Simmons Sponsors New PGA Event at Pleasant Valley Country Club

Simmons Sponsors New PGA Event at Pleasant Valley Country Club
Miller Brady, president of PGA Tour Champions, at a news conference on Aug. 31, 2023, to announce the Simmons Bank Championship at Pleasant Valley Country Club (Arkansas Governor's Office)

Simmons Bank of Pine Bluff and the PGA Tour on Thursday announced a five-year agreement to host a PGA Tour Champions event at Pleasant Valley Country Club in Little Rock.

The first Simmons Bank Championship is scheduled to take place at the private club in October 2024. It'll be the second playoff of the Charles Schwab Cup Championship, the final event of the men's senior professional golf tour.

"What that means is that if they're qualified for this event, they're going to be here," Miller Brady, president of PGA Tour Champions, said in a news conference. "Our players are going to be here to support the community and to be in Little Rock playing professional golf in Pleasant Valley."

Recent cup winners include golf greats Phil Mickelson and Vijay Singh. Other players include Arkansas native Ken Duke, who attended Thursday's announcement at the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame at Simmons Bank Arena.

The event will be managed by Pro Links Sports of Tequesta, Florida. It's projected to have a $15 million economic impact on the region.

"In addition to the obvious benefits and sponsors of brand association with the PGA, we'll have a chance to highlight our state and, specifically, central Arkansas and all it has to offer," Simmons Bank chair George Makris Jr. said. 

The event will also have a charitable impact. Makris said that revenue from the tournament will be distributed to "worthy organizations" each year through a new entity called the Arkansas Champions Trust.

"Our goals are very high and the impact we can have on those organizations will be significant," Makris said.

The announcement comes after Pleasant Valley Country Club began an $18.7 million clubhouse renovation. According to Makris, that project should be complete before the Simmons Bank Championship.

"To the directors of Pleasant Valley Country Club, who have been so gracious to offer their venue for this event, thank you very much," he said. "It is a tough job to convince a membership to give up their facility for a week right after a brand new renovation of the entire clubhouse, but the timing couldn't be better."

The lender also sponsors the Simmons Bank Open in Nashville, Tennessee, one of four events in the Korn Ferry Tour Finals, the PGA's developmental tour. The event benefits the Snedeker Foundation, which supports a variety of social and athletic endeavors in middle Tennessee.

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