The infamous hole number seventeen at Warwick Hills just isn’t the same without the rowdy crowds and fans and the lack of energy for the golfers, but on August 1, the Ally Challenge presented by McLaren tried to bring back a little normalcy to the hole as they bumped in an artificial crowd through a giant video board.
“How frustrating, how disappointing that we can’t have fans because that area is such an exciting area for all of us the players and the fans,” said Brett Quigley. “You know coming in it is going to be loud - it is going to be fantastic. You just look forward to that energy and for it not to be there yesterday and finally hear some of it today was more back to normal golf because it is a little eerie out here not having fans.”
The board lit up in two ways. First, if a shot was within ten feet of the hole off the tee, $10,000 would be donated to charity.
Tom Byrium did just that.
“You know, it is not like it is coming out of my pocket,” said Byrium. “So, it is not that difficult of a shot really. You are trying to hit it as close as you can anyway. It was nice to see a good shot on that hole and ten grand on top of that for the charity. I think that’s great.”
The second way the video lit up was when a player drained a birdie.
“We were playing the eighth hole when I heard the gallery - the canned gallery cheering for somebody so it makes it fun,” said Tom Lehman. “But there is nothing like the real thing and think we all look forward to the day when thing is normal and hopefully that day comes sooner than later.”
Overall, 11 players scored on the $10,000 shot for a total of $110,000 going to the United Way of Genesee County.