Kraft Nabisco Championship Adds a New Player
While some of you may already be dreaming of Thanksgiving turkey and all the trimmings—or letting visions of sugarplum fairies dance in your head—I have leap-frogged over the seasonal holidays, if for just a moment, and can’t stop thinking of pristine greens and fairways, little white dimpled balls, holes-in-one, and lady golfers. That because the biggest, latest news in the golf world concerns Rancho Mirage, The Westin Mission Hills Country Club, and our very own Kraft Nabisco Championship.
It was very recently announced that Kraft Foods, sponsor of the KNC, has entrusted the management and operation of this grand desert event—whose ripples are felt throughout the world—to leading global sports, entertainment, and media giant IMG.
The KNC—golf’s first major, which in 2013 commemorates its 42nd year of operation, and its 31st year as a major championship on the LPGA Tour—will be played from April 1 – 7 at the Mission Hills Country Club in our very own backyard here in Rancho Mirage, as it is each year.
I hear that David Blake-Thomas, executive director and chairman of the KNC, is very excited about this new partnership between Kraft and IMG—due mainly to the latter’s long history of success in golf, and its particular passion for women’s golf. Blake-Thomas feels IMG’s pedigree makes it the ideal entity to manage such a stellar tournament as the KNC. By adding this latest, most illustrious feather to its gap, IMG now manages two of the four annual majors in women’s golf. In addition, IMG also does the honors for the Ricoh Women’s British Open in conjunction with the Ladies’ Gold Union, which founded the event in 1976.
In looking forward to its new assignment, IMG feels nothing but honored to have been given the opportunity, and plans to work closely with Kraft to keep in place all the elements that have helped make the KNC a first-class event.
All this to say that I think it’s safe to say we’re still in great hands. I’m not sure how Kraft Foods and beloved tournament director Gabe Codding could have ever made the KNC better, but I trust that with IMG along for the ride, they’ll find many a way.