Celebrities create own golf tour
Good things happen to those who help themselves. Celebrity golfers have formed their own tour in order to hold more events in the future.
A year ago, there was an undercurrent of displeasure with the Celebrity Golf Tour because the players were disappointed in the few tournaments tendered.
“Now we can dictate where and when we play,” said Rick Rhoden, a three-time Celebrity Golf Championship winner. “We felt there was some more opportunities out there than we were playing in.”
However, the Isuzu Celebrity Golf Championship July 3-6 at Edgewood Tahoe isn’t part of the players tour – it’s an NBC and Sports Marketing and Television International venture.
“We’ll basically see the same faces out there, and whomever else NBC brings in,” said Rhoden, who will attend a celebrity golf press conference this morning at Edgewood.
Jim Gluckson, the media director the Isuzu tournament, says that the Tahoe event still remains on strong footing despite not being a tour event.
“The Tahoe tournament is very strong and we’re looking forward to a great year,” he said.
Dick Anderson, the 1994 Isuzu Celebrity Golf Championship winner, has been serving as the unofficial players tour president.
“Dick’s doing most of the work, which I’m sure he doesn’t want to do full-time. Before the year is over maybe we’ll hire someone,” said the former major league pitcher.
The tour has an 11-member executive board that provide direction for the 45 to 50 regulars. Some board members include Rhoden, Dick and Donny Anderson, Johnny Bench and Mike Schmidt.
There have already been four events on the players tour. Rhoden won the tour’s first two stops, then Jack Wagner notched his second career celebrity golf win in Puerto Rico.
Last weekend in Dallas, hockey veteran Dan Quinn upended Rhoden on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff.
Tournaments are also planned for Chicago and Black Diamond Ranch. Additional tour stops at Las Vegas and San Francisco are being considered.
“I think we are going to have eight or nine events,” Rhoden said. “If a promoter brings us an event and has the money and a place to play, we’ll go play.”
Sounds pretty simple – just the way the players envisioned it when celebrity golf began in 1990.
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