Industry News

Intersport announces return of the John Shippen National Golf Invitational presented by Rocket Mortgage, expands to new markets for more black representation in golf 

The John Shippen National Golf Invitational invites the nation’s top black women and men amateur and professional golfers to compete for five exemptions on the LPGA and PGA Tour; the John Shippen Shoot-Out presented by Cognizant on May 9 at Mountain Ridge Country Club in New Jersey to provide an exemption into LPGA’s Cognizant Founders Cup; women’s field plays June 1-2 at Blythefield Country Club in Grand Rapids for exemptions into the Meijer LPGA Classic For Simply Give and Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational; men’s field plays July 23-24 at Detroit Golf Club for an exemption into the Rocket Mortgage Classic 

DETROIT (March 31, 2022) – Intersport announced today the return of THE JOHN SHIPPEN National Golf Invitational presented by Rocket Mortgage – an event designed to provide opportunities for Black men and women amateur and professional golfers. THE JOHN SHIPPEN Sports Business Summit will also return for its second year to address the lack of representation in business and leadership roles in golf and across professional sports for people of color. 

The events are named after John Shippen, Jr., who was both the first American-born golf professional and the country’s first Black golf professional.  

“Building on the impact of the event’s inaugural year, THE JOHN SHIPPEN is introducing additional professional exemption opportunities that expand to new markets – creating more year-round exposure and Black representation in golf,” said Jason Langwell, Executive Vice President of Intersport and the Executive Director of the Rocket Mortgage Classic. “The Intersport and Rocket Mortgage teams are passionate about diversity, equity and inclusion and we partner with organizations committed to making a difference with their mission. This is why we’re particularly proud to be announcing the second annual event – which aims to address barriers that have prevented talented Black golfers and aspiring business professionals.” 

THE JOHN SHIPPEN Shoot-Out Presented by Cognizant has a new date and location, taking place May 9 in New Jersey. The women’s competition of THE JOHN SHIPPEN National Golf Invitational will be held June 1–2 in Grand Rapids, Michigan and the men’s competition of THE JOHN SHIPPEN National Golf Invitational will take place July 23-24 at Detroit Golf Club.  

THE JOHN SHIPPEN Shoot-Out Presented by Cognizant is an 18-hole stroke play competition for Black women golfers taking place at Mountain Ridge Country Club in New Jersey on May 9. The winner of the event will be awarded an exemption into the LPGA’s Cognizant Founders Cup (May 12-May 15) in Clifton, N.J., marking a continuation of Cognizant’s commitment to supporting equal opportunity and diversity in the game of golf and beyond. 

“We’re incredibly excited to be part of THE JOHN SHIPPEN Shoot-Out for a second year,” said Shameka Young, Vice President and Global Head, Diversity and Inclusion at Cognizant. “Cognizant is committed to furthering diversity and inclusion in the workplace and beyond, and we’re proud to help build a better future for the next generation of Black female golfers with this unique event.  The Shoot-Out provides an opportunity to showcase another amazing woman golfer in the already world-class field of talent at the LPGA’s Cognizant Founders Cup.” 

THE JOHN SHIPPEN National Golf Invitational women’s tournament will return with a new location as well as earlier dates. The 36-hole stroke play competition for Black women golfers will be held June 1-2 at Blythefield Country Club in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the home of the Meijer LPGA Classic. The winner of the event will earn an exemption into the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give (June 16–19), as well as an exemption into the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational, the LPGA tournament scheduled for July 13– 16 in Midland, Michigan. The SHIPPEN winner will choose a partner to compete alongside in the Dow GLBI, which is a two-player team event.  

“We are pleased to support Blythefield Country Club as they host the women’s division of THE JOHN SHIPPEN National Golf Invitational in Grand Rapids this year,” said Cathy Cooper, Executive Director of the Meijer LPGA Classic. “We’re honored to be part of this inclusive statewide effort that extends to communities across Michigan and proud to offer an exemption into the Meijer LPGA Classic this June.” 

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to continue our support of this influential event, which promises to raise recognition for Black female golfers,” said Chris Chandler, Executive Director of the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational. “We’re proud to once again offer one team exemption opportunity into our field this summer.” 

The men’s field of THE JOHN SHIPPEN National Golf Invitational presented by Rocket Mortgage will compete in a 36-hole stroke play competition at Detroit Golf Club July 23–24, and the winner will once again receive an exemption into the PGA TOUR’s Rocket Mortgage Classic (July 28-31).  

THE JOHN SHIPPEN was also created to address the lack of representation in business and leadership roles in golf and across professional sports for people of color. Summit participants will be given the opportunity to apply for fellowship and scholarships from sponsors, organizations and foundations within and beyond the sports industry. Dates and details surrounding THE JOHN SHIPPEN Sports Business Summit in Detroit will be announced in the near future. 

For updated information on THE JOHN SHIPPEN, please visit and follow us on Facebook and Instagram (@TheJohnShippen) and on Twitter (@TheJShippen). For information about sponsorship opportunities or how to get involved, email us at

About Intersport 
Since 1985, Intersport has been an award-winning innovator and leader in the creation of sports, lifestyle, culinary and entertainment-based marketing platforms. With expertise in Sponsorship Consulting, Experiential Marketing, Hospitality, Customer Engagement, Content Marketing, Productions and Sports Properties, this Chicago-based Marketing & Media Solutions Company helps their clients to create ideas, content and experiences that attract and engage passionate audiences. To learn more about Intersport, visit, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram. 

About Woods & Watts Effect 
Woods & Watts Effect is an equity and inclusion consulting firm of transformation engineers, co-founded by Sommer Woods and Michele Lewis Watts, Ph.D. They are a solutions-driven team that adeptly designs programs that assess a company’s strengths and areas for improvement relative to inclusion and social equity. Woods & Watts Effect is innovative in their thinking, their engagement and their execution. Through a bold, non-traditional and engaging approach, they produce viable and actionable solutions for sustainable change. More information is available at 

About Rocket Mortgage  
Detroit-based Rocket Mortgage, the nation’s largest home mortgage lender and part of Rocket Companies (NYSE: RKT), enables the American Dream of homeownership and financial freedom through its obsession with an industry-leading, digital-driven client experience. In late 2015, it introduced the first fully digital, completely online mortgage experience. Rocket Mortgage closed $351 billion dollars of mortgage volume across all 50 states in 2021. 

Rocket Mortgage moved its headquarters to downtown Detroit in 2010. Today, Rocket Mortgage and Rocket Companies employ 26,000 full-time team members nationwide. The company generates loan production from web centers located in Detroit, Cleveland and Phoenix. Rocket Mortgage ranked highest in the country for customer satisfaction in mortgage servicing by J.D. Power for the past eight straight years, 2014 – 2021. 

Rocket Companies, Rocket Mortgage’s parent company, ranked #5 on Fortune’s list of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” in 2021 and has placed in the top third of the list for 18 consecutive years. 

For more information and company news visit

About Meijer 
Meijer is a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer that operates 258 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin. A privately-owned and family-operated company since 1934, Meijer pioneered the "one-stop shopping" concept and has evolved through the years to include expanded fresh produce and meat departments, as well as pharmacies, comprehensive apparel departments, pet departments, garden centers, toys and electronics. For additional information on Meijer, please visit Follow Meijer on Twitter and or become a fan at

About Dow 
Dow (NYSE: DOW) combines global breadth; asset integration and scale; focused innovation and materials science expertise; leading business positions; and environmental, social and governance (ESG) leadership to achieve profitable growth and deliver a sustainable future. The Company's ambition is to become the most innovative, customer centric, inclusive and sustainable materials science company in the world. Dow's portfolio of plastics, industrial intermediates, coatings and silicones businesses delivers a broad range of differentiated, science-based products and solutions for its customers in high-growth market segments, such as packaging, infrastructure, mobility and consumer applications. Dow operates 104 manufacturing sites in 31 countries and employs approximately 35,700 people. Dow delivered sales of approximately $55 billion in 2021. References to Dow or the Company mean Dow Inc. and its subsidiaries. For more information, please visit or follow @DowNewsroom on Twitter. 

About Cognizant 
Cognizant (Nasdaq: CTSH) engineers modern businesses. We help our clients modernize technology, reimagine processes and transform experiences so they can stay ahead in our fast-changing world. Cognizant works to advance diversity and inclusion in its business and beyond, including its partnership with the LPGA Tour, which aims to make sports more inclusive at all levels across the globe. Together, we’re improving everyday life. See how at or @cognizant. 

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