SEOUL, Dec. 28 (Korea Bizwire) – A celebrity golf championship featuring entertainers and athletes is coming to South Korea next year.
The Korea Professional Golfers’ Association announced its tour plans for 2018 during a conference on Wednesday, including ‘Celebrity Pro-Am’, a celebrity golf tournament inspired by the PGA’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
The event is set to be held in July for four days, with cash prizes of around 500 million won.
Though the official title of the event has yet to be decided, similar to the Pebble Beach tournament, celebrities and athletes from other sports will be invited to play alongside professional golf players.
The appearance of celebrities on the golf course draws attention from fans, and seeing familiar faces play golf could help familiarize the wider public with the sport.
As celebrities often donate personal items or winnings to social causes, the new tournament has many elements that can’t be expected from regular golf events.
As men’s golf championships have been trailing behind women’s regarding popularity, many believe the daring move is worth trying.
“Just like how it’s done in the U.S., we plan to mainly invite top celebrities and athletes,” said Park Ho-yoon, the executive secretary of the KPGA.
During the tournament, two professional players and two celebrities will compete as a team during the first and second rounds, while the final round will be decided by professional players only.
“This tournament will be held as part of a golf-themed sharing event for the 2018 Korean Tour. Instead of holding just traditional tournaments, we are spicing things up to make a more exciting event by bringing in changes,” said Yang Hwee-boo, who heads the KPGA.
Along with the celebrity tournament, the KPGA also announced it will offer the highest purse yet next year during the conference this week.
The KPGA’s Korean Tour will have 17 tournaments for next season, with a record prize money total of 14.1 billion won, or $13.1 million.
The new season of the Korean Tour kicks off on April 19 with the Dongbu Insurance Promy Open at Montvert Country Club in Pocheon, Gyeonggi Province.