Garden City a growing hub for professional golf

An amateur tournament golfer considers his next putt

GARDEN CITY, Kan. (KSNW) — Garden City is hosting the Kansas Amateur Championship this week. It’s one of dozens of professional and amateur tournaments being held this year in Garden.

The tournaments include back-to-back Symetra Tour contests. It’s the first time in golf history that a city has hosted two consecutive legs of a tournament.

“We expanded on to the AJGA and then from that to the Symetra Tour so it’s kind of a ladder,” said Roxanne Morgan, Executive Director of the Finney County Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Eventually, I’d like to see us have an LPGA here.”

Garden City is becoming a golfing destination for western Kansas, but this has been decades in the making. Garden has invested a lot into golf over the years.

“We have a great golfing community in Garden City and in western Kansas,” said Cole Wasinger of the Buffalo Dunes Golf Course. “We have great support from the city of Garden City, the county, Finney County. We have two beautiful and great, challenging golf courses that people love to Garden City to play.”

Those golf courses–Southwind and the city-owned Buffalo Dunes–are ranked as two of the top golf courses in the state. Wasinger says Garden City’s courses are well designed, making them fun and tempting challenges to golfers from across the country.

“A lot of people coming to western Kansas,” said Wasinger, “they just assume that everything is completely flat-out here. Well our golf courses are in the sand hills of Kansas, and they move and flow with the sand hills, and there are some ups and downs.”

Garden City golfers hope hosting successful tournaments, like the Symetra Tour in September, will eventually attract the attention of the PGS and the USGA, potentially bringing even more business in to town.

Every tournaments brings more than $200,000 into Garden City, and the two Symetra tournaments in are expected to each bring $1 million into the local economy.

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