BMW Charity Pro-Am Shines in Upstate S.C.

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It traditionally includes one of the strongest fields of the season. Oh, and if you’re looking for even more motivation to check it out, it’s the only tournament on the Korn Ferry Tour in which amateurs and celebrities are paired with professionals in a three-day better ball competition over two highly-touted local courses.

Without further ado, we’re talking about the BMW Charity Pro-Am in wildly popular, golf-crazy Greenville, S.C. And with the PGA TOUR north of the border this week at the RBC Canadian Open, the “Dreamer Beamer” holds a special spot on the golf calendar.

The “Champions of Tomorrow” are poised to get their collective games on with the likes of Larry the Cable Guy, Larry Fitzgerald, Ken Griffey Jr. and Seth Curry. It’s an eye-popping mix of hall-of-fame athletes, award-winning entertainers and golf industry insiders like ESPN’s Michael Collins.

Simply put, it doesn’t get any better than this in the Upstate of S.C. The two courses, Thornblade Club and The Carolina Country Club are architectural gems. Thornblade is a Fazio design the N.C. native updated in 2019, including brand-new bunkers, reimagined fairways and pure bentgrass greens. Carolina is a Tom Jackson original that many aficionados consider one of his absolute best. Conversely, it will challenge players with recently renovated Champion ultra-dwarf Bermuda grass greens.

Next week, the players are often confronted with triple-digit temps at the Wichita Open in Kansas. But early June in the Upstate often calls for highs in the low 80s with humidity low enough to be mistaken for North Carolina. Conditions will be perfect all around, as the forecast calls for sunshine, and little to no rain, and the grass at both courses is flourishing.

The final rounds are played at Thornblade, and Saturday (only) the amateurs that make the cut will play along with their pros. At this juncture, the BMW Charity Pro-Am starts to feel a lot like the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am (okay, just a tad bit warmer), as tens of thousands of spectators make their way through the event.

Thornblade Club

Robby Shelton won in a dramatic playoff last year by maintaining his spot (which started with a five-stroke lead) on a leaderboard that included Nico Echavarria, who graduated to the PGA TOUR for 2023 with his lofty play on the Korn Ferry Tour. It’s just that kind of tournament, and at the end of the day, it’s exactly the sort of event a golf-loving city like Greenville deserves.

For those traveling to the region and making it a golf viewing / playing combo, the Upstate is a hotbed of affordable, enjoyable daily fee and semi-private golf. Two must-play options include the Furman Golf Club, the home course of the Paladins men’s and women’s teams, and Cherokee Valley Course and Club, designed by P.B. Dye and located in Travelers Rest. Cherokee Valley is also home to cottage homes right along the course and offers stay-and-play packages perfect for weekend getaways.

BMW + TD SYNNEX Extend

The BMW Charity Pro-Am is one of the longest-running tournaments on the Korn Ferry Tour schedule. Expect the streak to continue through at least 2027. The KornFerry Tour, title sponsor BMW Manufacturing and presenting sponsor TD SYNNEX announced a four-
year extension of the annual event. A one-of-a-kind Korn Ferry Tour event featuring celebrities and amateurs playing alongside professionals, the BMW Charity Pro-Am presented by TD SYNNEX is one of six Korn Ferry Tour tournaments that will be televised on Golf Channel this season. First played in 1992, this week marks the 31st playing of the BMW Charity Pro-Am presented by TD SYNNEX. The only Korn Ferry Tour events
which have been played more times than the BMW Charity Pro-Am presented by TD SYNNEX are four tournaments from the inaugural 1990 season.

Shane Sharp

Shane Sharp is a longtime golf writer based in Greenville, S.C. In addition to running his content marketing business, Southbound 4, he's a regular contributor to GOLF Magazine, Golf Inc., Club Management and other golf magazines and websites.

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