The Big Mac Blog

Officially, the name Colonial is gone but unofficially it will never leave

The Ben Hogan statue is framed by "Dean & Deluca Invitational" signage, the new sponsor for the PGA Tour stop at the Colonial in Fort Worth, Monday, May 23, 2016.
The Ben Hogan statue is framed by "Dean & Deluca Invitational" signage, the new sponsor for the PGA Tour stop at the Colonial in Fort Worth, Monday, May 23, 2016. Special to the Star-Telegram

During Roy “Tin Cup” McAvoy’s realization that he could actually play in a PGA event, he said the following: “Unlike Doral or Colonial or the A.T.T., they can't keep you out.”

Notice Kevin Costner did not say the “Dean & DeLuca Invitational.”

The famous golf movie was released in 1996 and it will forever remain timeless, just like the name Colonial itself.

The decision to drop “Colonial” from the “Colonial PGA Championship” was a sad but easy decision; they needed the money.

“We had no other choice,” a Colonial executive told me about the decision that has been roasted by club members and Fort Worthians who want to see their premier golf tournament retain the name its had since its inception.

Personally, I was hoping for the “Tim Love Eat, Drink & Live Well Golf Tournament” at Colonial but the board members felt otherwise.

The first-ever “Dean and DeLuca Invitational” begins this week at Colonial Country Club, which is the end of this tournament’s name as The Colonial.

Colonial has had previous sponsors – Bank of America, Crowne Plaza, etc. – but the name “Colonial” had always been a part of the titles until this decision.

The PGA tour stop in Fort Worth will forever be Colonial but officially the name is permanently gone after Dean and DeLuca signed a six-year contract as the title sponsor. Even after that contract expires no new company will agree to a naming-rights deal where it’s not the sole name of the tournament.

Whether it’s the NBA permitting sponsorship on jerseys, boxers wearing temporary tattoos on their backs during a fight or Colonial selling out, surrendering naming rights is simply the price of doing business in pro sports. This was inevitable.

I hate it, too but this fight is akin to spitting into the ocean. The water is going to win.

The PGA Tour has been having trouble landing title sponsors for all of its events and it told the clubs that hold these pricey tournaments to have a rainy day fund in case no company comes in to underwrite the majority of the growing expenses.

After a potential deal with Toyota fell through, mostly because of timing, Colonial was quickly approaching the time when it was going to have to dip into that rainy day fund to run its tournament. If it had not found a sponsor after this year the tournament was dead. Dead as in gone.

The Colonial tournament board decided that it would gladly, and openly, dump the name “Colonial” as well as the iconic Ben Hogan silhouette to lure a sponsor.

The exclusive food brand Dean and DeLuca, which does not have any stores in Texas, wanted an affiliation with a PGA event. When the PGA told the company owner, who is a golf fan from Taiwan and lives in Thailand, that Colonial was available he grabbed it.

The only stipulation was that he wanted to keep the Hogan silhouette but the name Colonial was gone.

The board members who approved the decision braced for, and received, angry backlash from traditionalists and purists who hate the move. The board didn’t want to change it but cash forced their hands.

Like any tournament, or stadium, that has had one name Colonial will always be Colonial. Now, however, it just won’t be on the signage.