Area county club remembers former owner, prepares for Spirit Tourney in ‘21

BurningTree County Club has held the even for 50 years

Area county club remembers former owner, prepares for Spirit Tourney in ‘21

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - It’s a staple in north Alabama. The Spirit of America Golf Tournament. For years, owner Tom Flowe brought college golfers and local amateurs to Burning Tree Country Club for the event. Sadly, Flowe passed away after a long courageous battle with cancer.

“Whenever you would see Tom, he would day better than I deserve,” current course owner Andy Villarreal said. “And he always felt that at heart, that, he was given a life that he could never imagine that he would have, and so he always felt like thing for him were better than he deserved.”

Villarreal bought the course in 2017. No one, including small business owners were expecting the COVID-19 pandemic.

“You know, like every other small business owner out there, it was a scary time to think all of a sudden, they’re closing us down, they’re making us do business a different way, Villarreal added. “We’ve had tough times before, and you just dig in and do the best job you can.”

“Whenever you would see Tom, he would day better than I deserve.”
Current Burning Tree Country Club owner Andy Villarreal on the passing of former owner Tom Flowe

Plans are set for the 2021 edition of the Spirit Tournament, and for the first time, collegiate players that enter get a nice perk.

“All of the colleges that we’re inviting in, it will be no charge. We want them to come in. We want them to have a good time, we’re gonna do a big tribute to Tom (Flowe). I think the sponsors we have, I think they love it, they want to be part of it. This gives us a chance to get our early.”

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