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THE GALLERI CLASSIC PRESENTED BY SPOTLIGHT 29 CASINO: A REJUVENATING GOLF EVENT IN THE COACHELLA VALLEY

No matter how you slice it, the bulk of golf enthusiasts in the Coachella Valley are seniors aged 65 and up. The departure of the Dinah Shore/Nabisco/ANA ladies major from the valley left many local golf aficionados and visitors longing for the cherished tournament they had grown accustomed to in the sunny Southern California desert.

The Arrival of The Galleri Classic

But for the second consecutive spring, their spirits were rejuvenated with the arrival of something fresh and thrilling: The Galleri Classic Presented by Spotlight 29 Casino in Rancho Mirage. The event marked a significant shift from the iconic Mission Hills Country Club, which had hosted the tournament until its relocation two years ago. Stepping into the void left by the ladies major, PGA TOUR Champions brought an exciting new dynamic tailored to the 50-plus age group of past PGA TOUR winners.

The Return of PGA TOUR Champions

Since the departure of PGA TOUR Champions from the desert in 1993, there had been a persistent longing among local leaders and golf enthusiasts for its return, as it seemed a perfect fit for the area. Now, their wishes have been granted, with PGA TOUR Champions making a triumphant comeback, better than ever.

The Ideal Venue

The Mission Hills Country Club, steeped in golfing tradition, served as the ideal venue for The Galleri Classic. In a region boasting 120 golf courses, it had previously hosted the LPGA major for over five decades, starting in 1972 as the Colgate-Dinah Shore Winners Circle Tournament.

Photo credit: Scott Avra

A Memorable Experience

Named after its title sponsor, GRAIL’s multi-cancer early detection test, The Galleri Classic offered something for everyone in the area. From informative sessions on cancer testing to delectable food, local art exhibitions, golf demonstrations, and a star-studded field comprising top players from the past four decades.

This year, The Galleri Classic continued its partnership with six cancer-related, non-profit organizations based in the Coachella Valley – American Cancer Society/Palm Desert, The Desert Cancer Foundation, Eisenhower Health, Hanson House, Pendleton Foundation and Shay’s Warriors Life After Cancer – and will direct a portion of its proceeds from the event to fund these local charities.

 

For future participants in the Galleri Classic Pro-Am 2024:

The Galleri Classic Pro-Am enables amateur golf addicts an opportunity to play with the pros. Pro-Am rounds are available on Wednesday and Thursday of the tournament week.

The Galleri Classic Pro-Am is $18,000 per foursome per day; foursomes could play Wednesday, Thursday or both days. Individual spots are $4,500 per person, per day. Below are the included amenities:

 

– Four (4) amateur playing positions, paired with a PGA TOUR Champions professional

– Four (4) Valet Parking Passes for your Pro-Am day (Wednesday or Thursday)

– Four (4) invitations to The Galleri Classic Pairings Party on Tuesday evening

– Four (4) premium gift packages

– Four (4) framed photos autographed by your PGA TOUR Champions professional

– Breakfast/lunch and on-course refreshments available for Pro-Am participants

– Each pro-am participant will receive a badge with grounds access for tournament week

Pro-Am Applications for 2025 are now available, as are volunteer sign-up lists at TheGalleriClassic.com.

The Coachella Valley’s Golfing Legacy

The Coachella Valley has long been celebrated as a premier golf destination, a reputation solidified by events like The American Express (PGA TOUR) tournament, formerly known as the Bob Hope Desert Classic, which has been a regular fixture since 1960. The Galleri Classic, with its lineup featuring familiar veteran pros and legends, including members of the World Golf Hall of Fame and golfers who have combined to win hundreds of PGA TOUR titles, further cements the valley’s status as a golfing paradise.

In my humble opinion, this tournament should and could be another PGA TOUR Champions major and another feather in the PGA TOUR’s cap. One thing is for certain, The Galleri Classic deserves to be added to the “Must-do” list for any traveler to this area of the country.


his year, Retief Goosen, a two-time U.S. Open champion and World Golf Hall of Fame member, won the second-annual Galleri Classic Presented by Spotlight 29 Casino. Goosen shot 3-under-par 69 on Sunday and finished at 13-under par 203 for the tournament. Goosen made two big par saves on the final two holes to outlast playing partners Steven Alker and Ricardo Gonzalez.

South Africa’s Goosen joins David Toms as the only two winners in this tournament’s young history.

To see Goosen’s victory interview visit https://youtu.be/KdAzQXCUNvc courtesy of KESQ-TV. Photo on the left: The Galleri Classic Presented by Spotlight 29 Casino / Scott Avra).

Kudos need to go out to Galleri Classic tournament director Michelle DeLancy, who served as tournament director for the Boeing Classic, a PGA TOUR Champions event in Seattle for 13 years.

She is currently one of the outstanding tournament directors, recognized for her career in sports marketing and all aspects of producing a multi-faceted tournament. Michelle did a superb job that was appreciated by all the players, the media, the 535 volunteers, and, of course, the tournament attendees.

The Galleri Classic has found a welcomed home in the desert, and we look forward to The Galleri Classic in 2025!

www.TheGalleriClassic.com

Barry Lotz, J.D., Ph.D. is the director of the Professional Golf Teachers Association of America. Visit: www.facebook.com/PGTAA  to see all the latest mental strategies, travel, and equipment reviews. Currently, he also works with between 10 to 12 PGA TOUR players on the mental side of golf.

He is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America and serves both as a consultant and mediator to the golf industry. He is also the author of numerous books, including “333 Best Web Sites for Golfers” and his previous book, “How to Build Business Relationships through Golf,” which is still on the Top Ten Golf Business Book’s bestseller list. His current book, “The Right Mind for Golf,” is now in its 13th reprint and is available on Amazon and at the Torrey Pines Golf Course. Just released on June 30th, his new book, “The Right Mind for Putting,” is now available at https://www.pgtaa.com/product/the-right-mind-for-putting-2023.

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