Competition takes place Nov. 4-6 with highlight show airing Dec. 9 and 11 on Golf Channel
HOUSTON, Texas (Sept. 20, 2021) – The Spirit Golf Association (SGA) has partnered with GOLF Channel to distribute the livestream of The 2021 Spirit International Amateur Golf Championship presented by The Will Erwin Headache Research Foundation (The Spirit) as well as a two-hour highlight show to air Dec. 9 and 11. The Spirit, a biennial event staged Nov. 4-6 at Whispering Pines Golf Club in Trinity, Texas, is a premier amateur competition featuring the world’s best men and women amateurs representing their respective countries in team and individual play.
The livestream will be available during competition on GolfChannel.com, the NBC Sports app and on TheSpiritGolf.com. GOLF Channel will present the highlight show in primetime, from 7-9 pm ET on Dec. 9, followed by an encore presentation on Dec. 11 from 4-6 pm ET.
“GOLF Channel and NBC Sports have made a tremendous commitment to amateur and collegiate golf, and the Spirit Golf Association is thrilled that our signature event will now be available all over the world,” said Charlie Epps, SGA President and captain of Team USA in the 2001 inaugural Spirit event. “We look forward to working with NBC Sports and Golf Channel to deliver their audience the pageantry, camaraderie and competition we have seen in person at this incredible event over the years.”
The Spirit features 80 competitors from 20 countries. It is a 54-hole competition with five concurrent competition categories: international team, men’s team and women’s team, and men’s and women’s individual stroke play competitions. Gold, Silver and Bronze commemorative medals are awarded to the top three in each competition.
“The Spirit is an incredible event that features the next generation of PGA and LPGA Tour standouts,” said Andrea Starkey, VP of Partnerships and Programming, GOLF Channel. “We are proud to showcase this international competition on GOLF Channel, which will showcase nearly 100 hours of amateur and collegiate golf this fall.”
Whispering Pines Golf Club is widely recognized as the No. 1 golf course in the state of Texas. The beautiful, 18-hole Championship Golf Course is carved through piney woods, creeks, lakes and natural dunes. It was originally designed in 1998 by Texas golf course architect Chet Williams with the Nicklaus Design Group. In December 2019, Williams returned for the course’s construction during the end-of-season closure. The 2021 Spirit will be the first played on the updated layout.
The Will Erwin Headache Research Foundation, founded in 2014, raises funds to support research aimed at understanding the causes and finding a cure for debilitating headaches, including migraines and cluster headaches. The Foundation was created to honor the memory of Will Erwin, whose story as well as additional information about the Foundation, may be found at www.cureheadaches.org.
The Spirit International Amateur Golf Championship presented by The Will Erwin Headache Research Foundation kicks off with an opening ceremony on Tuesday, Nov. 2. Practice rounds are Wednesday, Nov. 3 before three days of competition begin on Thursday, Nov. 4.
About The Spirit International Amateur Golf Championship:
This biennial event, staged for the 10th time in 2021, is a premier amateur competition featuring the world’s best men and women amateurs representing their respective countries in team and individual play. Eighty competitors from 20 countries compete for gold medals in the 54-hole four-ball stroke play competition. Each country is represented by two women and two men amateur golfers. Previous Spirit International competitors who now are professionals on the LPGA and PGA TOUR include Lorena Ochoa, Brooke Henderson, Scottie Scheffler, Bernd Wiesberger, Jordan Spieth, Francesco Molinari, Lexi Thompson, Brandt Snedeker, Paula Creamer, Jason Day, Bronte Law, Martin Kaymer, Maria Fassi, Austin Ernst, Ally Ewing, Jessica Korda, Will Zalatoris and Viktor Hovland, to name a few. Spirit alumni have gone on to win more than 650 professional titles, 25 major championships and 56 Olympic appearances, including 16 PGA Tour winners, 26 European Tour winners, 24 LPGA winners and 22 Ladies European Tour winners. It organizes and oversees the Championship along with the Texas Golf Association.
About the Spirit Golf Association (SGA):
The Spirit Golf Association, 501(c)(3), serves as the host for The Spirit. The SGA was formed in 1999 by Houston philanthropist Corby Robertson, Jr. With a passionate vision, Robertson turned SGA into reality by establishing a unique charitable organization that benefits health-related causes while promoting the global goodwill of amateur golf. In addition, SGA also hosts the Spirit Charity Challenge featuring Spirit alumni and Spirit Hall of Fame Game, which features local sports Hall of Famers and celebrities. Charlie Epps, PGA, serves as president and has been associated with the SGA since it was created in 1999 and was captain of Team USA in the 2001 inaugural Spirit Championship. Mark Steinbauer, PGA, and Jeff Strong, PGA are vice-presidents.
About The Will Erwin Headache Research Foundation:
The Will Erwin Headache Research Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization founded in 2014. The Foundation was created with the goal of finding a cure for debilitating headaches including migraine and cluster headaches. The Erwin Headache Research Center is dedicated to leading the way in research to find a cure for these neurological disorders and to bring an end to the pain experienced by so many.
About Whispering Pines Golf Club:
Located just 80 miles north of Houston along the shores of Lake Livingston, Whispering Pines Golf Club is one of the best private golf clubs in the country. Whispering Pines is ranked #1 in Texas and was recently ranked #19 in the top 200 modern courses in the country by Golfweek. Chris Rowe, PGA, is the head golf professional and Tim Timlin is the General Manager at Whispering Pines.