Tom Patri: Tour would be great addition to Southwest Florida golf landscape


— Boy, for a mid-sized town tucked away in the lower southwest corner of Florida, we have some really fun sports events that we can get up close and personal with.

Starting with high school sports, congrats to the Naples High School football team for a heck of a season, and good luck to Immokalee in the Class 5A state title game Friday.

We have spring training every year in nearby Fort Myers with the Red Sox and Twins.

And we have professional hockey and a recent championship in the form of the Florida Everblades, plus a steadily improving collegiate sports program at FGCU.

If you have not checked out a recent FGCU hoops game, you're missing out.

Then there's golf. We have the return of the LPGA to our area, a Champions Tour event, and the just-concluded Franklin Templeton Shootout, which brings past and present world-class talent to town each year.

Now I realize in a smaller market to get a regular PGA Tour event is unlikely, but what about a Tour event, which will showcase the stars of tomorrow today?!?! The former Nationwide Tour traditionally looks for smaller markets, and they generally thrive in such areas. This town annually has proved our love and support of this great game.

Wouldn't it be great to watch tomorrow's Bubba Watsons, Rickie Fowlers and Webb Simpsons?

This type of event would be a wonderful addition to an already proud, golf-crazy area, and complete the grand slam of events we enjoy each year here in paradise.

Somebody out there jump in anytime, and let's get the ball in motion here, and soon.

Tom Patri gives lessons at the Quarry on Immokalee Road, and is at Friar's Head in New York from May-December. Patri is a Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher. Visit Patri's website at, or email him at

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