Course of the Week: Pleasant Valley CC to host new Champions Tour event in 2024

By |  September 14, 2023 0 Comments

A new PGA Tour Champions tournament, the Simmons Bank Championship will debut in October 2024. The competition will be held annually at Pleasant Valley Country Club in Little Rock, Ark.

The five-year agreement establishing the event, announced at the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame, had George Makris, executive chairman of Simmons First National, Miller Brady, president of the PGA Tour Champions and Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders in attendance.

The Charles Schwab Cup alongside the trophy from the Charles Schwab Cup Championship. (Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Charles Schwab Cup alongside the trophy from the Charles Schwab Cup Championship. (Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Simmons Bank Championship will serve as the second round of PGA Tour Champions’ annual Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs, with the top 54 players in the Charles Schwab Cup standings competing to earn their spot among the top 36 and gain entry into the final event of the season. The inaugural Simmons Bank Championship will be held from October 21-27, 2024.

Since its founding in 1903 in Pine Bluff, Ark., Simmons Bank now has approximately $28 billion in assets and employs almost 3,100 associates across six states. Since 2020, Simmons Bank has served as the title sponsor of the Korn Ferry Tour’s Nashville event, the Simmons Bank Open for the Snedeker Foundation.

“Since our inception 120 years ago, Simmons Bank has had a long-standing commitment to being a strong community partner and making life better in the communities we serve,” said Makris. “In addition to bringing hall-of-fame caliber golf to Little Rock featuring some of the greatest ambassadors of the game, the Simmons Bank Championship will serve as a catalyst for supporting local nonprofits while also providing an economic benefit to businesses throughout the area.”

The Simmons Bank Championship will be the first PGA Tour Champions event held in Arkansas and the first PGA Tour-sanctioned tournament held in the state since the Korn Ferry Tour’s Fort Smith Classic, which was last contested in 2010. In markets where PGA Tour Champions events are held, tournaments generate upwards of $15 million dollars in local economic impact. Net proceeds from the Simmons Bank Championship will benefit several qualified 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations in the state of Arkansas. To date, tournaments across all Tours have generated more than $3.64 billion in charitable donations.

(Photo: Pleasant Valley CC)

(Photo: Pleasant Valley CC)

Architect Joe Finger, who designed Pleasant Valley CC in the late 1960s, brought on future World Golf Hall of Fame members Jimmy Demaret and Byron Nelson to serve as consultants. Don Armbrust currently serves as golf course superintendent at Pleasant Valley.

A 27-hole golf course, Pleasant Valley features oak and pine tree-lined fairways, eight ponds on the property and primary turfgrass of 419 bermudagrass. In 2009, the club changed all the putting surfaces to ultra-dwarf bermudagrass. In addition to the course, the club features a 40,000 square-foot hitting area, as well as 10,000 and 4,500 square-foot practice putting greens.

The Simmons Bank Championship will be managed and operated by Pro Links Sports, a sports marketing and event management firm that assists in running several PGA Tour and PGA Tour Champions tournaments. Executive Director Ken Kennerly and Tournament Director Mike Harrison will oversee the event.

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