Irving is hosting professional golf once again.
The PGA Tour Champions announced that the inaugural ClubCorp Classic will be held at Irving’s Las Colinas Country Club from April 19-24.
“Golf has been one of the things that has been a staple for many, many years,” Irving Mayor Rick Stopfer said. “To have a tournament back in this area is very exciting for our residents and the entire Metroplex. We all win when something like this happens.”
Irving had been the longtime host of the PGA Tour’s AT&T Byron Nelson before its 35-year run ended when the tournament moved to Trinity Forest Golf Club in Dallas in 2018. The event has since relocated to TPC Craig Ranch in McKinney.
But Irving is back on the professional golf scene with what is being billed as a fan-friendly tournament that features some of the game’s biggest stars on the men’s senior tour and — yes — other celebrities.
This isn’t your traditional tournament. Along with 78 PGA Tour Champions players competing in a 54-hole stroke-play event, 50 celebrities will also take part in the tournament. The purse for the PGA Tour Champions portion is $2 million, while the celebrities will be competing for a purse of $500,000.
Celebrities such as baseball great Roger Clemens and Pro Football Hall of Famer Tim Brown attended the news conference Tuesday. They are expected to play in the tournament along with others including former LPGA Tour star Annika Sorenstam and former MLB player Kevin Millar.
“We love the game. I grew up watching these guys and playing with them [at other pro-am events],” Clemens said. “You’re going to see some really good golf out of the celebrities too. There’s some scratch golfers, guys who play three or four times a week.”
Brown recalled a few of his favorite moments from playing in similar events over the years. He played a practice round with Chi Chi Rodriguez once and Rodriguez intentionally hit the ball in every bunker on a par-3. Rodriguez holed out for birdie twice that day.
Brown also remembered an interaction he had with Arnold Palmer. Brown had just purchased an Arnold Palmer putter and didn’t know whether he should use it.
On the practice green, Palmer approached him and said: “Use it.”
Brown joked that he went on to three-putt multiple times that round.
Along with celebrities, the tournament will also award 10 spots to ClubCorp members through regional and national qualifying events.
ClubCorp CEO David Pillsbury said his company is committed to making this event “big.”
Las Colinas Country Club is part of the Dallas-based ClubCorp family, which owns or operates more than 200 clubs across the country and in two other countries. ClubCorp has more than 414,000 members.
PGA Tour Champions president Miller Brady believes this will only enhance the overall golf scene in the DFW area.
The Metroplex is home to a number of golf tournaments headlined by the PGA Tour’s Byron Nelson in McKinney and the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth. There is also an LPGA Tour event in The Colony and a Korn Ferry Tour event in Arlington.
“I don’t look at it as an oversaturation,” Brady said. “I look at it as a celebration of golf in the DFW community.”