Celebrity golf in Tahoe shaping up to be TV event, if it happens

NFL Hall of Famer Brian Urlacher hits from the beach last year on the 17th hole.
Bill Rozak / Tahoe Daily Tribune

STATELINE, Nev. — The celebrity golf tournament at South Lake Tahoe is up in the air, but if it happens, it will be a far different event than ever before and geared for television.

American Century Championship celebrities will not be swarmed by adoring fans seeking autographs. Instead, celebrities will walk the course with no fans lining the fairways and greens and the signature 17th hole won’t be the same massive beach party with thousands packed into a small area.

“Right now, in this world, if it happens, it’s going to be a different deal,” said Phil Weidinger, the tournament’s public relations director. “We want to be extremely careful and we want to do it right from a health standpoint.”

According to a permit request from the tournament director to Douglas County, changes this year include no tickets being sold, no bleachers, no tents, no VIP fireworks or dinner party and only celebrities, their families and officials working at the 31st annual event will be allowed inside Edgewood Tahoe.

Douglas County commissioners will discuss the tournament during their regular meeting at 1 p.m. Thursday, May 21, and possibly approve a permit to move forward with the event on Wednesday through Sunday, July 8-12, a day less than the normal length of the tournament. 

Aside from officials and celebrities and their families, also being allowed in the gates are resort employees, volunteers, NBC TV staff, Lake Tahoe Visitor Authority staff, Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District EMTs, Douglas County law enforcement and limited media.

The event has been drawing record crowds over the last few years with 50,000-plus fans showing up during the week and about 15,000 for the busiest days.

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