CASTLE ROCK – The PGA Tour is returning to Colorado.
Castle Pines Golf Club will play host to the 2024 BMW Championship, the tour announced during a Wednesday news conference at the club. Hall of Fame Broncos quarterback John Elway joined some of golf’s biggest names – including virtual appearances by 12-time PGA Tour winner Zach Johnson and 18-time major golf champion Jack Nicklaus – to make it official.
“It’s a fun golf course to play and it certainly does not lack for beauty,” said Nicklaus, who designed the course when it opened in 1981 and oversaw the completion of its renovation in 2020. “We have made some excellent changes to the golf course over the last five years, which make it more playable but still quite challenging. The players will really enjoy this renewed facility. ”
The BMW Championship is the second-to-last stop on the FedExCup with the tour’s top 70 golfers in competition. Colorado last hosted a PGA event in 2014 with the BMW Championship at Cherry Hills Country Club. But Castle Pines is also no stranger to the world’s best players.
The course hosted an annual PGA event, The International, from 1986 to 2006 with winners that included Ernie Ells (2000), Phil Mickelson (1993, ’97) and Vijay Singh (1998). Zach Johnson, recently named the United States Ryder Cup team captain, was a two-time competitor at The International. He is thrilled that the PGA has returned to Castle Pines.
“You’re talking to a guy who adores the state of Colorado. It’s probably my happy place. I love the mountains, ”Johnson said. “It’s a golf-rich community and a golf-thirsty community.”
Specific dates for the 2024 BMW Championship have not been set but the four-day tournament is expected to take place in mid-August. The picturesque par-72 course at Castle Pines plays at over 8,000 yards featuring narrow fairways lined with Ponderosa pines. All proceeds from the tournament benefit the Evans Scholars Foundation, a nonprofit that provides full tuition and housing college scholarships to golf caddies (according to its website).
John Elway, a Castle Pines member for about 30 years, has already played the course several times this year.
“I know Colorado and I know the fans here. They’re great sports fans. It will be a great tournament, ”Elway said. “There have been a lot of great things done… to modernize the golf course. It’s going to be a special event. ”
Elway provided a glimpse into what will make the course challenging for golfers not accustomed to playing at high elevation.
“I’ve played here long enough at the altitude that I’m kind of used to it,” Elway said. “A lot of people have to adjust coming up here with the yardages and what it is at sea level. … The higher you hit it, the longer it stays in the air. I think that’s probably the toughest thing those guys will have in coming up here is getting used to that yardage. ”