ST. LOUIS — St. Louis-based Catholic nonprofit health system Ascension is bringing another golf tournament to north St. Louis County.
Ascension and the Advocates Professional Golf Association said Friday they have inked a three-year deal to bring a new tournament, named the APGA Tour St. Louis – Ascension Classic presented by Daugherty Business Solutions, to Glen Echo Country Club.
Founded in 2010, the APGA Tour is a nonprofit, professional development golf league focused on accelerating the careers of Black and minority golf players. The 36-hole tournament at Glen Echo will be one of the AGPA’s 17 tournaments in 2022 and part of its four-event Fall Series. Through its tournaments, the APGA is providing more than $700,000 in prize money to its players this year.
The St. Louis APGA Tour event is being held in conjunction with the Ascension Charity Classic, an annual PGA Tour Champions event hosted at Norwood Hills Country Club, located about 2.5 miles from Glen Echo. The two events will be held the same week, with the APGA Tour St. Louis – Ascension Classic taking place Sept. 8-9. General admission to the APGA Tour tourament will be free.
“This is another big step for the APGA Tour,” said APGA Tour co-founder and CEO Ken Bentley. “Successfully aligning with a PGA TOUR-affiliated event in a major market like St. Louis is critical to our continued growth. We salute Ascension, Daugherty Business Solutions and PGA Tour Champions for welcoming our players as we pursue the mission of bringing greater diversity to the sport of golf.”
The addition of the APGA Tour event marks a major expansion initiative for the Ascension Charity Classic, which held its first annual tournament in 2021. Proceeds of the PGA Tour Champions event go to local charity, with the tournament raising more than $800,000 in its first year. Additionally, the three-day, 54-hole tournament as well as its pro-am event in 2021 drew 51,000 fans, a figure officials said set a record for a first-time event on the PGA’s senior circuit.
As Ascension Charity Classic organizers began to plot plans for its 2022 iteration, Ascension Executive Vice President, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer Nick Ragone said they wanted to pursue growth of the event beyond just increased ticket sales and charitable donations. They also want to grow the event’s impact in bolstering golf’s diversity, equity and inclusion.
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