Perfect Round: Colonial Country Club’s new park entrance raises fan experience

Betty Dillard

Free access, free live concerts by favorite bands and one of the only air-conditioned venues open to all patrons are part of what’s on tap at the new Fan Fest in Frost Park at this year’s Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial. New for 2014, spectators and fans will arrive and depart through a redesigned main entrance and park area filled with activities. The new entrance encompasses the park area east of the golf course on University Drive and Colonial Parkway. Frost Bank is sponsoring the new venue, which has been dubbed Frost Park at Colonial during tournament week, May 19-25. Tournament officials unveiled the new gateway and park at Fort Worth’s historic Colonial Country Club on March 24. “Frost is happy to be partnering with the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial on this exciting addition,” said Phil Norwood, Tarrant County region chairman for Frost. “By making the park area accessible to everyone who wants to attend, Frost Park at Colonial gives the tournament even broader appeal for the entire community.” Frost Park will be open to the public. Fans and spectators do not need a ticket to get into Fan Fest. They can park at Farrington Field and hop aboard the tournament’s shuttles. They will be dropped at the park area and can then enter the Fan Fest expo tent, which will offer official merchandise, concessions, interactive games and exhibitors. From the Fan Fest tent, spectators will walk through a new entrance security checkpoint near the west end of the park and Rogers Road, which will be closed to vehicles. Fans will show their credentials and go through security – a new PGA Tour requirement – before proceeding. From there, they will walk along Rogers Road to a new golf course entrance near the fourth hole. Leaving the event, fans will retrace their steps through these venues to return to their cars. Buses will run later to accommodate those who wish to stay for the live entertainment. Free concerts in Frost Park will be offered at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Headliners will include Pardi Gras on May 22, Reckless Kelly on May 23 and Old 97’s on May 24. “We’ve been looking at this a long time,” said Michael Tothe, tournament director. “It’s a great opportunity to offer Frost Park to our fans and patrons and people who aren’t golf fans necessarily to come and enjoy.” “2