ROLAND, Ark. — In 2016 golf legend Arnold Palmer died, but before he did, he made a call to Arkansas about an event with his name on it.
“He said, Warren I’m calling to see if the Alotian Club would host the Arnold Palmer Cup, said Warren Stephens. “I said for what you’ve done for golf, for what you’ve meant to our family, the answers is yes. I thank God that I said yes, because 10 days, 2 weeks later he passed away.”
The first weekend in June, some of the best collegiate golfers from around the globe will in the Natural State, competing for the Arnold Palmer Cup at the exclusive Alotian Club in Roland. For many fans, this will be their first chance to step foot on to a piece of Arkansas land that’s a diamond in the rough.
In 2004, Stephens opened his own golf course.
“Other people from outside the state will ask me why I built it in Arkansas, it never occurred to me to not build it in Arkansas, like you I’m from here, lived here and grew up playing golf here,” Stephens explained.
Alotian does not have many members, but what it does have is ample beauty.
Stephens added, “When we started knocking down trees and building the golf course we just found view after view after view that we really didn’t know we had, and it continues to evolve.”
Stephens believes this beauty and Arkansas stuck with Mr. Palmer after his visit more than a decade ago.
“We rode around a little bit because he couldn’t play, I said ‘Come on I’ll show you some of the course’, and he must have remembered it, it must have been in the back of his mind,” said Stephens.
Even if you are a sports icon, Arkansas beauty will surprise you and stick with you.
Click here for information on players.
Click here for a schedule of events.
Click here for ticket information.