Just like that, the first women’s Major of the year is upon us: The Chevron Championship. Here’s everything you need to know.
The Chevron Championship is set to tee off in its new home in Texas from 20 – 23 April. This year’s championship will take place on the Jack Nicklaus Signature Course at The Club at Carlton Woods.
The tournament’s previous host, Mission Hills, holds a lot of significance to the women’s game. After 51 championships, it’s steeped in history and has become synonymous with the first women’s Major of the year.
So, can a new venue live up to the hype of its predecessor?
After 51 years at Mission Hills, The Chevron Championship heads to Houston this year and will be played at The Club at Carlton Woods.
Named by Jack Nicklaus himself as one of the Top 18 Course Designs in his illustrious career, The Club at Carlton Woods is a pure test of golf.
The course winds among lakes and woodland, with undulating greens well protected by bunkers. And, importantly, there’s a lake next to the 18th green, begging the question: Will the winner jump in in Texas?
The jump into Poppie’s pond at Mission Hills is akin to what the Green Jacket is to The Masters.
The pond is located at the 18th of the Dinah Shore Tournament Course and was named in honour of former Tournament Director, Terry Wilcox. Terry was affectionately known to his grandchildren as Poppie.
Amy Alcott took the first winner’s leap into the pond in 1988, starting a tradition that may well end with last year’s winner, Jennifer Kupcho.
I’d love to see the tradition continue and see the winner take the plunge. Allegedly, an area of the lake is being dredged and netted to make sure it’s safe to do so, and the traditional robe and slippers will be on standby.
Here’s hoping …
This year’s field is a star-studded line-up of who’s who in women’s golf. 42 of the top 50 women in the Rolex World Golf Rankings will compete in Texas, as well as 29 Major winners and defending champion, Jennifer Kupcho.
With an adjustment to the championship’s eligibility criteria, seven amateurs will also compete in this year’s championship. Amateurs have long been an important part of the tournament’s history and it’s good to see that 2023 will be no different.
The legacy of Dinah Shore
Overlooking the 18th green at Mission Hills Country Club is a statue of Dinah Shore with the inscription, “The first lady of golf”.
Dinah Shore was a singer, actress and television personality of the 1940s. She was also the LPGA’s most vocal advocate as host of the tour’s most popular tournament: The Colgate-Dinah Shore Women’s Circle.
The first Colgate-Dinah Shore Women’s Circle was held at Mission Hills in 1972. It would become the ANA Inspiration in 1983, and later The Chevron Championship in 2022.
Shore became a tireless promoter of the tournament and women’s golf, using her celebrity status to give women the same platform and attention as their male counterparts. She became the first honorary member to be inducted into the LPGA Hall of Fame. And even though the tournament no longer bears her name, the event is still affectionately referred to as “The Dinah”.
Now as The Chevron heads to the desert, there are questions about how the legacy of Dinah Shore will continue.
Catch all the action from The Chevron Championship on Sky Sports.