Text: Brenna Buckwald // Photography: PGA of America
This Memorial Day weekend from May 25 to May 29, the 2022 KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship will return to Harbor Shores Resort in Benton Harbor, Michigan bringing some of the most accomplished players in senior golf, community-focused activities, and KitchenAid cooking demonstrations. Since 2012, Harbor Shores Resort has hosted the event every other year, apart from 2020 when it was cancelled due to the global pandemic.
“[The Senior PGA Championship] is the oldest major in senior tour golf, and ultimately it brings not only a spotlight to Harbor Shores, but also Southwest Michigan,” said Joshua Doxtator, PGA, general manager at Harbor Shores Resort.
“It has got a great history, and it is probably the most prized major on the senior circuit,” Doxtator added.
The oldest of the five major championships in men’s senior golf, the Senior PGA Championship was first established in 1937 and held at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia. Administered by the Professional Golfers’ Association of America, the event originally encompassed 54 holes of play, but in time shifted to a 71-hole event.
“We are very excited to have it back, and we will have the best field we’ve ever had contest here at Harbor Shores, which is exciting. I think ultimately you are taking the best players in the world, inviting them to your property, and then not only giving them a great venue to play, but also being able to have certain touch points with our teams here, for all the players, all the guests, and all the spectators that come onsite,” Doxtator said.
The field for this year’s championship includes 27 major champions, and 11 KitchenAid Senior PGA Champions, among other participants from around the world. Doxtator indicated that many favored players have recently turned 50-years-old, becoming eligible to join the field this year, making the event one golf enthusiasts won’t want to miss. For those who won’t be able to attend the championship in person, it will be globally broadcasted on NBC and Golf Channel, with about 12 hours of event coverage.
“We’re all about creating unique experiences and memories here at Harbor Shores, and that holds true when we host championships here as well, making sure we go above and beyond for the players, their families, and then all the spectators onsite. We have 1,200 volunteers that will help execute this, and of course we can’t do it without them,” Doxtator said.
Other activities for event attendees to participate in feature a community concert in Downtown Benton Harbor, a Kids Day and two YMCA Kids Zone sessions, and the KitchenAid Fairway Club.
The KitchenAid 2022 Fairway Club will present guests with daily cooking demonstrations from celebrity chefs Scott Conant, Stephanie Izard, and Melissa King, joined by KitchenAid chefs Chris Covelli and Brett Wagner. The demonstrations will highlight each chefs’ best cooking tips and favorite KitchenAid products, as well as offer the opportunity for guests to ask them questions.
Doxtator also indicated that during the week of the championship, PGA HOPE—otherwise known as Helping Our Patriots Everywhere—will have a session where veterans are invited to meet some of the players. PGA HOPE is a free program that introduces veterans with disabilities to golf to enhance their physical, mental, social, and emotional well-being.
“We will host again in 2024, and then we will see what happens after that. There are not a lot of venues that can say they have hosted a major championship as many times as we have in the amount of years. We started in 2012, so we hosted in 2012, 2014, 2016, and 2018—this will be our fifth time hosting in 10 years,” Doxtator said.
“I encourage anybody that has the opportunity, to come. We have the best players, and the best field that was ever assembled to play here. It will be an exciting week, and if you can’t come onsite, make sure you tune in,” Doxtator added.