Event invites the nation’s top black women and men amateur & professional golfers to compete for exemptions on the LPGA and PGA Tour 

DETROIT – Intersport announced recently the return of THE JOHN SHIPPEN National Golf Invitationalpresented by Rocket Mortgage – an event designed to provide opportunities for Black men and women amateur and professional golfers. THE JOHN SHIPPEN Sports Business Summit will also return for its second year to address the lack of representation in business and leadership roles in golf and across professional sports for people of color. 

The events are named after John Shippen, Jr., who was both the first American-born golf professional and the country’s first Black golf professional.  

“Building on the impact of the event’s inaugural year, THE JOHN SHIPPEN is introducing additional professional exemption opportunities that expand to new markets – creating more year-round exposure and Black representation in golf,” said Jason Langwell, Executive Vice President of Intersport and the Executive Director of the Rocket Mortgage Classic. 

“The Intersport and Rocket Mortgage teams are passionate about diversity, equity and inclusion and we partner with organizations committed to making a difference with their mission. This is why we’re particularly proud to be announcing the second annual event – which aims to address barriers that have prevented talented Black golfers and aspiring business professionals.” 

THE JOHN SHIPPEN Shoot-Out Presented by Cognizant has a new date and location, taking place May 9 in New Jersey. The women’s competition of THE JOHN SHIPPEN National Golf Invitational will be held June 1–2 in Grand Rapids, Michigan and the men’s competition of THE JOHN SHIPPEN National Golf Invitational will take place July 23-24 at Detroit Golf Club.  

THE JOHN SHIPPEN Shoot-Out Presented by Cognizant is an 18-hole stroke play competition for Black women golfers taking place at Mountain Ridge Country Club in New Jersey on May 9. The winner of the event will be awarded an exemption into the LPGA’s Cognizant Founders Cup (May 12-May 15) in Clifton, N.J., marking a continuation of Cognizant’s commitment to supporting equal opportunity and diversity in the game of golf and beyond. 

“We’re incredibly excited to be part of THE JOHN SHIPPEN Shoot-Out for a second year,” said Shameka Young, Vice President and Global Head, Diversity and Inclusion at Cognizant. “Cognizant is committed to furthering diversity and inclusion in the workplace and beyond, and we’re proud to help build a better future for the next generation of Black female golfers with this unique event.  The Shoot-Out provides an opportunity to showcase another amazing woman golfer in the already world-class field of talent at the LPGA’s Cognizant Founders Cup.” 

THE JOHN SHIPPEN National Golf Invitational women’s tournament will return with a new location as well as earlier dates. The 36-hole stroke play competition for Black women golfers will be held June 1-2 at Blythefield Country Club in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the home of the Meijer LPGA Classic. 

The winner of the event will earn an exemption into the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give (June 16–19), as well as an exemption into the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational, the LPGA tournament scheduled for July 13– 16 in Midland, Michigan. The SHIPPEN winner will choose a partner to compete alongside in the Dow GLBI, which is a two-player team event.  

“We are pleased to support Blythefield Country Club as they host the women’s division of THE JOHN SHIPPEN National Golf Invitational in Grand Rapids this year,” said Cathy Cooper, Executive Director of the Meijer LPGA Classic. “We’re honored to be part of this inclusive statewide effort that extends to communities across Michigan and proud to offer an exemption into the Meijer LPGA Classic this June.” 

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to continue our support of this influential event, which promises to raise recognition for Black female golfers,” said Chris Chandler, Executive Director of the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational. “We’re proud to once again offer one team exemption opportunity into our field this summer.” 

The men’s field of THE JOHN SHIPPEN National Golf Invitational presented by Rocket Mortgage will compete in a 36-hole stroke play competition at Detroit Golf Club July 23–24, and the winner will once again receive an exemption into the PGA TOUR’s Rocket Mortgage Classic (July 28-31).  

THE JOHN SHIPPEN was also created to address the lack of representation in business and leadership roles in golf and across professional sports for people of color. Summit participants will be given the opportunity to apply for fellowship and scholarships from sponsors, organizations, and foundations within and beyond the sports industry. 

Dates and details surrounding THE JOHN SHIPPEN Sports Business Summit in Detroit will be announced in the near future. 

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