Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Nike Gateway Classic Moving to Mo. Bluffs

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Nike Gateway Classic Moving to Mo. Bluffs

Article excerpt

The Nike Gateway Classic, which has been held at Lake Forest Country Club during its first three years, is moving to the Missouri Bluffs for 1997.

The tournament, scheduled for July 14, is being moved my "mutual consent," said Randy Burkhart, a Lake Forest member who was serving as tournament director. "It's time for the tournament to move on."

Many factors are involved in the move. After three years, the membership at Lake Forest was about 50-50 for bringing the event back. The volunteer base has eroded the past two years. And Lake Forest's relatively remote location was not ideal in terms of attendance. Lake Forest is located at Lake St. Louis. Missouri Bluffs is more accessible at Highway 40 and Highway 94. Burkhart, who will remain involved with the event as a consultant, applauded Lake Forest for breaking ground. "I think it's important we acknowledged the foresight of the membership of Lake Forest to initially hold this event after the PGA Championship (at Bellerive in 1992) stirred up a whole new interest in golf," Burkhart said. "We had the opportunity to bring the Nike Tour to St. Louis at that period of time and we were the first to bring a professional tournament, on a yearly basis, into town. "Not that many people were really familiar with Lake Forest and that's one of the things the club benefited from. They were really put on the map. But as everything, it runs its course." Dennis Walters' management group handles the Bluffs, as well as Whitmoor Country Club and Bogey Hills Country Club. Neal Hilke, who has served as head pro at Whitmoor, has been appointed the tournament director. The Missouri Bluffs, a public facility, hopes to keep many of the volunteers who have served the tournament in the past, draw from the charitable groups that will benefit from the tournament and realize volunteer support from its association with the Missouri Athletic Club. …

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