The PGA Tour Champions Invited Celebrity Classic golf tournament is returning to Las Colinas Country Club in April 2023. In its inaugural year, the tournament reported $6 million in revenue, an estimated $1.9 million economic impact, and $200,000 of nonprofit giving—benefiting the Momentous Institute, First Tee Greater Dallas, and First Tee Fort Worth. In 2023, Invited CEO David Pillsbury is looking to make the tournament twice as big.
“We’re going to see exponential growth over the next few years, and in 2023, I think when you combine all the activations and events, we have a very good shot at making this thing twice as big,” Pillsbury said.
Pillsbury’s goal is to double the charitable impact to $400,000 in 2023 and increase the economic impact to $10–15 million. The projected revenue is $6.5 million. In 2022, 15,000 fans attended the golf weekend; in 2023, Pillsbury is hoping that numbers will double. In year three, the tournament is expected to reach profitability.
The 2023 tournament, presented by Choctaw Casinos & Resorts, is free to attend. Dallas-based Energy Transfer is the sponsor for general admission tickets on Saturday, while Choctaw is the sponsor for tickets on Sunday. Invited—which rebranded from ClubCorp in 2022—is still in talks with several companies about sponsoring tickets for Friday. Elevated experiences will also be available for purchase.
“Supporting communities around the country in which our employees live and work is important to us, but being able to support these two wonderful organizations in our hometown through a major event like this is really special,” Vicki Granado, vice president of corporate communications and marketing for Energy Transfer, said.
The Choctaw Casinos & Resorts Club will move to the 18th hole in 2023. “Its entertainment, five-star food, five-star cocktails, and all of Choctaw’s gaming offerings,” Pillsbury said. “I’m so excited for that party atmosphere.”
“It’s an honor to partner with Invited Celebrity Classic, knowing our support positively impacts the Momentous Institute and the local First Tee chapter, which helps area youth realize their dreams through personal growth, education, and mental health services,” says Janie Dillard, senior executive officer of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. “By donating thousands of general admission tickets on Sunday, the tournament’s final day, Choctaw Casinos & Resorts and Invited can focus on that common goal of building our communities.”
The tournament will be aired on Golf Channel and feature 78 PGA Tour Champions professionals. The professionals over the age of 50 will play 54 holes of traditional stroke play for a purse of $2 million. In addition, the 40 sports celebrities and entertainment stars will compete for a $500,000 prize utilizing the modified Stableford scoring format, which involves scoring points based on the number of strokes taken at each hole. Good play earns points, and poor play takes away points. Confirmed celebrity participants include Mardy Fish, Emmitt Smith, Demarcus Ware, Pudge Rodriguez, Tim Wakefield, Josh Beckett, Jeremy Roenick, and Ben Higgins.
According to Pillsbury, the amateur field is very competitive as Invited waitlisted approximately 25 celebrities for the 2022 tournament.
A group of amateur Invited members will also compete in a qualifying system, which includes regional and national events, to earn a spot in the tournament. The ten amateurs who qualify for the Invited Celebrity Classic will get to golf alongside the celebs and pros.
On Thursday, the night before the Invited Celebrity Classic tees off, Las Colinas Country Club will host Professional Pickleball Association matches: from celebrity square-offs to matches that will feature “the best pickleball players in the world—including the top three,” Pillsbury said.
Mike Flaskey Entertainment will operate the tournament for the second-straight year. Flaskey, the founder and tournament executive director, is a former president and CEO of Diamond Resorts International and has extensive experience conceiving and overseeing top-tier golf events with both the LPGA Tour and PGA Tour Champions, procuring All-Stars and Hall of Famers from NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL teams.
To claim free grounds tickets, or purchase Choctaw Club and Clubhouse Access to the 2023 Invited Celebrity Classic presented by Choctaw Casinos & Resorts, click here.