GRAND BLANC TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WJRT) - (09/12/18) - Professional golfers aren't the only ones hoping to win big during the Ally Challenge, but residents surrounding Warwick Hills plan to capitalize on the return of pro golf to the area as well.
Carroll Baker has had a bit of a break, nearly a decade, but now he's ready for cars to start rolling in.
"We're excited because we like to be able to park the cars," Baker said.
It's something Baker did for seven years when the Buick Open was in town. His home on South Saginaw is right across the street from Warwick Hills where 78 pro golfers are slated to play in the tournament through the weekend.
"I have 4 acres, and I can't tell you exactly how many cars because they come and go and the prices vary, so you can't even depend on that, but the one year that Tiger Woods and [Vijay] Singh were in a very close match we couldn't find another place to park cars, and by my estimate, we had to have close to 700 cars here," Baker said.
Baker's neighbor Dan Kocks supported the Buick Open for years as a fan, but purchased his current house just a couple of years ago. Now he is also opening up his seven acre home to parking. He says proceeds they earn will help local organizations.
"We tried to involve the Boy Scouts, the local troop where my boys went, and they both got their Eagle Scouts there, so they gave a lot to my family, and we also tried to involve the school, so the ski team will be participating, helping to park cars and the boy scouts," Kocks said. "Hopefully we can raise a lot of money for them."
"I have been working on this for the last month. It's a little more complicated than it might appear on the surface because we have to get permits and insurances and figure out exactly how we're going to handle it," Baker said. "And, it takes a fair amount of staffing but if the weather is good and play is tight, we would expect some pretty big crowds come Saturday and Sunday.
Baker and Kocks are charging $20 for parking.