By J. Daniel Rollins
Register-Herald Sports Writer
For it’s 33rd anniversary, the BNI Memorial Golf Classic will have a distinctly local flavor once again.
The Brier Patch Golf Links will return to the rotation this year following a short absence, joining Grandview Country Club and the Cobb Course at The Resort at Glade Springs. The annual tournament will be played on July 13, 14 and 15.
“We are excited to bring The Brier Patch Golf Links back into the course rotation for the BNI,” said Frank D. Wood, Beckley Newspaper publisher. “This will allow our player participants and their friends and family to have quicker access during the first two days of the tournament and the course offers a different set of challenges. Along with Grandview County Club and the Cobb Course at Glade Springs, we believe this provides a fantastic three-day experience for our amateur golfers and we look forward to hosting the 33rd annual BNI tournament in July.”
Brier Patch will replace Pipestem Resort State Park in the rotation, bringing all three courses within the general Beckley area.
“Pipestem is absolutely wonderful to work with. Their course is wonderful,” tournament director David Hunter said. “It was more geographic than anything else. It will bring a local flair to the tournament.”
Brier Patch Golf Links, designed and opened by Jim Justice in 1997, is known for it’s beautiful island green par-5 closing hole and challenging mountain landscape.
“It has a reputation of being a tight and narrow course where you have to hit the ball straight,” Hunter said. “It has a reputation for being a pretty tough little course. It’ll be fun.”
The BNI is one of the largest amateur tournaments in the state, annually hosting over 150 golfers. Golfers will start at either Brier Patch or Grandview on July 13, playing the opposite course on July 14. Champions in multiple flights will be crowned on July 15 at Glade Springs.
The 2012 BNI was won by Marshall University golfer Bosten Miller, who defeated two-time BNI champion Brandon Reece on the second playoff hole.
For more information on the BNI e-mail email@example.com or call Hunter at 304-640-8660.