The impressive performances by the top three finishers in the 70th annual Tennessee State Open at The Grove Club were rewarding in more ways than trophies and paychecks. The names atop the scoreboard were a direct reflection of The Grove Club’s Rewards Program, which the club’s ownership created with members to support promising golfers as they chase their dream of playing the pro tour.
Tournament champion Joey Savoie, runner-up Eric Ansett, and Chas Narramore (tied for third) are all products of the Rewards Program, which enjoys an exclusive partnership with the Tennessee Golf Foundation. The brainchild of The Grove’s Managing Partner Mark Enderle, the Rewards Program offers the club’s Greg Norman Signature course and tour-quality practice facilities to young golfers with limited or no financial resources. There are currently 10 players with Rewards Club memberships, which is by invitation only.
“The Rewards Program is a way to extend golf’s positive influence on young people who have demonstrated a high respect for the game,” Enderle says. “The dream of playing professional golf is often beyond reach of many promising golfers just graduating from college. They all don’t have endorsement deals waiting for them. Many have no financial support at all.”
Savoie, an academic all-American who completed his senior season at Middle Tennessee State in 2017, posted rounds of 70-65-68 for a 203 total to cruise to a six-stroke victory at 13-under-par, which equaled the record for the 54-hole stroke-play championship.
“It feels good to win this one on the home golf course,” said Savoie, 23, from Quebec, Canada, who is expected to turn professional later this year. “I just love this place.”
Ansett, a two-time Atlantic Sun Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Year who recently graduated from Lipscomb University in Nashville, shot 74-64-71 for 209, 7-under par.
Narramore, a 2010 Middle Tennessee State grad from Kingston, Tenn., who played the Web.com Tour in 2016, finished at 5-under to share “low-professional” honors, earning $7,500. Narramore has also played on the PGA Tour Latinoamerica.
Invitation to the Rewards Program is based on research, relationships with college coaches, player talent, and academic performance. It’s not a lifetime grant but offers support to players as they work toward their professional status. New players are invited annually.
“There’s a draft for other sports, but not in golf,” says Jason Millard, a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University and Rewards Club participant since 2013. “Some guys are immediately sponsored, but for those who aren’t, you just have to pay to play.”
Millard credits The Grove’s Rewards Program for getting him to the Web.com Tour in 2014. “I’m very fortunate this program has been available to me. The Grove community has been terrific.”
About The Grove
Located minutes from historic Franklin, Tennessee in College Grove, The Grove is a 1,100-acre, private, gated community offering a distinctive club lifestyle, complete with Williamson County’s only Greg Norman Signature Golf Course and the most comprehensive amenity and recreation package of any community in the region. The Grove features luxury, artisan-built, estate homes that have been created from a rich, thoughtful palette of classic architectural styles. Homes range from the mid $800,000s to more than $2 million; homesites start at $165,000. Visit groveliving.com for more information.