John Tyson’s Blessings Golf Club to host nationally televised tournament in October

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 2,688 views 

The Marlon Blackwell-designed clubhouse at Blessings Golf Club in Johnson.

For the second straight year, John Tyson’s golf course just outside Fayetteville will host a major collegiate golf tournament televised live by Golf Channel.

Global sports marketing agency Octagon announced Tuesday (Sept. 1) the inaugural Blessings Collegiate Invitational presented by Tyson Foods. Octagon owns and manages the annual LPGA Tour event at Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers, the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship.

The Blessings Collegiate Invitational will be a 54-hole stroke play tournament. It is scheduled Oct. 5-7 at Blessings Golf Cub and is expected to include every men’s and women’s golf team from the Southeastern Conference (SEC). A portion of the tournament will be broadcast live on Golf Channel each day.

Spectators will not be permitted because of COVID-19 guidelines.

Tyson, chairman of Springdale-based meat giant Tyson Foods Inc., owns Blessings, which opened 16 years ago. Last year, the golf course partnered with the University of Arkansas to host the NCAA Division I Men’s & Women’s Golf Championships. The Tyson family personally agreed to underwrite the cost of attendance to make the event free for spectators.

“We are committed to the support of college athletics, one of the many ways we contribute to our communities and celebrate Northwest Arkansas as a great place to live and work,” Tyson said in a statement. “The inauguration of the Blessings Collegiate Invitational allows us to showcase the vibrant and growing Northwest Arkansas community while allowing student golf athletes to compete at a world class venue.”

The tournament will have awards for men’s and women’s team and individual competitions, as well as awards for the school with the best overall combined men’s and women’s individual and team scores.

“With the cancellation of our 2020 spring season, our student-athletes are thrilled to have the opportunity to compete once again,” UA women’s golf Shauna Taylor said.

“We encourage Razorback fans and community supporters to tune-in to Golf Channel in October for this exciting collegiate event,” UA men’s golf coach Brad McMakin said.

Event officials are working closely with the University of Arkansas and will follow health department guidelines to protect the well-being of participants and staff. Organizers plan to implement protective health and sanitation procedures onsite, in efforts to safeguard participants and volunteers throughout the tournament.