Under Construction: Preparation Underway For 2014 Hotel Fitness Championship (VIDEO)

By Stephanie Parkinson - 21Alive

November 13, 2013 Updated Nov 13, 2013 at 6:20 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21Alive) - Snow may be settling in parts of northeast Indiana this week, but golf is still on the minds of those who plan Fort Wayne's Hotel Fitness Championship.

This offseason Sycamore Hills Golf Course is getting an overhaul. 13 of the 18 holes are being redone.

"It's already a terrific golf course, they're just improving it piece by piece. They renovated all the bunkers and there's a significant change to the 18th hole that went from not a very difficult one to now a very challenging one," said Duke Butler IV, Tournament Director, Hotel Fitness Championship.

Although changes are being made to the course, that hosts the PGA Tour event, Butler says the first year really set the stage.

"We had a very successful inaugural year. Basically, I think Fort Wayne kind of now knows what this event is all about," said Butler.

The course construction is something that's been in the works at Sycamore Hills for quite some time.

What it means for the Hotel Fitness Championship is that it will be more challenging for the players. For the spectators, it's also going to make it more picturesque.

The 18th is seeing the most change. The lake will be four times as large. The fairway, half as wide.

"I think it's going to be one of those holes everybody remembers when they play Sycamore Hills moving forward," said Butler. "All the hospitality skyboxes we build on 18, they're now going to wrap around the entire green and about half of them are going to be waterfront."

A lot of changes are happening on the course, and off the course there's also hard work being done to fund this PGA Tour event.

"Every company that we've approached that supported us in 2013 has renewed so far so that's a great positive," said Butler.

Of course, Butler is looking for more sponsors to make the event larger and an even bigger success.

Next year's event is already on the books for Labor Day weekend 2014. Last year 30,000 people came out. Next year, Butler hopes to see between 40,000 and 50,000 people.




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