Occurrences at Storied Club Included PGA Champions Major, Senior British Open Qualifier, Ambassador of Golf Award Ceremony
AKRON, Ohio – Firestone Country Club, renowned as one of North America’s most historic venues for championship golf, celebrates a remarkable week as host of the Bridgestone Senior Players Championship, and other events associated with the major tournament and the PGA Tour Champions.
The revered club, which has hosted numerous PGA Championships and World Golf Championships on the PGA Tour, was the site of Bridgestone Senior Players Championship on the PGA Tour Champions on June 21-27. Steve Stricker, who will captain the U.S. team at this year’s Ryder Cup, won the senior major on the difficult South Course for his second victory of the year and third major title. Stricker finished at 7-under 273 for the tournament, while runner-up Jerry Kelly was -1 for the tournament and the only other player to finish under-par for the week.
On June 21, the Fazio Course at Firestone played host to a Monday Qualifying event for The Senior Open. More than 90 players competed in the overseas qualifier, which was the first time in the Championship’s history that the event occurred on a U.S. course.
Firestone also hosted the 2021 Ambassador of Golf award ceremony on June 24, with Former President George W. Bush accepting the honor. Presented by the FirstEnergy Foundation, the Ambassador of Golf Award honors a person who has fostered the ideals of the game on an international level and whose concern for others extends beyond the golf course. Before the ceremony, CBS Sports commentator Jim Nantz, former U.S. Open champion Hale Irwin and professional golfer and current Golf Channel / NBC Sports commentator Peter Jacobsen conducted a roundtable discussion on the South Course and praised Firestone for its history and challenge.
Throughout the week, many competitors echoed those praises from Nantz, Irwin and Jacobsen about Firestone:
- “The emotions it brings up, the adrenaline you get just stepping on the property, it kind of puts us in heaven.” – Jerry Kelly
- “The community of Akron is what sets Firestone apart. It’s not the largest city we travel to on the PGA Champions, but you can always tell how important professional golf is to this area and how much passion they have for the game.” – Jim Furyk
- “Being back at a very special and demanding golf course, it’s always in good condition and everyone is so friendly. I was reminded of some of the best golf of my life at Firestone.” – Jose Maria Olazabal
- “I was getting an award here a couple of years ago and this is amazing that we get to play here. We play in a lot of great tournaments, but we do not play golf courses like this. With all the legends winning here, it’s pretty special.” – Fred Couples
- “Every year it’s awesome. It’s one of the best conditioned courses we play on the PGA Tour and now the PGA Champions. All the familiar faces from the locker room guys and volunteers – it’s pretty cool they’re still all here and making this event special.” – Mike Weir
- “I have always enjoyed the challenge of the golf course. In my 30 years of coming here, the course has never been in better condition. It’s always good, but this year, it’s just exceptional.” – Ernie Els
- “It’s a special spot. We came here for so many years on the regular Tour and WGC events, and I even committed to the Travelers Championship on the regular Tour this week, but I could not pass up the chance to play Firestone again.” – Steve Stricker
A limited number of spectators were allowed on the grounds for the Bridgestone Senior Players Championship, and partake in other events throughout the week at the club including Summerfest at Firestone, which included local food trucks and other dining options, and concerts from such noted performers as The Sunrise Jones, The Shootouts and the Akron Symphony Orchestra. Also occurring throughout the week were several pro-am and sponsor tournaments and parties, golf clinics and a Wednesday junior golf tournament.
“This year’s Bridgestone Senior Players Championship was an amazing opportunity to once again showcase Firestone as a premier club and the South Course as a venerable major championship venue,” says General Manager Jay Walkinshaw. “Every member of our staff should be applauded for their efforts not only during that week, but for what they do on a daily basis.”
Firestone is conveniently located less than an hour from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport and 15 minutes from Akron-Canton Airport. It is also within easy driving distance of other major metropolitan areas such as Chicago, Columbus, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and Detroit. Nearby off-course attractions include the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton and the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.
For more information, www.firestonecountryclub.com.
About Firestone Country Club
Considered one of the most revered sites in professional golf – and now open to non-members through stay-and-play experiences – Firestone Country Club has welcomed legends of the game for decades. Its flagship layout, the South Course, was originally designed by Bert Way in 1929 and considerably revamped by Robert Trent Jones in 1960. The South has hosted numerous PGA Championships, World Golf Championships and is the current site of the Bridgestone SENIOR PLAYERS Championship. The club’s other two championship-level courses are the venerable North Course, a Robert Trent Jones design and past site of professional tournaments, and the Fazio Course, a links-style Tom Fazio design that hosts the Ohio Senior Open each year. The world-class facility also boasts a heated driving range and the Raymond C. Firestone Public 9, a well-manicured short course suitable for all golfers.
Guests of Firestone can stay in onsite villas, featuring 57 well-appointed rooms offering spectacular views of the golf courses, or in the 30 dormitory-style rooms inside the clubhouse. Dining options include the 1929 Grille & Legacy Pavilion and casual 55th Hole Bar.
Situated in northeast Ohio, Firestone Country Club is less than an hour’s drive from Cleveland and under four hours from major metropolitan areas such as Pittsburgh, Columbus, Detroit and Cincinnati. Nearby attractions include the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland and collegiate and professional sports venues. Firestone will also be the future site of BigShots Golf, a tech-driven entertainment and culinary experience for the entire family.