Industry News

The John Shippen National Invitational to offer prize purses at all three of its events for the first time

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 




DETROIT (May 1, 2024) – For the first time since its debut in 2021, THE JOHN SHIPPEN National Invitational will feature prize purses for all three of its events this season. 

Tournament organizer Intersport announced today that a total purse of $60,000 will be distributed across three events: THE JOHN SHIPPEN Cognizant Cup, THE JOHN SHIPPEN Women’s Invitational and THE JOHN SHIPPEN Men’s Invitational. The top three finishers and ties in each event will be awarded a share of the purse. 

THE JOHN SHIPPEN National Invitational is a series of competitions created to provide playing opportunities on the LPGA Tour and PGA TOUR for the nation’s top Black amateur and professional women and men golfers. 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. 

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.  

While providing playing opportunities on the world’s best professional golf tours has been a central goal of THE JOHN SHIPPEN since the events were founded, providing financial support to players working to establish their professional careers helps further the organization’s mission. Since the events began in 2021, THE JOHN SHIPPEN has covered travel costs for participating players to help minimize financial barriers, and adding a prize purse for each of the events is an even bigger step forward in supporting their careers. 

“Offering purses for all three THE JOHN SHIPPEN events is a hugely important step as we continue to support the top Black men and women golfers in their development,” said Jason Langwell, Executive Vice President of Intersport and the Executive Director of the Rocket Mortgage Classic. “Pursuing a professional golf career is an expensive endeavor, and the costs of travel, equipment and access to training and facilities can be prohibitive. Our goal is to help ease those financial stresses and reward the players that perform well in our events.” 

Added Sommer Woods, Co-Founder of Woods and Watts Effect and Tournament Lead for THE JOHN SHIPPEN: “Supporting not only the winners of THE JOHN SHIPPEN events, but the top three finishers, by offering prize purses is something that we have wanted to do since we first started in 2021. The players that compete in these events are all supremely talented. The more ways that we can support them, the better.” 

The series of competitions will kick off with THE JOHN SHIPPEN Cognizant Cup on May 6 at Upper Montclair Country Club in Clifton, New Jersey. The winner of the 18-hole event will be awarded an exemption into the LPGA’s Cognizant Founders Cup held later that week (May 9-12) and will earn $10,000 of the $16,000 purse. Second place will earn $4,500, and third place will take home $1,500. 

The women’s contest of THE JOHN SHIPPEN National Invitational will be held June 4–5 at Blythefield Country Club in Grand Rapids, Michigan. 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. The women’s winner will be awarded $13,200 from a $22,000 purse. Second place will earn $6,600, and third place will take home $2,200. 

The men’s competition of THE JOHN SHIPPEN National Invitational will be held June 22-23 at Detroit Golf Club. 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). The men’s winner will be awarded $13,200 from a $22,000 purse. Second place will earn $6,600, and third place will take home $2,200. 

In each of the events, should an amateur player finish tied for third or higher, their portion of the purse would be redistributed among the other finishers in the top three. 

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 

Solomon Hughes, 614.315.2446,  
Greg Ball, 760.271.9183,