Since its inception four years ago, the annual Celebrity Pancreatic Cancer Golf Tournament has experienced just what its founders had hoped for – consistent growth in size and stature each year.
But it’s not just the event that’s getting bigger.
With its recent increase in membership, activity and membership fees, Duncan Golf and Tennis Club Golf Pro Mike Hansen said the event has played a role in helping the club get noticed more around the state.
“Getting these celebrities in has helped us get attention all over, it’s huge for the course,” said. “These Heisman guys, they go home and tell their buddies about this great course back in Duncan, and that obviously helps our reputation.”
The word of mouth about Duncan Golf and Tennis and the tournament it holds every year may be starting to extend past state lines. This year one player came all the way from Memphis after receiving the chance to play with Billy Sims at the tournament as a Christmas present.
“We now have people in different time zones talking about the club and the course,” Hansen said. “In the future, I’d love this to be so big that we need to have a morning and afternoon shotgun start.”
Playing in the tournament has also led a handful of celebrities to compete on a regular basis. Former Oklahoma Sooner tight end and NFL player Trent Smith visits the course about once a week to play and take lessons from Hansen.
As with any large tournament, the club’s preparation is key.
“A lot of the things you see out here today took year round efforts from Jim Edwards and everyone here,” Hansen said. “We have people up before sunrise mowing the grass and we’re here bright and early making sure everything is printed out, the carts are available and the clubhouse is ready.”