January 12, 2022    Council Fire, Chattanooga, Tennessee

Our 2021 Chattanooga Choo Choo Invitational (CCCI) provided Tyler Johnson, The University of Tennessee, the opportunity to win both the CCCI, and the Tennessee State Amateur at Council Fire within a few short weeks. Tyler’s hard work and persistence, while playing for the Vols, paid off last June at Council Fire. Coming into the ’21 CCCI, Tyler was ranked by the USGA/R&A World Amateur Ranking (WAGR) around 500 in the world. Tyler’s summer was a Council Fire story because of his dual win here in Chattanooga: a historic win with regard to the Tennessee State Amateur. His good play has continued throughout the fall, and we are excited to follow his undoubted success. As of today, Tyler has risen to his highest ranking at 182 in the WAGR, and we are proud to be a small part of his continued rise within Amateur Golf

A typical Chattanooga Choo Choo Invitational has a large pack of players searching for the top spot, and last year was absolutely no different. The final nine holes saw, no less than, six players having the opportunity to win our CCCI. Clay Amlung (Cincinnati), Luke Wells (Rutgers), Spence Provow (Mid-Amateur; MTSU), Blain Turner (Trevecca Nazarene), Sam Jean (Cincinnati), Ryan Marter (Wofford), Hunter Logan (Mississippi State), and Reece Nilsen (Northern Illinois University) were all in serious contention going into our final nine holes.

Tyler Johnson’s two shot victory with scores of 66, 72, 68 -10 (206) was well earned, and provided those watching the drama we all wanted to witness. The winning score of -10 (206) has become the benchmark for our CCCI, as we have crowned each of our last three champions with the exact score.

Council Fire, under a CCCI setup, is difficult, a challenge, but extremely fair. With the addition of new Choo Choo tees this winter, Council Fire will prove to be even more difficult with the course playing to approximately 7,160 yards. We will see additional Choo Choo tees in 2023, and another increase in course length to over 7200 yards. Council Fire has the reputation of having some of the finest putting surfaces, challenging Bermuda rough, extremely undulating greens, and with the increased length: a challenge the very best players look for!

Our CCCI field is comprised of players from various regions around the country, internationally, and through a competitive 18 hole open qualifier. A typical field is comprised of players from fifty-five to sixty differing universities.

Our 2022 Chattanooga Choo Choo Invitational will be held on July 25 – 27, 2022 with our open qualifier on July 22, 2022. As a WAGR event, we use the world rankings as a benchmark for invitations into our event. We offer invitations into our field based upon past CCCI performances (top 10 from last year), world ranking by the USGA/R&A (WAGR), recent college tournament success, and college coach introductions. Our field is very competitive, and we continue to gather interest from our countries finest male amateurs. We want an invitation into our field to be reflective of past success, recent college wins, and the years of hard work required to earn a very high world amateur ranking.

We will begin accepting invitation requests this January 14, 2002 with ongoing invitation decisions throughout the spring ending in late May. I look forward to watching and reading about many of your successful events over the next few months.

Chris Schmidt
Competition Director
Chattanooga Choo Choo Invitational
Council Fire, Chattanooga, Tennessee