The PGA Tour Champions on Tuesday announced plans to bring an annual golf tournament to St. Louis.
During a press event, the PGA said the Norwood Hills Country Club in north St. Louis County will host the Ascension Charity Classic.
The four-year partnership will tee off late September 2020, featuring professional golfers 50 and older. It’s the latest addition to the PGA Tour Champions’ 27-tournament schedule across the country.
Miller Brady, president of the PGA Tour Champions, said the group has been looking to bring an annual event to the region for years.
While baseball and hockey tend to dominate sports conversations in St. Louis, last year tens of thousands of golf fans attended the 100th PGA Championship at the Bellerive Country Club.
“We’ve viewed St. Louis as such a great sports town for a long time,” Brady said. “The PGA Championship just reinstated just how good this golf town is.”
At the press event, Hale Irwin, a Missouri native and World Golf Hall of Fame member, described what golf fans can expect out of the senior tournament.
“When we get into next September, you’re going to see the competitiveness, but you’re going to see the friendliness, the camaraderie that is shared by all of us, because we all understand that we don’t have that many more years left to do what we’ve loved to do,” he said.
All net proceeds from the tournament will go to local charities, including Marygrove, Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis and the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis.
Miller isn’t sure how much money will be raised, but he said the association helped raise $190 million across all of its tournaments last year.
Hazel Erby, director of diversity, equity and inclusion for St. Louis County, said the tournaments will help spur economic investments in north St. Louis County.
“There’s a lot to offer in North County, and I don’t think we’ve said that and emphasized it enough,” she said. “We’ve heard the negatives, but there’s so much good in our community and apparently they realized it, so that’s why they’re coming.”
St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson said the fact that the tournaments will take place over several years will drive a lot of new economic development and interest in the sport.
“This provides jobs; this provides the opportunity for many young people to learn to play golf and just be involved in that mentoring kind of relationship,” she said.
Local health care provider Ascension is the lead sponsor of the tournament series.
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