Pros Teed Off on Black Creek Golf Course During Nationwide Tour Stop

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Chattanooga-(WDEF-TV) At the height of Tiger Woods power game at the Masters, David Letterman joked that Augusta was going to make Tiger tee off in Michigan to make it fair. Now we’ve got the bulked up Bryson DeChambeau mashing 400-yard drives.
The ‘grip it and rip it’ game is now a staple of the Tour, and we got to see it in Chattanooga when Black Creek hosted the Nationwide Tour for eight years.

No sooner did Black Creek open in September of 2,000, and golf’s power game was about to explode.
Said Stein:”The month after we opened the PRO V1 was introduced.”
Club president Doug Stein says the PRO V-1 golf ball helped turn a lot of Tour players into bombers at Black Creek.
Said Stein:”That unleashed a huge jump in the average driving distance. When we designed the golf course, there were ten players maybe that could fly the ball 285-yards, and by 2003, when they came here, they all could practically. When we built 12, it’s uphill 462, that was just unheard of. A hole that long. And soon they were hitting driver-wedge. So I think ten is 339. So at that time rolling it on the front was a really good drive when we built the golf course. Within three years they were hitting three woods at it. Some of them. Driving it on there and flying it on there. There was a guy named Victor Schwamkrug who came here, who drove the 15th green from the practice tee, which was unheard of.”
The par five’s at Black Creek didn’t stand a chance during the Nationwide stop.
Said Stein:”Well sure, we knew that the par five’s were all in jeopardy. So yes they actually scored lower. They had a lower per stroke average on the 14th hole, which is a par five, than they did on 12 or 13, which are par fours. So they ate 14 up.”
Good thing Bryson DeChambeau is not blasting Black Creek with 400-yard drives, although Stein won’t be surprised if the field starts catching up to his length.
Said Stein:”They’ll all try to do it. They don’t want anybody to have an advantage. When John Daly came out and started averaging 300 yards a drive, he was hitting it 15 yards further than anybody else. Then Tiger Woods came on the scene, and he could it that far.”

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Rick Nyman grew up in Anniston, Alabama and attended the University of Alabama. His television career started at WJSU-TV in Anniston where he had the opportunity to cover SEC football with Alabama and Auburn. Anniston is just 20 minutes from the Talladega Speedway, so NASCAR was a big part of his sports coverage. Due to this he was able to interview Davey Allison, Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, and several other top-name NASCAR drivers. Rick's next television job was in Savannah, Georgia, where he covered basketball player Kwame Brown (now with the Washington Wizards), who later became the first ever high school player selected as the top pick in the NBA draft. He covered the PGA Tour's annual swing thru Hilton Head and also had the opportunity of covering the Atlanta Falcons Super Bowl appearance in 1999 in Miami. Rick especially enjoys all the atmosphere, tradition and drama of college football. He also likes profiling sports personalities and learning what drives them both on and off the field. If he's not covering sports, he's either watching Seinfield or David Letterman, playing golf, reading, or working out. What he enjoys about Chattanooga is the passion people have for sports. The mountainous region of Chattanooga reminds him of his hometown of Anniston, which also has big, beautiful trees and plenty of hills. You can contact Rick at rnyman@wdef.com.