Diamondhead, Miss. (WLOX) - Ten NCCA Division 1 golf teams from around the country are in South Mississippi for the Gulf Coast Collegiate Tournament.
Top college golfers are competing on the Pine Course at Diamondhead Country Club. Ten teams are here for a tournament event that gives Diamondhead, boosting the coast’s golf industry and tourism.
“Just the exposure overall for the Gulf Coast and Diamondhead— to have 10 teams from all around the country, a couple of teams from Texas, in the San Antonia area— the players on those teams are from all over as well. We’re hoping that they go back and tell their friends and family what the coast is all about and we get more people here because of that,” said Diamond Director of Golf Chris Altese.
The Gulf Coast Collegiate at Diamondhead was played at the Bridges Golf Course in Bay St. Louis prior to Katrina. It has returned to the coast for the first time since the storm and draws teams from around the nation.
“We have all Division 1 teams competing. We have teams from as far away, they flew in from North Dakota. We have teams from Alabama, Tennessee, Louisiana, Kentucky, so we have a good mix of teams,” said Nicholls State Golf Coach, James Schilling.
The tournament is hosted by Nichols State University and the University of New Orleans. It brings people and dollars to the coast.
“All the funds that come in stay in the local economy. We stay in local hotels, we’re eating here on site. These aren’t just the teams coming in. You have parents, grandparents and spectators coming in,” Schilling said.
“Just to have this — get the big-time college teams in here, maybe bigger events coming down the road— it’s good exposure for us,” Altese said.
The tournament concludes Tuesday. The public is invited out to watch the action at the Pine Course free of charge