NOV 2017

ConventionSouth magazine is the leading resource for meeting planners who book all types of events, conventions, conferences and group travel in the south.

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Page 27 of 59

⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 7 w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m 28 Seeking Venues With The Right Tourna-mentality With so many Southern locales to choose from, it's important for planners to decide on the right ones when planning tournaments. In addition to stunning views of the Gulf Coast and its vast array of natural beauty, courses along the Missis- sippi Gulf Coast also showcase some of the best golf course architecture, with designs by Tom Fazio, Jerry Pate, Jack Nicklaus, Davis Love III and the legendary Arnold Palmer just to name a few, said Craig Mackay, sports development manager for Visit Mississippi Gulf Coast in Bi- loxi, Miss. "Once the tournament has drawn to a close, the 19th-hole options are endless," he said. "The Shed BBQ, The Blind Tiger and other local establishments provide the perfect atmosphere to sit back, relax and reflect upon the past 18 holes." Department of Veterans Affairs Administrative Officer Jeanene LeSure chose the Mississippi Gulf Coast when planning the 2017 National Vet- erans Golden Age Games, according to Mackay. Held in early May, the event included a golf tour- nament at The Oaks Golf Club in Pass Christian. "I believe that the hospitality provided by The Oaks staff and volunteers, along with the beauti- ful course, scenery and temperate weather, made for a very successful event," said Mackay. As the only resort with on-site golf on St. Simons Island in Georgia, Sea Palms Resort & Conference Center offers 27 championship holes designed by George Cobb and Tom Jackson, while presenting unparalleled views of the golden marshes unique to the Golden Isles of Georgia, according to Tim Aylsworth, director of sales and marketing for the resort. "Adding a golf event to a meeting or convention should be done with the idea of having fun. This opens it up to having players of all skill levels feeling comfortable and welcome," he said. "With a golf tournament, you get to be outdoors in the sunshine and fresh air, get some exercise and spend some great quality time with your team. If the game is not going so well, there is always the beverage cart." Officially known as The Home of American By Adrianne Bowen TurnTournaments Into HOLE-IN-ONE EVENTS Although the South didn't invent them (though some might argue otherwise), golfing tournaments are as Southern as sipping mint-laced sweet tea and savoring crispy fried chicken on the front porch in the heat of the afternoon. Beautiful landscapes and breathtaking scenery across the Southern states lend themselves to one-of-a-kind golf courses and some of the best venues for tournaments are in the Southern states. Along with sports events planners who host tournaments at Southern destinations, planners of all types – for reunions to corporate or government meetings and every type of event in between – are incorporating tournaments into their events to elevate the attendee experience. From serious play to just having fun, tournaments can help attendees let off steam and engage in experiences they will relish and remember. ► Bridges Golf Course on the Mississippi Gulf Coast GOLF, RECREATION & RELATIONSHIPS: Photo courtesy of Visit Mississippi Gulf Coast (MGC Regional CVB)

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