KANSAS CITY, Mo. -The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) announced today the 2011 and 2012 NAIA Women's Golf National Championships will be hosted by the Greene County (Tennessee) Partnership Tourism / Chamber of Commerce. The events will be held at Link Hills Country Club in Greeneville, Tenn., with the 2011 tournament slated for May 17-20 and the 2012 Championships scheduled for May 15-18. Each event will consist of four rounds and one practice round with a maximum of 129 golfers -- approximately 24-25 teams and 5-10 individual qualifiers.
"The NAIA is excited to make this announcement and we fully realize that the Greene County Partnership Tourism and Greene County Chamber of Commerce will be the perfect fit for the NAIA Women's Golf National Championships. Greene County is supportive of character-driven intercollegiate athletics and will provide a great championship experience for student athletes," said NAIA President and CEO Jim Carr.
Women's golf has been a Championship sport since 1995. The event has never been to the state of Tennessee and Greeneville becomes the 11th different site. The Link Hills Country Club is a private, 18-hole course built in 1955. The course features 6,733 yards from the longest tees for a par of 71. The course rating is 71.8 and it has a slope rating of 121 on Bermuda grass.
"Greene County, Greeneville, and Link Hills Country Club will provide a tremendous National Championship atmosphere for our student-athletes," said Kristin Gillette, NAIA Manager of Championship Sports. "With the community out in full force, the backdrop of the Smoky Mountains and the commitment already shown by the Greene County Partnership Tourism, Chamber of Commerce and Link Hills Country Club, there is a real excitement for the NAIA Women's Golf National Championships to be there for 2011 and 2012."
The Greene County Partnership Tourism was formed in 1993 and as a result, was created to promote, preserve and enhance the quality of life and economic well-being of people in Greene County. For more information on the Greene County Partnership Tourism, click here.
"We want to welcome the NAIA and the talented athletes to Greeneville and Greene County," said Randy Rumbley, Chairman of the Greene County Partnership Tourism / Chamber of Commerce. "This tournament will play a major role in the economic boom of our community by increasing overnight stays and traffic to our local businesses and restaurants."
"The Tourism Department and its Sports Council is looking forward to working closely with Kristin Gillette and her team at the NAIA. The impact that the National Championships will have on Greene County will not only be felt in the lodging industry, but community-wide," added Tammy Kinser, Tourism Director for the Partnership. "We have a great committee compiled and have already begun planning and creating excitement for our NAIA visitors."
Greeneville has been recognized in several publications, including "The 100 Best Small Towns in America," "Top Mountain Towns Guidebook," "Boomtown USA," and "The 50 Best Small Southern Towns." Southern Business & Development magazine ranked Greeneville and Greene County the number two small-market in the south in 2002 for completed new or expanded facilities from 1993 to 2002. Established in 1783, Greeneville is the second oldest town in the state. The county is populated by 65,945 residents, 15,274 of those residing within the city limits of Greeneville. For more information on Greeneville County, click here.
"I am extremely excited about having the NAIA Women's Golf National Championships coming to Tennessee and specifically to Greeneville," said Stan Harrison, Tennessee Wesleyan Women's Golf Coach. "I believe the coaches and players will find Link Hills to be a very playable, but challenging test of golf. As coach of the host institution's women's golf team, I look forward to welcoming the teams from throughout the country to East Tennessee and trust that we as hosts can be worthy of this distinction.
"I feel confident that the people of Greene County and the staff of Link Hills Country Club will do an outstanding job in providing a very positive experience for all the teams, coaches and spectators."
There are 140 NAIA schools that currently sponsor a varsity women's golf program. For information on how a team and individuals qualify, please click here. The 2010 National Championships will be contested May 25-28 at Meadowbrook Municipal Golf Course in Rapid City, S.D.