Industry News

Intersport announces 2024 schedule for The John Shippen National Invitational, featuring three standalone events for elevated Black representation in golf

The John Shippen National Invitational showcases nation’s top Black women and men golfers competing for five exemptions into LPGA Tour and PGA Tour events

·       THE JOHN SHIPPEN Cognizant Cup will be played May 6 at Upper Montclair Country Club in New Jersey to provide an exemption into LPGA Tour’s Cognizant Founders Cup

·       Women’s Invitational will be played June 4-5 at Blythefield Country Club in Grand Rapids, Michigan for exemptions into the Meijer LPGA Classic and Dow Championship

·       Men’s Invitational plays June 22-23 at Detroit Golf Club for an exemption into the PGA TOUR’s Rocket Mortgage Classic

DETROIT (February 1, 2024) – Intersport, a leading Chicago-based agency, has announced the 2024 schedule for THE JOHN SHIPPEN National Invitational – a series of competitions created to provide playing opportunities on the LPGA Tour and PGA TOUR for the nation’s top Black women and men golfers. THE JOHN SHIPPEN Sports Business Summit will also be held for the fourth year to create awareness about employment opportunities within the business of sports and to address the lack of representation in business and leadership roles within the sports industry for students 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.

The series of competitions will kick off with THE JOHN SHIPPEN Cognizant Cup. The event will take place May 6 at Upper Montclair Country Club in Clifton, New Jersey. The women’s contest of THE JOHN SHIPPEN National Invitational will be held June 4–5 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and the men’s competition of THE JOHN SHIPPEN National Invitational will be June 22-23 at Detroit Golf Club.

“We are thrilled about what we have in store for THE JOHN SHIPPEN in 2024. It has been an honor to watch the tremendous abilities of these Black golfers in our competitions the last few years, which has led to SHIPPEN winners making the cut at both the Rocket Mortgage Classic and Dow Championship as well as other players achieving playing status on the PGA TOUR Champions, PGA TOUR Americas and Ladies European Tours,” said Jason Langwell, Executive Vice President of Intersport and the Executive Director of the Rocket Mortgage Classic. “The Intersport and Rocket Mortgage teams continue to be passionate about diversity, equity and inclusion and are thankful to be able to partner with organizations committed to making a difference. We are humbled to have the opportunity to continue providing elevated platforms and year-round exposure for these athletes -- which aims to break barriers for Black golfers and aspiring business professionals.”

Last year was another historic year for THE JOHN SHIPPEN, as for the first time in the event’s history, the Men’s Invitational champion – Chase Johnson – made the cut at the PGA TOUR’s Rocket Mortgage Classic.

Since 2021, 90 of the nation’s best Black men and women golfers have competed in THE JOHN SHIPPEN. THE JOHN SHIPPEN has awarded sixteen playing opportunities on the PGA TOUR and LPGA Tour and donated $340,000 to local charities, scholarships and fellowships. SHIPPEN alumni continue to see success beyond the National Invitational through player-earned memberships on the PGA TOUR Champions, PGA TOUR Americas and Ladies European Tours.

THE JOHN SHIPPEN Cognizant Cup returns for the fourth time and third as a standalone event. The May 6 competition features 18 holes of stroke play and will again be played at Upper Montclair Country Club, the host venue for the LPGA Tour’s Cognizant Founders Cup. The winner of the event will be awarded an exemption into the LPGA’s Cognizant Founders Cup held later that week (May 9-12), marking a continuation of Cognizant’s commitment to supporting equal opportunity and diversity in the game of golf and beyond.

“We’re excited about the year ahead for THE JOHN SHIPPEN,” said Sommer Woods, Co-Founder of Woods and Watts Effect and Tournament Lead for THE JOHN SHIPPEN. “We’re thankful to be able to partner with such great organizations, and none of this would be possible without their support. We’re looking forward to building upon the success of 2023 and creating more opportunities for these talented golfers.”

The Women’s Invitational will be played June 4-5 at Blythefield Country Club in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the home of the Meijer LPGA Classic. Players will compete in 36 holes of stroke play, with the winner earning an exemption into the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give (June 13–16), as well as an exemption into the Dow Championship, the LPGA tournament scheduled for June 27– 30 in Midland, Michigan. The SHIPPEN winner will choose a partner to compete alongside them in the Dow, which is a two-player team event.

In 2022, Women’s Invitational champion Sadena Parks chose 2021 winner Anita Uwadia to play alongside her in the team competition, and the pair went on to finish tied for 36th – making them the first SHIPPEN champions to make a cut after securing a start in an event based on their results in THE JOHN SHIPPEN.

The Men’s Invitational will take place at Detroit Golf Club June 22–23. Participants will compete in a 36-hole stroke play competition, with the winner granted an exemption into the PGA TOUR’s Rocket Mortgage Classic (June 27–30).

Chase Johnson, the 2023 Men’s Invitational champion, carded a 36-hole score of 4-under-par 140 in the first two rounds of the Rocket Mortgage Classic to make the cut on the number – becoming the first SHIPPEN player to make the cut on the PGA TOUR. Johnson finished with a tournament total of 7-under-par 281 and tied for 64th. He went on to compete in two more PGA TOUR events last season, also making the cut at the World Wide Technology Championship.

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. Since its inception in 2021, THE JOHN SHIPPEN Sports Business Summit has paired high school and college students of color with sports industry leaders for a day of educational programming centered around the business of sports. Dates and details surrounding THE JOHN SHIPPEN Sports Business Summit in Detroit will be announced in the near future. Past presenters include representatives from Rocket Mortgage, CDW, the NBA, Detroit Pistons, Detroit Lions, Trap Golf and Pensole Lewis College.

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
Intersport is an award-winning agency and leader in the creation of ideas, content and experiences that attract and engage passionate audiences. Its industry-leading team offers expert insights in content marketing, customer engagement, experiential marketing, hospitality, production and sponsorship consulting. The Chicago-based agency also owns and operates events across the professional and collegiate sports landscape, including basketball, football, golf, pickleball and volleyball. In addition to launching and operating the PGA TOUR’s Rocket Mortgage Classic, Intersport is the proud operator of other world-class, ground-breaking golf properties such as The Jackson T. Stephens Cup, THE JOHN SHIPPEN National Golf Invitational and the World Champions Cup. Intersport has been headquartered in Chicago since its inception in 1985, with additional offices in Boston, Detroit and New York. Learn more at and on social media (LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook).

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 is the top retail mortgage lender, closing more mortgage volume than any other lender in 2022, and is a part of Rocket Companies (NYSE: RKT).

The lender 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. Since its founding in 1985, Rocket Mortgage has closed more than $1.6 trillion of mortgage volume across all 50 states.

J.D. Power has ranked Rocket Mortgage #1 in client satisfaction for primary mortgage origination and servicing 21 times – the most of any mortgage lender. Rocket Companies, Rocket Mortgage’s parent company, ranked #11 on Fortune’s list of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” in 2022 and has placed in the top third of the list for 20 consecutive years.

For more information and company news visit

About Meijer
Meijer is a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer that operates more than 500 supercenters and neighborhood markets. Meijer Grocery and Express locations 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) is one of the world’s leading materials science companies, serving customers in high-growth markets such as packaging, infrastructure, mobility and consumer applications. Our global breadth, asset integration and scale, focused innovation, leading business positions and commitment to sustainability enable us to achieve profitable growth and help deliver a sustainable future. We operate manufacturing sites in 31 countries and employ approximately 35,900 people. Dow delivered sales of approximately $45 billion in 2023. References to Dow or the Company mean Dow Inc. and its subsidiaries. Learn more about us and our ambition to be the most innovative, customer-centric, inclusive and sustainable materials science company in the world by visiting

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. Together, we're improving everyday life. See how at or @cognizant.

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