LPGA Skipping Prattville, Local Businesses Affected

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By Ashley Thompson

Tomorrow would have been the first day of the LPGA golf tournament at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in Prattville.

 

But because the golf course couldn't get a sponsor in time, the tournament is skipping Prattville this year.

Petty Leoffler is a waitress at Beef O'Brady's in Prattville. She tells us the restaurant is usually much busier the week of the LPGA tour but says this year, business is slow

er.

"

I mean I worked Monday night and I was out of here by seven," she says. "It was just completely dead. There were not as much customers. I really think it's hurting our local economy here in Prattville for sure."

When the 2013 LPGA schedule was released, Prattville was not listed as a stop. The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail lost it's title sponsor and as a result, lost the funding needed to host the tournament. Director of Golf Mike Beverly tells us this time last year, the green looked completely different.

"

Grand stands, concessions, everything was built on the golf course," he explains. "A lot of signage put up."

Now,

the course is empty, as are surrounding hotels and restaurants. Kelly Head is the bar manager at Mellow Mushroom, which is just around the corner from Robert Trent Jones. She says the city of Prattville is taking a hit from losing the tournament this year.

"

It's not near as many people. They bring a lot of revenue for the community and we're really missing. Honestly, it's personal. We've got to know them on a personal basis because they're here every year."

But some say it's not just a financial loss for the city. The LPGA tour is highly publicized...giving Prattville national recognition

.

"

We estimated about 30 thousand during the week for the entire week of the tournament and then live coverage all over the world on the golf channel," says Beverly.

"

The LPGA tournament is expected to return to Prattville next year. The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail has secured some sponsors for the event but continue to look for more.

We're a small town and definitely puts our name on the map for sure," says Head.

 





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