Montgomery,” Strange said. “It’s going to be great for the entire region. Everyone is going to see a positive impact.”

Many of the golfers will be staying in private homes. It’s the behind-the-scenes people who will fill the area’s hotel rooms, said Dawn Hatchcock, vice president of the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce’s Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“You have Navistar bringing in guests and clients. The Golf Channel will have people here, along with officials from the LPGA,” she said. “We expect our downtown hotels and businesses to see great traffic from the tournament. Downtown is in close proximity to Capitol Hill, so the trip to the tournament is a short one.”

Daniel Ustian, president, CEO and chairman of Navistar International Corp, said from a business standpoint, the classic is a success, as the company operates two engine plants in Alabama, reports the Montgomery Advertiser.

“We wanted a signature event for our suppliers, customers and potential customers,” Ustian said. “We couldn’t have asked for anything better.”

“We love coming to Prattville and the River Region. When the week is over and our guests return home, they know exactly what Southern hospitality is all about.”

Prattville has become a “must stop” on the tour, said Jonathan Romeo, tournament director.

“Everyone looks forward to coming to Prattville,” he said. “The community has welcomed the tournament from the beginning. When the ladies come to Prattville, they are treated like rock stars.”

Admission will be free to this year’s event. Tournament play days are Thursday through Sunday. Navistar will be taking donations for the Wounded Warrior Project, which helps military personnel who have been wounded or injured.

“Hopefully, the free admission will result in bigger galleries. People are going to see some great golf,” said Gillespie, who is no slouch on the links himself. “It will be a great way to raise money for a project that helps the men and women who have sacrificed so much for our country.”

And the Navistar-sponsored tournament has a deal to stay in Prattville through 2012. The LPGA Classic brings 144 of the top women golfers in the world to the Senator Course at Capitol Hill.

Monaco to Hold LPGA RV Rally

In conjunction with the LPGA Classic, over 130 Monaco RV coach owners will assemble to hold their East Coast Come Home LPGA Rally on September 15-18, according to a press release.

RVs are the choice of transportation for many players as they travel between tournaments. Several LPGA players are actually camping alongside Monaco RV Rally participants.

The Monaco RV East Coast Come Home LPGA Rally will offer many free-of-charge amenities for rally participants including: tickets to all of the LPGA tournaments, four nights dry-camping, two catered breakfasts, three cocktail hours, three catered dinners, entertainment on Friday and Saturday, leisure activities, and games.

One of Monaco RV’s premier dealer partners, Alliance Coach of Wildwood, Florida, will be on site displaying Monaco’s new and innovative “Next Generation of RV’s” for 2012. A customer service team from Monaco RV will also be hand for the four-day event, to provide any needed maintenance and ensure rally participants have a safe and enjoyable time.

Note: Two earlier articles on 2011 Navistar LPGA Classic:

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Navistar LPGA Classic Golfer Donates to Wounded Warrior Project

Jennifer Johnson, one of the LPGA’s leading rookies, has announced that half of her total winnings at this year’s Navistar LPGA Classic on September 15-18, 2011, will be donated to Wounded Warrior Project (WWP), a nonprofit organization that provides programs and services for injured service members and caregivers.

“Our wounded veterans should not have to endure any more suffering than they already have and deserve the best care and treatment available,” said Johnson, who last year was the NCGA Freshman of the Year and an NCAA First Team All-American. “Wounded Warrior Project helps those who have sacrificed so much move back into civilian life. It’s a wonderful organization and I encourage other players and tournament attendees to make a donation.”

Johnson’s donation is following Navistar’s recent announcement that for the first time, the 2011 Navistar LPGA Classic at Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail’s Capitol Hill complex in Prattville, Alabama will be open to the public free of charge. In a partnership with the LPGA and the Retirement Systems of Alabama, the company is asking event attendees to instead donate to the WWP.

“Our military men and women have given so much to our country,” said Dan Ustian, chairman, president and CEO, Navistar International Corporation. “That is why we support Wounded Warrior Project and have made the Navistar LPGA Classic free of charge this year, in hope attendees will consider taking a portion of the admission fee that would have paid and donate to Wounded Warrior Project. We at Navistar are thankful to Jennifer for her extreme generosity and commitment to Wounded Warrior Project.”

More than 45,000 of our nation’s armed forces have been physically wounded during the recent military conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Hundreds of thousands more are estimated to be recovering from invisible wounds of war, including post-traumatic stress disorder, major depression, and traumatic brain injury. WWP assists wounded warriors and their families through a holistic approach to their recovery.

Jennifer Johnson, one of the LPGA’s leading rookies, announced that half of her total winnings at this year’s Navistar LPGA Classic will be donated to Wounded Warrior Project. (Credit: axisservicing.com)

In addition, the Warriors to Work program of WWP assists warriors with the transition back into the civilian workforce, including many jobs in the trucking and transportation industry. This free program offers a complete package of employment-assistance services, including resume assistance, interviewing skills, job training, networking, and job placement assistance.

Those interested in donating will be able to either at the tournament or by texting “WWP” to 90999 on a mobile phone.

“Jennifer’s dedication to both her profession and the military men and women who serve our country is inspiring to us as an organization,” said Steve Nardizzi, Executive Director of Wounded Warrior Project. “With the support of partners like Navistar and Jennifer, we are able to honor and empower warriors each and every day.”

How-to Donate
To donate, text “WWP” to 90999 on your mobile phone to donate $10 to Wounded Warrior Project. A $10.00 charge will be added to your mobile phone bill (or deducted from your prepaid account).

Note: This is the second of a two-part series on 2011 Navistar LPGA Classic

Part 1: Free Admission to Navistar LPGA Classic

Details

Wounded Warrior Project
The mission of Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) is to honor and empower wounded warriors. The purpose of WWP is to raise awareness and to enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members; to help injured servicemen and women aid and assist each other; and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs. WWP is a national, non-partisan organization headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida.

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Life is a succession of moments. To live each one is to succeed.

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Free Admission to Navistar LPGA Classic

Navistar, Inc. recently announced that for the first time the 2011 Navistar LPGA Classic, to be held September 15-18, 2011 at Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail’s Capitol Hill complex in Prattville, Alabama, will be open to the public free of charge.

Navistar, in partnership with the LPGA and the Retirement Systems of Alabama, will instead honor those who serve in the U.S. armed forces by asking event attendees to donate to the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP), a nonprofit organization that provides programs and services for injured service members and caregivers.

In its fifth year, the Navistar LPGA Classic has confirmed more than 100 of the world’s top women golfers, including the top six-ranked players: Yani Tseng, Cristie Kerr, Suzanne Pettersen, Jiyai Shin, Na Yeon Choi, and I.K. Kim.

“Our commitment to our customers and the communities we serve not only motivates us as a company—it drives us,” said Dan Ustian, chairman, president and CEO, Navistar International Corporation. “This tournament is a great opportunity for us to help Wounded Warrior Project and raise awareness about the brave men and women who have sacrificed so much for our freedom. And with admission to the tournament being complimentary, we hope that attendees will consider taking a portion of the admission fee they would have paid and donate to Wounded Warrior Project.”

More than 45,000 of our nation’s armed forces have been physically wounded during the recent military conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Hundreds of thousands more are estimated to be recovering from invisible wounds of war, including post-traumatic stress disorder, major depression, and traumatic brain injury. WWP assists wounded warriors and their families through a holistic approach to their recovery.

Cristie Kerr, a top six-ranked players, returns to the 2011 Navistar LPGA Classic. (Credit: golf.com)

In addition, Wounded Warrior Project’s Warriors to Work program assists warriors with the transition back into the civilian workforce, including many jobs in the trucking and transportation industry.

This free program offers a complete package of employment-assistance services, including resume assistance, interviewing skills, job training, networking, and job placement assistance.

“We are thankful to Navistar for their commitment to our mission of honoring and empowering wounded warriors,” said Steve Nardizzi, Executive Director of Wounded Warrior Project. “Their efforts to support Wounded Warrior Project are a reflection of their dedication to assisting our nation’s wounded veterans and their families.”

Note: This is the first of a two-part series on 2011 Navistar LPGA Classic

Part 2: Navistar LPGA Classic Golfer Donates to Wounded Warrior Project

Details

Navistar
Navistar International Corporation is a holding company whose subsidiaries and affiliates produce International brand commercial and military trucks, MaxxForce brand diesel engines, IC Bus brand school and commercial buses, Monaco RV brands of recreational vehicles, and Workhorse brand chassis for motorhomes and step vans. The company also provides truck and diesel engine service parts. Another affiliate offers financing services.

Navistar LPGA Classic

The Navistar LPGA Classic is partnering with the Wounded Warrior Project to honor all those serving in the military. WWP’s mission is to “honor and empower wounded warriors” of the United States Armed Forces.

Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail

The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail is a collection of championship caliber golf courses, designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr., distributed across the state of Alabama, as part of investments by the Retirement Systems of Alabama. The Trail started with 378 holes at eight sites throughout the state, and has grown to 468 holes at eleven sites.

The concept was created and executed by Dr. David Bronner, CEO of the Retirement Systems of Alabama.

Two of the courses currently host events on the LPGA Tour: The Senator course at Capitol Hill, which hosts the Navistar LPGA Classic, and The Crossings course at Magnolia Grove, home to the Avnet LPGA Classic.

Worth Pondering…
Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.

—Goethe

Read More