Arkansas Shines as Golf Destination During Western Amateur Championship

View of the Alotian golf course during Western Championship. Photo by Z.Clift.
View of the Alotian golf course during Western Amateur Championship. Photo by Z.Clift.

The Alotian Club in Roland was the scene of the 111th Western Amateur golf tournament July 29-August 2. It was the first time the tournament had been held in Arkansas and the first time in 41 years the tournament had been held outside the Chicago and Michigan area.

The tournament, which was won by Jordan Niebrugge of Mequon, WI, is one of the most prestigious amateur competitions in golf worldwide and has a rich history. Past champions include some of golf’s most legendary names: Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Ben Crenshaw, etc. An international field of over 150 elite amateur golfers, many destined for the PGA Tour, gathered at the Alotian to compete in the tournament. The  course was founded in 2004 by Little Rock businessman Warren Stephens and designed by golf course architect Tom Fazio. The layout of the course features a number of lakes and provides a panoramic view of Lake Maumelle and views of the Ouachita Mountain ridges.

It was also a chance to showcase the state as a golfing destination. “We also want to promote golf in Arkansas,” said Warren Stephens in the tournament program guide. “We want to make people realize we have a very strong golf tradition in the state. We’re getting more and better golf courses here and providing more opportunities for people to play and enjoy the game. We want people to understand and be proud of what Arkansas has to offer.”

Below are some photos I took at the tournament, which marked the first time the course, which is private, had been opened to the general public. Please click on the photo icon for a larger view of the shots.

[nggallery id=12]




Join the Conversation