Despite some soggy weather during the inaugural Sanford International golf tournament, tens of thousands of visitors trickled into the Minnehaha Country Club to watch the first ever PGA Tour Champions event in Sioux Falls. Two-time U.S. Open Champion Andy North is a proud host of the competition.
The Sanford International will crown a new champion in September but the Sioux Falls golf tournament is already top of mind for legendary golfer North.
“There’s a different excitement this year because we think we know a little bit about what we’re doing. Last year was like, let’s just throw it out there and see what happens. We were really pleased with how it all went,“ North said.
Rainy weather threw organizers a few bogeys on the course but many were turned into solid scores after a lot of effort.
“The players saw how hard we worked to make the golf course playable and the fact that all of a sudden, helicopters show up to dry greens off. They got a big kick out of that. It really showed our commitment to them,“ North said.
Tournament Director Greg Conrad says the second time around will be an even better experience for fans.
“That means more concession stands. That means more places to sit. That means more places to use the restroom. That means parking is a little bit better,“ Conrad said. “We need to take care of the fans because they showed up and they did a great job.“
“The area around 17 is going to be bigger and better and hopefully crazier. Hopefully have some fun with that,“ North said.
Tickets are available right now and selling ahead of last year. In early April, volunteer opportunities will be up for grabs.
In the meantime, North is reminiscing about his favorite moment from last year — Jack.
“Jack Nicklaus had more pictures taken of him that Saturday afternoon than he did his first 40 years playing professional golf,“ North said.
A special event like that is currently being planned again for this fall.
Returning volunteers can begin registering on April 8th. New volunteers can sign up on April 12th. Tickets are currently on sale.