SPOKANE, Wash.— The Rosauers Open is the largest sectional PGA event in the US but for the first time in 27 years it will be moved and it is having a financial impact.
Gary Lindelblad started the Rosauers Open at Indian Canyon Golf Course 27 years ago. Now for the first time it is being moved to Liberty Lake because the greens are not tournament ready.
Indiana Canyon Golf Course took a hard hit during the winter.
"It's just a real disappointment to be sitting on a golf course that's less than perfect,” said Professional Manager Gary Lindeblad.
"It just took so long to recover from scratch. Literally, five of our greens were nearly 100% dead. Then we had three or four others that had ten to 30%,” said Lindeblad. "Once you get ice on the green, it suffocates it."
WATCH: Rough winter means financial loss for Indian Canyon Golf Course
The Rosauers Open is a fundraiser for the Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery and generates about $400,000 annually. Of that, $130,000 goes to the non-profit nursery. About $20,000 is for green fees or participation costs which goes to the City of Spokane for maintaining all of the golf courses.
However, in 2014 the estimated $20,000 is going to Spokane County and not to the City of Spokane.
"One tournament on one weekend doesn't generate enough revenue to make a significant difference in how we can maintain our golf course," City of Spokane Parks and Recreation Director Leroy Eadie.
Leaders said the biggest impact for Indian Canyon Golf Course is that employees will not be making overtime during the tournament.
MeadowWood Golf Course in Liberty Lake was about the only course in our area that was not affected this winter.
“We're just very lucky," said Bob Scott who workers as the head profession at MeadowWood Golf Course.
He called the tournament more of a “financial push” because green fees are generally how much the course makes without the tournament. However, they also get a usage fee, which includes renting all of these carts to all the players. It all adds up to about $12,000, which is nothing compared to the level of exposure the course will get.
"It's certainly going to be a very exciting benefit to the City of Liberty Lake with all the visitors in town and have a very positive economic impact," said Doug Chase, Director of Spokane Co. Parks and Recreation Golf Departnment.
The Rosauers Open will return to Indiana Canyon Golf Course in 2015.