It's official: Detroit Golf Club to host PGA Tour stop
As expected, Detroit Golf Club will be the host for the first PGA Tour tournament to be played within the city limits of Detroit.
The PGA Tour made it official Tuesday when it released its entire 2018-19 schedule.
The Detroit event, sponsored by Quicken Loans, will be called the Rocket Mortgage Classic, and will be held from June 24-30, with CBS and Golf Channel operating as the tournament's television partners.
Quicken Loans and the PGA Tour signed a four-year contract to bring a tournament in Detroit, starting in 2019.
The News first reported the deal, and the PGA Tour made the official announcement in late May. In late May, the PGA Tour alluded to Detroit Golf Club as the likely host, but that wasn't made official until Tuesday.
Detroit Golf Club, a 36-hole facility, opened in 1899 and is located between Woodward and Livernois avenues and south of Seven Mile. The club's North Course is expected to be used, with the possible exception of No. 1 being used from the South Course, to add some length to a course that is modest in distance — just more than 7,000 yards — by today's PGA Tour standards.
Detroit Golf Club also is expected to add at least five new tee boxes, again to add length, prior to the first tournament next June. That will be at the club's expense.
This will be the PGA Tour's first stop in Michigan since the long-running Buick Open closed up shop in 2009, amid a flailing economy and struggling automobile industry.
This also will give the state of Michigan five annual professional touring tournaments, with the LPGA in Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor and, starting in 2019, Midland, and the Champions Tour launching a tournament in Grand Blanc this September. The Champions Tour also also holds a major every other year in Benton Harbor.
Detroit's tournament will be followed by another new tournament, the 3M Open, in Blaine, Minn. For a while, it seemed Detroit and the Twin Cities were competing for one opening, but both received a bid. The Detroit event got the better date, though, two weeks after the U.S. Open and three weeks before the British Open.
The field also could feature big names, given there is intrigue among the players about playing in Detroit. The PGA Tour also has a rule that stipulates players who didn't play in at least 25 tournaments the previous year must add at least one tournament to their schedule that they haven't played in the previous four years. That's helped spice up some otherwise mundane fields, like the Travelers Championship in Connecticut, where the pros will play the week before Detroit in 2019. Rickie Fowler, a Rocket Mortgage pitchman, is almost certain to be in any field, as is Jason Day, a season-ticket holder of the Cleveland Cavaliers, owned by Quicken founder Dan Gilbert.
The Detroit tournament takes the place of The National, which has been played in and around Washington D.C. since 2007, and sponsored by Quicken Loans since 2014.
The biggest change on next season's PGA Tour schedule is the transition of the PGA Championship, long the season's fourth and final major ("Glory's Last Shot"), to mid-May, making it the season's second major.
Michigan’s golf history
(Not including major championships)
■ Buick Open — 1958-2009 (Flint, Grand Blanc)
■ Michigan Golf Classic — 1969 (Walled Lake)
■ Motor City Open — 1948-50, 1952, 1954, 1956, 1959, 1962 (Northville, Royal Oak, Redford, West Bloomfield)
■ Western Open — 1904, 1911, 1922, 1930, 1957-58, 1960-61 (Grand Rapids, Bloomfield Township, Lake Orion, Southfield, Royal Oak, Redford, Belmont)
■ The Ally Challenge — 2018 (Grand Blanc)
■ Farmers Charity Classic — 1986-2004 (Grand Rapids, Ada)
■ Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational — 2019-present (Midland)
■ LPGA Volvik Championship — 2016-present (Ann Arbor)
■ Meijer LPGA Classic — 2014-present (Grand Rapids)
■ Oldsmobile Classic — 1992-2000 (East Lansing)
■ Lady Stroh’s Open — 1978-79 (Dearborn)
■ Yankee Women’s Open — 1964-67 (Grand Blanc)
■ Wolverine Open — 1955, 1957, 1960, 1963 (Bloomfield Hills, Grosse Pointe Woods, Mount Clemens)
■ Battle Creek Open — 1955 (Battle Creek)