Timberline to host Gulf South Conference championship tournament

FROM STAFF REPORTS

The Gulf South Conference golf championships will have a new home for the first time in 12 years, as the league announced an agreement to move its 2012 men’s and women’s events to Timberline Golf Club in Calera.

The Gulf South Conference tournament returns to Alabama for the first time since 1998 after an 11 consecutive-year stint in Hot Springs, Ark. Seven men’s teams and four women’s squads will travel to Calera.

Designed by former U.S. Open champion Jerry Pate, Timberline is a semi-private golf club that is centered around the Timberline residential community. The course opened in 2002 and just recently partnered with Legendary Golf Management (LGM) group.

“We’ve been searching for a centrally-located championship-quality course, with a preference to stay in the Birmingham area,” said Gulf South Conference Commissioner Nate Salant. “It’s not easy because of the time of the year and the fact that we have seven men’s and four women’s teams, which means taking a lot of tee times.”

“The pros at some of the most prestigious courses in the region were unanimous in the recommendation of Timberline, citing everything from the challenging layout of the course to the professionalism and friendliness of its Head Golf Professional Joe Kruse. It was also recommended highly by University of North Alabama head coach Stuart Clark.”

“Everything they said about Joe Kruse was correct,” Salant continued. “He jumped at the opportunity to bring the (conference tournament) to Timberline. He knew the league, realized that our student-athletes set great examples for younger golfers and play at a national championship level. It’s a great fit for all of us.”

Kruse welcomed the chance to host the 2012 conference tournaments.

“Hosting the GSC Tournament will bring in new schools from out of the state to play our great golf course and we think the golfers will enjoy the competition that the course layout will present,” Kruse said. “Holes sixteen, seventeen and eighteen are the most challenging holes on the course so it should make for some exciting finishes down the stretch.”

The tournament runs from April 22-24, starting with the a practice round Sunday, April 22 followed by the two-day tournaments Monday, April 23 and Tuesday, April 24.

Timberline Golf Club is no stranger to collegiate events, hosting 15 tournaments in its 10-year history.