GAINESVILLE -- The Milton Martin Honda Classic provides excitement for local golf fans and a positive economic impact on the city. On Friday, tournament organizers announced that the four-day tournament will also present a financial boost for one area charitable organization.
Family Promise of Hall County will benefit from this year's Milton Martin Classic, specifically the tournament's Pro-Am competition -- which takes place on Wednesday of the week-long event.
Family Promise aids homeless families with children, working with area churches to provide shelter, while also aiding parents in finding employment and bettering their education.
"We provide food, fellowship and shelter, and we get referrals from churches and schools," Family Promise representative Lindsey McCamy said.
Last year's beneficiary of the Milton Martin Classic Pro-Am was Meals on Wheels.
The Milton Martin Honda Classic is scheduled for March 18-24 -- full tournament play will take place March 21-24 -- at Chattahoochee Golf Club in Gainesville.
"We're excited to have this tournament here again," Chattahoochee Golf Club director Rodger Hogan said. "It is estimated that the financial impact to the city is in excess of $225,000. This also gives our community a chance to see professional golf up close and personal."
A National Golf Association event, the tournament is in its fourth year in Gainesville and will feature a number of young professional golfers looking to play their way onto the PGA. A developmental tour, a number of NGA alumni have already gone on to play at the highest levels of the sport.
"Our alumni have won 15 majors (which includes the Master's, British Open, U.S. Open and PGA Championship)," NGA tournament director Todd Barbee said. "(Currently ranked 64th in the PGA) Ted Potter (Jr.) was kind of our Tiger Woods for a while, but we've had a lot of successful players come through the NGA, including Chad Campbell and Zach Johnson."
The tournament will feature 168 players vying for a $200,000 purse.
Last year's tournament suffered through fits and starts in a rainy week and was eventually cancelled -- the first time that had happened in the NGA's 25-year history -- though tournament organizers are upbeat about this year's competition.
"This community (Gainesville/Hall County) is certainly our type of community. Gainesville gets behind the tournament, and that's a large part of why we're here," Barbee added. "The greens here are some of the best we'll play all year. The players love the layout, and the course demands you make all kinds of shots accurately."