GRAND BLANC TWP (WJRT) - (08/20/2018) - The Buick Open was last played at Warwick Hills Golf and Country Club in 2009.
But in 3 weeks, we will again see pro players tee off from the course for the Ally Challenge presented by McLaren.
“It's just an incredible honor and privilege for us as a company to be able to bring this back to the community and we're very, very excited," said Andrea Brimmer, the Chief Marketing and PR Officer at Ally Financial.
The Detroit based company teamed up with McLaren to bring the golf back to Mid-Michigan. After being absent from Genesee County for nearly a decade, it’s expected to have a big effect on the local economy.
"With the PGA, we estimated that the economic impact to the Grand Blanc/Flint community just by people traveling in, staying at hotels, eating in restaurants, consuming different products in the community, about 20 million dollars for that week. Which is enormous," said Brimmer.
They are estimating an additional one million dollars will be raised for local charities as well.
"It has so exceeded our expectations in terms of number of charities who have signed up to be a part of the tournament," said Laurie Prochazka, the vice president of marketing for McLaren.
One of those charities, Junior Achievement of Southeastern Michigan, said the impact will be huge.
"I mean it will do wonders for the students in this area,” said Kandace Jones, who serves of the president and CEO of the organization. “Right now in Genesee County we serve about 2700 students so this year we could be able to double that or more."
The Ally Challenge doesn't want it to just be a golf tournament, but rather a community event. Country music stars Big and Rich will be performing a show immediately following play Friday, September 14. Then Saturday morning Adidas will be sponsoring 5k challenge.
Brimmer said it was tricky to schedule the tournament and settled on the fall, but it could change next year.
“We’re looking to next year move it into the August time frame,” said Brimmer. “I’m hoping there’s not too much of an impact. I know there’s a high school football game Friday night.”
To find out more about the event and how to get involved visit the link attached to this page.