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Commerce Bank (PGA) Championship Returns to Red Course June 25 - July 1

The Commerce Bank Championship, the only Champions Tour stop in the New York area, returns to Eisenhower Park’s Red Course from June 25 - July 1, with actual tournament play taking place June 29 - July 1. This year's tournament will include the most accomplished class of rookies in Champions Tour history, with Nick Price and Mark O'Meara both expected to play in the tournament.

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Price who won three majors, including the 1992 and 1994 PGA Championships and the 1994 British Open, spent 43 weeks atop the world rankinga in 1993-94, making him the most successful golfer during that period. He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2003. O'Meara won 16 PGA titles, including the 1998 Masters and British Open.

As in past years, the spectator-friendly Commerce Bank Championship incorporates activities for families and youngsters in the air-conditioned "Family Fun Pavilion," including a virtual long drive and "closest-to-the-pin" contest, a putting challenge, face-painters and a magician.

Ticket options include the "Champions Club" ($65), which provides one-day access from June 29 - July 1 to the grounds and the Champions Club overlooking the 18th green; or regular tickets ($20 in advance, $25 at the gate) providing admittance from June 25 - 28 and for one day during the competition rounds from June 29 - July 1. A Season Badge providing access to all seven days of the tournament is $50 in advance and $75 at the gate. All fans under 16 accompanied by a paying adult are admitted free.

To purchase tournament tickets, or for more information about the Commerce Bank Championship, visit www.commercebankchampionship.com or call the tournament office at 516-803-GOLF. Tickets are also available at Commerce Bank sites on Long Island.

All proceeds from the Commerce Bank Championship go to the tournament’s primary beneficiaries: Schneider Children’s Hospital and the Boomer Esiason Foundation, as well as other Long Island charities.

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Spectators watch the action on the 18th hole at the 2006 Commerce Bank Championship.

Recently, Newsday ranked the Red golf course No. 4 among its top 10 public golf courses on Long Island. One of three 18-hole golf courses at Eisenhower Park, the Red has has a storied history. Originally, it was part of the exclusive Salisbury Golf Club, begun by wealthy Long Islanders such as A.T. Stewart, a 19th-century retailer and property magnate who founded the Village of Garden City. The Red was designed in 1914 by a prominent local golf course architect, Devereux Emmet, who was married to one of Stewart’s nieces. Emmet was also a descendant of Thomas Addison Emmet, a founder of New York City’s Tammany Hall political machine.

Most of Emmet’s courses were designed during the era of hickory-shafted clubs and were short by current standards, at around 6,000 yards. (The U.S. Golf Association did not accept the use of steel shafts until 1924.) Today, the course measures 7,030 yards from the championship tees, 6,784 yards from the middle tees, and 5,588 yards from the forward tees. Working with PGA Tour architects, the Parks Department’s experienced golf crew is continually enhancing the quality of this championship course.

The Red Course’s history with championship golf goes back to 1926, when the course hosted the PGA Championship. In that contest, legendary golfer Walter Hagan won the third of four consecutive PGA titles, capturing an $11,100 purse in the process.