Inaugural event set to take place at Travis Pointe Country Club in Ann Arbor, Michigan
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. OCTOBER 7, 2015 - The Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) today announced a new event for the 2016 season - the LPGA Volvik Championship. The inaugural event is set to take place at Travis Pointe Country Club in Ann Arbor, Michigan, from May 26-29.
“We’re thrilled to be bringing the LPGA to Ann Arbor for the LPGA Volvik Championship,” said LPGA Commissioner Michael Whan. “It’s an exciting announcement, one that will be very well received by our players, our TV partners and of course our fans in Southeast Michigan. Volvik continues to be committed to growing all aspects of women’s golf including LPGA Teaching and Club Professionals, LPGA-USGA Girls Golf and the Symetra Tour where they not only sponsor the Volvik Championship but also the Volvik Race for the Card, which gives the top-10 players an opportunity to earn their LPGA Tour cards. Now with their title sponsorship on the LPGA Tour, players will experience Volvik’s support at every level.”
The LPGA Volvik Championship will be held over Memorial Day weekend and will feature a full field of 144 players competing in a 72-hole showcase for a purse of $1.3 million. The event will join the Meijer LPGA Classic, which is hosted in Grand Rapids, as the second tournament on the LPGA Tour schedule in the state of Michigan.
“It has always been Volvik’s goal to be a title sponsor of an LPGA Tour event,” said Volvik USA President Don Shin. “With our extreme growth in the US marketplace over the past three years, sponsoring our LPGA Tour event is the next step in educating the public that Volvik is the fastest growing golf ball manufacturer in the world and that we can add both style and extreme performance to your game.”
Volvik, who signed a three-year deal as the title sponsor of the LPGA Volvik Championship, has been an Official Sponsor of the LPGA Tour for the past five years.
“As the first new global golf brand to emerge in the last decade, Volvik has taken strategic steps to get to this moment,” said Chairman of Volvik INC Kyung Ahn Moon. “We have made a name for ourselves with the help of the LPGA and we want to continue to grow with the LPGA Tour as they continue to be the only professional tour who is growing globally and with a meteoric rise in television rating and attention to their tour. It is our great honor to announce that we are the title sponsor of an LPGA Tour event.”
Since 2011, the LPGA has now added 10 new North-American-based events (Founders Cup in Arizona, Coates Golf Championship in Ocala, Florida, LOTTE Championship in Ko Olina, Hawaii, Volunteers of America North Texas Shootout in Dallas, Texas, Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic in San Francisco, Calif., Meijer LPGA Classic in Grand Rapids, Mich., UL International Crown in Chicago, Ill., Pure Silk Bahamas Classic in the Bahamas, Manulife Financial Classic in Ontario, Canada, and the LPGA Volvik Championship in Ann Arbor, Mich.). In addition to this “home growth”, the LPGA has added four new International events during this same period (ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open, Fubon Taiwan, and two new events in China -- Blue Bay LPGA Classic and Reignwood Pine Valley). Outside of their tournament schedule, the LPGA has seen its television more than double to over 400 hours of coverage, expanded to over 150 countries that carry its telecasts each week, and increased the total purse level on Tour from $44 million to over $60 million.
The idea to bring the LPGA to Southeast Michigan was spurred by local business leader KC Crain and his wife, Ashley, along with tournament director Keith Karbo. The Crains are avid golf fans and with the help of Karbo, an Ann Arbor resident, their vision of bringing an LPGA event to this area while also giving back to the local community has become a reality.
“Golf has always been part of my life, and to bring an impactful event like this to Southeast Michigan is going to be fun and exciting,” said Ashley Crain, who competed on the Golf Channel show Highway 18. “We realize that this will provide a great economic impact for our area, and we are particularly happy to bring awareness to some important initiatives.”
One initiative tied to this Memorial Day weekend event is to create awareness for the services off ered to military families through the National Network of Depression Centers (NNDC). The NNDC has a special commitment to aid the mental health of our dedicated military members, veterans, and their families.
The University of Michigan NNDC is located in Ann Arbor and houses the innovative Military Support Programs and Networks (M-SPAN). This is a University-Military-VA-Community partnership that provides pre- and post-deployment support. The NNDC is a collection of more than 600 experts working to conquer mood disorders. It is leading efforts to advance diagnoses and treatments for those with bipolar, depressive and related mental illnesses. These disorders are common, impacting 1 of every 6 individuals.