News broke Monday about the Westgate Resorts Celebrity Classic coming to Las Vegas Country Club on April 23-26, when 36 names from sports and entertainment will play for $200,000. Tournament director Bryan Ingrande also said there is a possibility that the LPGA Tour could return to Las Vegas for the first time since the 2006 Takefuji Classic.
From 2015-19, Ingrande served as the executive director of the LPGA Tour’s Diamond Resorts International Tournament of Champions in Florida, which features a large celebrity component, and hinted there could be similar synergies with the new Westgate Las Vegas tournament after year one.
While there is some buzz regarding women’s pro golf returning, a different buzz surrounds the annual PGA of America Las Vegas fall expo show. A recent Golfweek article detailed how the new PGA of America headquarters is opening in 2022 in Frisco, Texas, and a byproduct could be the relocation of the Vegas expo. The PGA also operates an expo each January in Florida.
GolfWeek reported that, the fall expo contract is on a year-to-year basis, according to Reed Exhibitions event vice president Marc Simon.
Golf Pro Delivered swings into homes
PGA of America professional Sean Solodovnik has launched a Golf Pro Delivered franchise in Las Vegas, a company that offers portable golf simulators on demand. Solodovnick is also a certified club fitter and Titleist Performance Institute certified fitness instructor, and also offers lessons through the new venture.
“We are the mobile golf pioneers and our mission is to give millions of people the opportunity to fall in love with golf,” Solodovnick said. “We want to bring golf to more people in more places and make it more fun than ever before. We have the most portable and highest quality mobile golf setups in the world and PGA Professional service available to help everyone enjoy it. We look forward to people looking back in 10 years and say, ‘those mobile golf guys are the reason I became a golfer.’”
Info is available at gpdlv.com.
Tip of the moment
Tim Sam, GOLFTEC director of Instruction and 2012 Southern Nevada PGA teacher of the year, believes golfers should play it safe, even when near the green.
“Statistically speaking, the best golfers get up-and-down less than 30 percent of the time when faced with a 30 or 40-yard shot over a bunker to a tricky pin location, so faced with a similar situation, everyday players should aim for the center or most accessible part of the green, even if they are tempted to attack the flag,” Sam said. “Golfers will start saving strokes immediately by avoiding the big numbers that are caused by accidentally hitting it short into the bunker, blading it over the green or worse.”
Play Cascata with lunch and caddie for $150 on Feb. 10 to benefit the Southern Nevada Junior Golf Association. Register at SouthernNevadaJuniorGolf.com.
The golf notebook appears Wednesdays. Freelance writer Brian Hurlburt is a two-time author who has covered golf in Las Vegas for more than two decades. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or @LVGolfInsider.
Upcoming area events
Wednesday-Friday: Golf Channel Duel in the Desert, Paiute
Thursday: PXG Demo Day, Rio Secco
Monday: SNGA tournament of Champions, DragonRidge
Feb. 8, 9: SNGA Henderson Amateur, Revere
Feb. 9: Desert Pines 2-person scramble, Desert Pines
Feb. 10, 11: UNLV women, Battle at Boulder Creek, Boulder Creek
Feb. 16, 17: SNJGA Palm Valley Amateur (IMG World Qualifier), Palm Valley
Feb. 17, 18: UNLV women, The Rebel Beach, Spanish Trail
Feb. 19: USGA 4-Ball Women’s Qualifier, Mountain Falls
Feb. 20: USGA 4- Ball Men’s Qualifier, Mountain Falls
Feb. 25: SNGA Tour, Royal Links
Feb. 24-26: Vegas World Amateur, Revere and Chimera
March 1-3: UNLV men, Southern Highlands Collegiate, Southern Highlands
— — —
What: Waste Management Phoenix Open.
Where: Scottsdale, Arizona; TPC Scottsdale (7,261 yards, par 71).
When: Thursday-Friday, Noon-4 p.m. (Golf Channel); Saturday-Sunday, 10-11:45 a.m. (Golf Channel), Noon-3 p.m. (KLAS-8).
Purse: $7.3 million. Winner’s share: $1,314,000.
Defending champion: Rickie Fowler.
FedEx Cup leader: Justin Thomas.
What: Saudi International.
Where: Economic City, Saudi Arabia; Royal Greens Golf & CC. (7,010 yards, par 70).
When: Thursday-Friday, Midnight-2 a.m., 3:30-6:30 a.m. (Golf Channel); Saturday-Sunday, 1:30-6 a.m. (Golf Channel).
Purse: $3.5 million. Winner’s share: $583,333.
Defending champion: Dustin Johnson.
Race to Dubai leader: Lee Westwood.
PGA Tour Champions
What: Morocco Champions.
Where: Marrakech, Morocco; Samanah GC.
When: Thursday-Saturday, 6:30-9 a.m. (Golf Channel).
Purse: $2 million. Winner’s share: $300,000.
Charles Schwab Cup leader: Miguel Angel Jimenez.
Korn Ferry Tour
What: Panama Championship.
Where: Panama City, Panama; Panama GC (7,157 yards, par 70).
Purse: $625,000. Winner’s share: $112,500.
Defending champion: Michael Gligic.
Points leader: Jared Wolfe.
— By The Associated Press