Community celebrates Meijer LPGA Classic first time tour in West Michigan

Posted at 11:46 PM, Aug 10, 2014
and last updated 2014-08-10 23:46:43-04

BELMONT, Mich. -- As the Meijer LPGA Classic comes to an end, the community is celebrating the tour, which came to West Michigan for the first time in more than a decade.

Some of the biggest names in women's golf stepped foot onto Blythefield Country Club on Monday bringing in spectators by the thousands.

"It's really chill and fun and I just like to hang out and be really close to the players, too," Alexis Thome said.

While many people enjoyed watching some of the very best in ladies golf others used the opportunity to take notes.

"It's super fun. I get to see how it helps me learn stuff...helps me putt and stuff," Nicole Hokewater, a high school golfer said.

The LPGA has signed a two year contract. But, organizers are hopeful this is just the start of great things to come.

"It couldn't have been a better opportunity for Michigan and I think Michigan is definitely going to embrace this and hopefully it will continue for another year or two and hopefully it'll bring them back," Julie Roberts, a volunteer said. "The players themselves have been very friendly and especially with the kids."

This week's event had something to offer everyone of all ages.  The Kid's Center opened on Thursday. There was also a celebrity chef cook-off.

Even those who don't hit the links on a regular basis found another way to enjoy golf.

"We like to watch their outfits, "Patti Barrientes said. "That's where we're headed, to the clubhouse to see what we can buy."

When it comes to weather the tour couldn't have come at a better time.

"Oh, the weather's beautiful. It actually gets us out and we can't beat it," Barrientes said. "The whole week has actually been wonderful and I think it's been a great thing for Grand Rapids."