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Interesting Facts about the pga tour’s Buick Challenge at Callaway Gardens

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Interesting Facts about the

PGA TOUR’s Buick Challenge at Callaway Gardens

  • In 1999, Justin Leonard clinched the Ryder Cup for the Americans with a spectacular put on the 17th. Though typically most players would take a week off after such a physically and mentally grueling tournament, Davis Love III, Jeff Maggert and U. S. team captain Ben Crenshaw all made a point to participate in the Buick Challenge as well as Justin Leonard.

  • Of all the memorabilia from the Buick Challenge, the most sought after item was the “Hush Y’all” signs used by the crowd assistance volunteers.

  • During Friday of the Buick Challenge tournament, thousands (5,000 in 2001) of young graduates fresh from Ft. Benning’s Basic Training would get their first taste of junk food and life outside of the Army during Military Appreciation Day. Some years, the commander would declare the day a “training holiday” so that soldiers could attend.

  • The first Fred Haskins Award was presented at Callaway Gardens in 1970 to Ben Crenshaw. Crenshaw was at Callaway Gardens to compete in the All-Dixie Intercollegiate Tournament for the University of Texas. Tiger Woods received the Haskins Award at Callaway Gardens in 1996.

  • The Buick Challenge at Callaway Gardens was named a Top 20 Event by the Southeast Tourism Society in 1998.

  • The numbering of Mountain View course was changed to accommodate the Buick Challenge.

  • Coca-Cola frequently sponsored the “Coca-Cola Youth Clinic.” Participants received a free golf club as well as other items.

  • The Buick Challenge was one of a few times the pros would play on Bermuda grass.

  • The tournament was often broadcast live on ESPN and ABC.

  • By the final year of the Buick Challenge the purse had reached $3.7 million.

  • The Buick Challenge attracted some of the finest pros in the game. PGA notes state “Any tournament director would give his left arm to have a field of this quality.” Ninety-five of the top 100 players on the PGA TOUR®’s top money list were competing at Callaway Gardens that year. (Not dated)

  • Callaway Gardens’ acclaimed Mountain View course hosted the PGA TOUR’s Buick Challenge 12 times between 1991 and 2002. The tournament drew an impressive array of top tour players each year. In the final years of the Buick Challenge, Callaway Gardens hosted one of the strongest fields ever with 95 of the top 100 players participating. Johnny Andrews, PGA TOUR official, stated to Callaway Garden’s Golf Pro Bud Robinson, “Any tournament director would give his left arm to draw a field this strong.”

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