Bank of Hope Founders Cup
March 14 – March 19, 2017
Wildfire Golf Club at
JW Marriott Phoenix
Desert Ridge Resort & Spa
Golf courses are plentiful here in the valley, but did you know that Phoenix is home to three professional golf events? There is the Charles Schwab Cup Championship, the Waste Management Phoenix Open, and the LPGA’s Bank of Hope Founders Cup. While the 2017 Bank of Hope Founders Cup has a new look with a new title sponsor, Bank of Hope, the event has a long and impressive history. Established in 2011 by LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan, the Founders Cup was created to celebrate the hard work and dedication of the 13 strong women who, in 1950, set out to pave the way for women in golf: the founders of the LPGA. The tournament logo pays homage to the Founders with the presence of 13 stars and a swinging lady. Since the inception of the tournament, several of the Founders have made appearances, taking photos and signing autographs for fans. Every year, Valley resident and LPGA Founder Marilynn Smith can be found onsite making friends with the next generation of female golfers.
A large part of the pride found in the Bank of Hope Founders Cup can be attributed to how this event gives back to the Phoenix community and the game of golf. The first year for the tournament had a million dollar purse, but no money went directly to the players. Instead, the top 10 players each decided to donate their winnings to a charity of their choice, and the remaining $500,000 was given to the LPGA-USGA Girls Golf program. This is quite a testament to their commitment to grow the game of golf and nurture the talent of young girls. Girls Golf was founded in Phoenix, Arizona in 1989 by Sandy LaBauve. What started out with just 10 sites, is now a national program found in more than 300 communities in the United States with over 50,000 active members. The program has introduced to more than 300,000 young girls to the game of golf. The LPGA-USGA Girls Golf program remains the tournament’s top beneficiary.
The Bank of Hope Founders Cup is played annually at Wildfire Golf Club at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort and Spa in Phoenix. Players such as Cristie Kerr, Paula Creamer, reigning champion Sei Young Kim and local favorite Cheyenne Woods plan to be in this year’s field. The 2017 event will once again consist of 144 and take place March 14th – 19th. Whether you are just discovering golf or a lifelong fan, this tournament has something for everyone. The week kicks off Tuesday, March 14th with player practice rounds followed by the Pro-Am on Wednesday the 15th. The Pro-Am provides a unique experience for participants to play a round of golf with two different LPGA players, one on the front nine and a second player on the back nine. Fans have been able to catch a glimpse of local celebrities like Larry Fitzgerald or Patrick Peterson teeing up alongside LPGA pros.
General admission will once again have access to the Viewing Deck on the driving range, viewing bleachers on select holes, the official LPGA merchandise tent, sponsor exhibits and access to Autograph Alley for a chance to meet their favorite player and maybe snap a selfie. For spectators who wish for a little something extra, there are tickets for the variety of hospitality venues which may include snacks, food and beverages and great views of tees and greens. Volunteer opportunities are also available in a number of areas. Tickets are on sale now starting at just $20 online. For more information on tickets or volunteer opportunities visit www.LPGAFoundersCup.com.