ENDICOTT, N.Y. -- The colorful pants of John Daly won’t be the only things capturing the eyes of golf fans in Endicott next month.
The home of the Dick's Sporting Goods Open is undergoing to major changes, just in time for the tournament. Fans can expect a brand-new spectator area on the 18th hole along with several course repairs.
Upgrades also include more irrigation, paving, and pond lining.
"That was over 35 years old, and it began to crumble and deteriorate just due to the weather, but at the end of the day it became a security hazard," said Dick's Sporting Goods Open Tournament Director John Karedes.
The Dick's Sporting Goods Open is one of the largest professional sporting events in the Southern Tier. It brings in more than 100,000 people and generates upwards of $16 million.
"Whether it is a half a million dollars, or whether it be a million dollars a year, to offset some of the cost of having something like this makes sense, because of the return we're getting here in the Southern Tier," said Senator Fred Akshar.
The upgrades aren't just for the pros. Staff at En-Joie wanted to make sure the course continued to draw in people from across the region.
"They're getting an opportunity to play where the pros play at a very, very, very, reasonable cost, and the fact that Anthony Chapman, the superintendent and his staff keep it near tournament conditions year round is an added benefit," stated Karedes.
Last year, the course was under water just days before golfers arrived. Tournament directors are crossing their fingers for better weather this year.
"At the end of the day, mother nature is undefeated,” said Karedes. “All we can do is do our best to react to whatever is thrown at us, but hopefully after last year, she owes us one."
The Dick's Sporting Goods Open tees off on August 12.