Bill Nichols

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Texas State Open moving to Castle Hills with new sponsor

After six years in Tyler, the Texas State Open is moving back to the Dallas area with a new title sponsor. 

The 42nd edition will be the Bright Realty Texas State Open. It will be played at The Lakes of Castle Hills, formerly The Golf Club at Castle Hills.

The Northern Texas PGA plans to announce a three-year deal with Bright Realty on Friday.
Bright Realty has been making major upgrades since acquiring the property from Capx Realty in October. Renowned instructor Hank Haney is moving his headquarters there.

The NTPGA needed new sponsorship for its flagship event because it was in last year of a contract with Chesapeake Energy. The Cascades in Tyler has been host for the past six years.

The NTPGA hopes moving back to the Dallas area, with its deep talent pool of PGA club professionals, will strengthen the field and add exposure. Many of those players were unable to take a week off to compete in Tyler.

``The larger market is more conducive to attracting players, sponsors and media,’’ NTPGA executive director Mark Harrison said. ``It’s going to help our core customers, our PGA members. I'd love to see more of our PGA professionals back in the field.’’

The State Open has not been played in the Dallas area since Woodbridge Golf Club hosted in 2002. The tournament spent three years at White Bluff Resort on Lake Whitney before moving to Tyler in 2006. The Cascades’ six-year run is the second longest among consecutive hosts.  
The State Open began in 1960 with amateur Homero Blancos winning the title. Past champions include legends Lee Trevino, Jack Burke Jr., Ben Crenshaw, and Jeff Maggert. Shawn Stefani won the 2011 event.
The 2012 State Open will be played Aug. 2-5, two weeks later than usual, switching spots on the schedule with the E-Z-GO/UST Mamiya Eastern Championship.

The Lakes at Castle Hills is located east of Highway 121 in a master-planned development. The course and practice facilities have undergone extensive renovation. It is scheduled to reopen on Sept. 24.

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