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Why We Support the Wyndham

by Bill Smith, CFP®

Next month marks the twelfth consecutive season Trust Company has supported the Wyndham Championship held at the storied Donald Ross-designed Sedgefield Country Club.  Our sponsorship has expanded over this time, during which we’ve hosted over a hundred participants in the pro-am and more than a thousand clients and friends of the firm at our suite during the annual golf event.  The tournament has steadily gained popularity among fans, players and sponsors alike — many believe this year’s event could attract the best field in its history.  Trust Company is proud to have played a small part in this success story, and we wanted to share why we’re so committed to the Wyndham Championship.

Preserving a Legacy

At Trust Company, our business is about helping preserve legacies.  Our clients seek not only to pass their wealth to the next generation, but are often more concerned about transferring their family values or traditions – fundamental beliefs or behaviors that have made them successful and happy such as a strong entrepreneurial work ethic or a commitment to philanthropy.  From our perspective, the legacy of the Wyndham Championship, North Carolina’s oldest golf event, symbolized an important part of our local heritage and we were inspired to join the journey to restore its former glory.

Founded in 1938, the “Greater Greensboro Open” was the sixth oldest tournament on the PGA TOUR, boasting champions named Snead, Hogan, Nelson, Player and Ballesteros.  Generations of sports fans from our region and across the state witnessed legends of the game compete for the Sam Snead trophy.  By 2006, with an uncertain future ahead, the “Chrysler Classic of Greensboro” needed a change.  Greensboro business leader Bobby Long assembled a first-class team of professionals led by Mark Brazil, expanded the tournament’s board with members from across the Piedmont Triad, and scored a five-star title sponsor in Wyndham Worldwide.  In 2008, the “Wyndham Championship” relocated to its original home, Sedgefield Country Club, and has regained its proud status on the PGA TOUR thanks to this team working together with a common vision.

Building Relationships

At Trust Company, our business is about building relationships.  During the past twelve events, the Wyndham has afforded Trust Company an ideal setting to create special memories with our clients and their families.  Our suite overlooking the 17th green serves as the perfect relaxed (air-conditioned) venue to witness firsthand why the PGA TOUR says, “These guys are good!”  Clustered just outside our box, many of our clients’ young children or grandchildren have received a ball from players heading to the next tee, no doubt creating a fan for life.

Have you ever hit a tee ball inside the ropes on the first hole of a PGA TOUR event?  It’s an incredibly stressful moment, one you’ll likely remember forever, and each year our pro-am guests worry about how they’ll perform.  Englishman Paul Casey, currently the 15th ranked player in the world, shared an insightful perspective during a cocktail party a few years ago for our guests.  He offered, “If I came to your workplace and tried to do your job, made a few mistakes, or even worse, would you think less of me?  Just like many of you, I’ve worked at my craft for 20+ years.  You shouldn’t expect to perform like a golf professional.”

Similarly, Brandt Snedeker, the current defending Wyndham Champion, noted to a particularly anxious guest, “You won’t hit a shot tomorrow that will impress your professional, and more importantly, you won’t hit a shot so poorly that he’s never seen one worse!  Just enjoy yourself, enjoy the experience.”

Our sponsorship over the past twelve years has created countless memories to build even stronger relationships with our clients, employees, friends and professional colleagues.

 Promoting Our Region

Nearly thirty years ago, our firm was founded in Burlington and today is headquartered in Greensboro.  We care deeply about the competitive future of the Piedmont Triad.  Tournament director Mark Brazil estimates each year the Wyndham Championship provides a local charitable impact in excess of $1 million.  Furthermore, this tournament represents a significant annual opportunity for millions of individuals as well as potential employers from around the country to learn more about the Piedmont Triad, and our broader region newly branded as the Carolina Core (nccarolinacore.com).  Stan Kelly, CEO of the Piedmont Triad Partnership, shared, “The Wyndham is an unprecedented platform to market and shine a spotlight on our region. The amount of marketing and publicity is really unprecedented and priceless.”  With the tremendous economic development potential associated with the tournament, Trust Company believes supporting the Wyndham will ultimately preserve and enhance the quality of life in our region for generations to come.

We hope you’ll join us at the Wyndham Championship August 1st – 4th and enjoy the 80th celebration of this rich tradition!