Preparation Continues at Alumni Challenge

March 3, 2011

IOWA CITY, Iowa – The University of Iowa men’s golf team will return to the links March 5 for the Black and Gold Alumni Challenge. This annual exhibition event gives Iowa alumni the opportunity to compete alongside the current Hawkeye squad on some of the nicest courses in Texas. This year’s event will be held at the TPC at Las Colinas in Irving, Texas, host to the PGA Tour’s HP Byron Nelson Championship.

“The Black and Gold is an excellent opportunity for our guys to tune up their games and have some fun with some of our former alums and supporters,” said Head Coach Mark Hankins. “We will be competitive during play in Dallas but also appreciate the value of our practice time as we continue preparing for our future spring tournaments.”

TPC Las Colinas is rated one of the best TPC courses nationwide. The par-70 course measures 7,002 yards from the championship tees and was designed by golf course architect Jay Morrish with player consultants Byron Nelson and Ben Crenshaw. Its most recent update came from PGA Tour veteran D.A. Weibring in 2009. The TPC incorporates rolling, narrow fairways, fast greens, numerous bunkers, and an exciting stretch of finishing holes. Created for professional tournament play, the course provides an engaging challenge for all skill levels.

“Las Colinas is one of the best courses in the country. It provides excellent practice facilities and will challenge our guys to play solid golf for the entire round,” added Hankins.

In its fourth year, the Black and Gold Alumni Challenge will pit current Hawkeyes against an alumni team. Competition will consist of 18 holes, with the top four scores counting for the current Hawkeyes. Despite the competitive format and atmosphere, the Alumni Challenge is an exhibition event. It was started by Hankins to connect previous student-athletes and alums with today’s Hawkeyes.

“As a former Hawkeye golfer, I am always excited to see the team and provide any support that we can to make sure they are ready for their spring season,” said 2002 letterman Kevin Johnson. “It’s a great event and it is fun to the see the guys compete.” Johnson is currently the director of the Texas Junior Golf Academy.

The Hawkeyes will continue their competitive schedule at the Callaway Collegiate Match Play March 20-22. This year’s match play will be staged at Hawks Ridge Golf Club in Ball Ground, Ga.