IVINS, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – In 1964, Clifford Anne Creed won the Riverside Ladies Open at Riverside Country Club in Provo, in what was the LPGA’s last stop in the state of Utah.
But the tour is returning to the Beehive State in the spring of 2025.
Black Desert Resort in Ivins, near St. George, will host an LPGA event in Utah for the first time in 60 years.
“We just can’t wait to get here to Utah,” said LPGA Vice President Casey Ceman. “2025 can’t come fast enough for us.”
Five months ago, Black Desert Resort Managing Partner Patrick Manning made a call to the LPGA Tour, asking if the new resort could be added to the tour schedule. When LPGA officials saw the course, they fell in love with it.
“We told them our vision,” Manning said. “They said they loved everything we were saying. They came out and visiting the course. They said it was incredible. They thought the facilities would be among the best on the tour. So we went right into negotiations to bring the tournament here.”
The 18-hole course was designed by former PGA star Tom Weiskopf, who passed away in 2022. Black Desert was the last of the 73 golf courses Weiskopf designed across the world.
“It was evident every single day from the beginning to the end that [Weiskopf] had passion for this course,” Manning said. “We miss him everyday, but I can’t help but think that he’s here celebrating this here with us.”
As the longest running female sports organization in the country, going back to 1950, the LPGA Tour as grown, and this coming season will have the most prize money it has ever given out.
“From very humble beginnings to this year in 2023 when we are going to be playing for over 100 million dollars for the first time in our history,” said Ceman.
To have golf fans from all over the state, including little boys and girls, watch some of the best female golfers in the world, could be invaluable to their perspective on the sport.
“I am so excited to have the LPGA come and show other women and girls in the state of Utah that golf is for them,” said Utah Lt. Governor Deidre Henderson.
The economic impact on the St. George community should be immense.
“Approximately 40,000 fans will be in town tournament week,” Manning said. “The economic impact is expected to be about 21 million dollars.”
“We love our tourism industry,” Henderson added. “We love golf as it brings tourists to the state of Utah, especially to Southern Utah. So in general, this is a really good thing for the state of Utah.”