The Crowne Plaza Invitational is under way at Fort Worth's Colonial Country Club. The course and tournament are tucked into the Colonial Hills Neighborhood. (Published Friday, May 23, 2014)
A big change this weekend for golf fans arriving via shuttle bus at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial in Fort Worth.
This is something golfers have been looking forward to all year, the chance to play for a $6.4 million purse at the 68th annual event at the Colonial Country Club.
"It's just a great tournament to come to, it's the old school," said Walter Maynard of Sumervil County.
This old school event, serves as the longest-running PGA event to take place on the same golf course, but has made some changes and tweaks.
Fans walking in or taking shuttle busses from remote parking lots will find themselves arriving at a new main entrance. The entrance is positioned closer to University Drive and has fans entering the course in the middle of the hole four fairway.
"We sit down, we look at our event and we say how can we blow it up, how can we make it better," said Michael Tothe, the tournament director.
Tothe said they were starting to outgrow their space, but by taking over the nearby city park they hope to gain even more fans with new experiences.
"There's always, 'Well, what can I do at a golf tournament? I'm not a golf fan'," Tothe said. "Now there's activities, young and old, men and women, children of all ages to come and enjoy and I think that was really the driving factor behind Frost Park."
Frost Park is free to the public, including nightly concerts after the action on the links wraps up. But for most of the crowd at Colonial on Wednesday's pro-am tournament day, it was about the golf.
"It's always enjoyable for me to come out and watch them play," said Ernie Jackson, of Fort Worth.
"All the pros, I enjoy watching their swings and I try to mimic it myself sometime," Jackson said.
The Colonial wraps up Sunday.