In addition to a new main entrance for attendees at this week’s Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial, there will be other significant firsts for fans headed to Fort Worth’s annual PGA Tour stop.A notable change will be the addition of tournament-related activities on Sunday — a full week before the champion is crowned after the final round on May 25. Tournament-related activities will begin with the Nike Youth Golf Day on Sunday (2-4 p.m.), with fans entering through the new course entrance at Frost Park. A free shuttle from Farrington Field, located at University Drive and Lancaster, is provided for the event. Later that night, the Ben Hogan Award will be announced in a live ceremony at Colonial Country Club. The recipient, recognized as the top player in college golf, will receive a sponsor’s exemption to compete in next year’s tournament.But the biggest wrinkle expected to resonate with Colonial fans involves selecting Tim Love, a renowned Fort Worth chef with multiple restaurant locations throughout the city, as the exclusive on-course concessionaire and private hospitality caterer at the tournament.Love’s signature concoction for tournament week will be a chicken sandwich, created for Colonial fans, and available in all public concessions areas. Other traditional tournament week offerings also will be available. Love will be responsible for operating about 20 on-course public concession stands and more than 50 on-course private hospitality venues for corporate sponsors.Love is best known as the chef/owner of the Lonesome Dove Western Bistro, Woodshed Smokehouse, Love Shack and Queenie’s Steakhouse, among his collection of restaurants in Fort Worth and surrounding areas.Love’s creations will be sold at Colonial concession stands throughout tournament week.“We were looking to add a distinctive Fort Worth and Texan flair to our food offerings, and we think Tim Love will help us accomplish that in a big way,” said Colonial tournament chairman Bobby Patton.In addition to the new course entrance at Frost Park, there will be enhanced security measures in place during tournament week. Under new PGA Tour guidelines, fans must be wanded by security personnel before entering the course.Also, a different traffic-flow pattern around the course will be in place. Some neighborhood streets near the course will be closed for this year’s event. Fans are urged to check for updated information about traffic flow and parking options at the tournament website, www.CrownePlazaInvitational.com.
Jimmy Burch, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @Jimmy_Burch