DALLAS — Dallas' historic Cedar Crest Golf Course reopened to the public earlier this month, following a months-long renovation of its greens.
Now the course is getting an elite, nationally-televised college golf tournament.
Officials on Friday announced the creation of the Southwest Airlines Showcase at Cedar Crest, a tournament that will feature the top 50 Black college golfers in the country.
The three-day tournament is planned for Nov. 13-15, 2023, and the tournament is also on the books for 2024. The Golf Channel will air the tournament as part of its live coverage of college golf.
The tournament is being hosted by the I AM a Golfer Foundation, which is based at Cedar Crest, and Dallas-based Southwest Airlines is sponsoring the event.
“We are delighted to announce this new event that provides opportunity for these talented collegiate golfers to showcase their talents on national television, exposure that is generally limited to players on a handful of Division 1 teams,” Dave Ridley, co-founder and chairman of the I AM a Golfer Foundation, said in a press release. “This event will highlight the history of Cedar Crest and the impact the Foundation is making on the lives of young people through our varied programs at the course and within the Dallas community.”
The 42-player field will be based on a to-be-announced rankings system, and eight additional spots will be available for tournament or sponsor exemptions.
Cedar Crest has been a staple of its southern Dallas neighborhood - and of North Texas golf - for decades.
The course hosted the 1927 PGA Championship, won by Walter Hagen. The event was the first major golf tournament held in Texas.
“Cedar Crest Golf Course is a special place with a rich history,” said Ira Molayo, the course's head pro and co-founder and vice chairman of I Am A Golfer. “Our Foundation’s mission is to help this ‘hidden gem’ be a catalyst for community transformation in the Cedar Crest neighborhood and surrounding communities.”
The tournament will also feature a Saturday night gala dinner and a Sunday morning collegiate-amateur event, followed by the three-day tournament.
When Cedar Crest reopened this month, Molayo spoke to the importance of Cedar Crest being "a better partner with the community."
Part of those efforts also include recent funding for a statue of Charlie Sifford, the first Black golfer to play on the PGA Tour when he broke the color barrier in 1961.
"To be in this neighborhood in southern Dallas and be a part of what this neighborhood and what this golf course means to the southern Dallas community, it's imperative that we celebrate Charlie Sifford and his win," Molayo said in September, "and what he did for golf and what he did for African-Americans in our country."