The PGA Tour has hired Butch Buchholz to promote and run the WGC Cadillac Championship at Doral.
Butch Buchholz is extremely well-known locally in the realm of tennis. He’s the guy who formulated, developed and sustained the Sony Open tennis tournament, starting back in the days when it was known as The Lipton.
He turned that event into what many people call “the fifth major” of professional tennis. Now, at age 72, he’s going to try something new and in another sport.
Buchholz, a renowned tennis player all his life, has been hired by the PGA Tour to help work the same magic that he did in tennis on a different event. He will be working on turning the WGC Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral into the same type of high-profile event that he built for tennis in Key Biscayne.
“Golf and tennis are two sports that I love,” he said, “so this is perfect for me.”
If you have any doubts about Buchholz’s expertise in either of the sports, all you need to know is that, as a youngster in tennis, he won all four of the junior Grand Slam events — Australian, French, Wimbledon and U.S. Open. And his golf credentials? Well, he plays tennis up to four times a month with golf’s biggest legend, Jack Nicklaus.
He knows, and also appreciates, that the two sports are intertwined.
“Lots of tennis players play golf,” he said, “and lots of golfers play tennis.”
That helps him sustain his interest in both spots.
And, that’s the gist of his new job in the golf world.
“I’m looking so much to doing this,” he said of working on the Doral tournament. “We want to get people excited about this like we were able to do at the Key Biscayne tennis tournament.
“We want to bring the entertainment experience that we have at the Sony tournament and bring that to the golf tournament. That’s really what my goal is. And I want to communicate to the community that we’re doing that.”
Buchholz has been retired from the Sony tennis tournament for three years. Apparently, the PGA Tour — without him knowing — had its eyes on him as a creator and builder of events, particularly in South Florida. To get the tennis center and stadium built in Key Biscayne, he fought a long, hard battle. The tournament had to be held in Delray Beach and Boca Raton in its first years before finding its permanent home in Key Biscayne.
Even then, many of the citizens of Key Biscayne were against the facility being built, and in addition many government officials objected to the undertaking.
Buchholz ignored them all and just kept moving ahead, step by step, until the tournament became a showpiece for professional tennis, and now the yearly event is embraced by the South Florida and Key Biscayne community.
Buchholz wants to create the same aura around the Doral golf tournament, which is now overseen by Trump Enterprises. He will work hand in hand with tournament director Eddie Carbone.
“Eddie and I will be attached at the hip,” Buchholz said.
“The Doral golf facility is going to become a special, special place,” added Buchholz, who had his golf game down to a 3 handicap at one point. “Trump literally wants to make it the premier golf resort in the world — not just in the U.S. Now I get to be a part of that. They called me out of the blue to help out, and that’s just great. I’m looking forward to it.”
As for his tennis matches with Nicklaus, with bragging rights being the main prize, he said they will continue and that he doesn’t have to hold back at all when playing golf’s biggest legend.
“Jack is really good, and it’s usually doubles,” Buchholz said, “and Jack has Cliff Drysdale [a U.S. Open doubles champion] as his partner. Shoot, getting Cliff on his team, that’s the smartest thing Jack has ever done.”