This weekend at Las Colinas Country Club in Irving, Texas, PGA Tour Champions players, LPGA legends, and dozens of celebrities — including numerous baseball and football hall of famers — will tee it up at the 2024 Invited Celebrity Classic.

Celebrity pro-ams are experiencing somewhat of a boom. Two marquee PGA Tour events — the AT&T Pebble Beach and WM Phoenix Open — are attached to pro-ams. Stephen Curry's highlight factory in Lake Tahoe last summer went viral.

According to Hall of Fame pitcher John Smoltz, a prolific veteran of the pro-am circuit, the competition has strengthened as the talent pool has deepened.

“Celebrity golf has taken off,” Smoltz told ClutchPoints. “At least the majority of them are trying to get better. They want to play better. They put in the time. There’s more people than ever that can win our field than in the past ten years, where it was pretty limited on who could win.”

The field at Las Colinas includes defending champion Tony Romo, 2023 runner-up Mardy Fish, Emmitt Smith, Ray Allen, Larry the Cable Guy, Alfonso Ribeiro, DeMarcus Ware, Dwight Freeney, and Annika Sorenstam.

MLBers are more represented than any subgenre of celebrity.

“Baseball has a really, really big field of really, really good players,” said Smoltz, who has won multiple tournaments. “A lot of them are pitchers, mainly because we've had more time to play than position players, but there's some position players currently playing that could play in just about any event.

“Jeff McNeil won his first one last January at the Hilton Grand. Derek Lowe, Mark Mulder. There's a lot of baseball players who can play.” (Mulder and Lowe are in the ICC field.)


Two of Smoltz's competitors this weekend  — along with the likes of Albert Pujols, Pudge Rodriguez, and Roger Clemens — will be fellow Atlanta Braves aces, Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine.

Smoltz didn't sound overly concerned.

“I got a chance to play forever with (Maddux) and Tom Glavine, and we had the time of our lives, honestly. Glavine is trying to go to the next level and beat me once. Maddux has gone the wrong way. It's been tough to watch some of his golf.”

The World Series-winning trio combined for six Cy Young awards — three going to Maddux. According to Smoltz, Maddux's precision on the mound hasn't transferred onto the golf course.

“Hopefully, he's in a better place with his golf game because he's meticulous and analytical, as he was on the mound,” said Smoltz. “It's the opposite on the golf course. It really doesn't translate. I'm hoping that he gets back to that because we've played so much golf together. It's almost like old times when we get a chance to meet up for these tournaments.”


Smoltz was a bit more wary of Glavine. Just as in Atlanta, Smoltz still uses the Southpaw as a motivator.

“I will say this: Glavine’s my go-to on the scoreboard. If I'm having a bad tournament, I make sure to know where he is at all times, because if I'm out of the tournament competition for winning, I cannot let him beat me.

“So he is the one inspiration that I have when I'm not playing good and I just want to walk off the golf course. I know he's just waiting to beat me once. It's probably going to happen at some point. I just don't want to have it anytime soon.”

Smoltz is three strokes back of leader Mardy Fish after the first round. Glavine is T18. Maddux is in 30th place. The event completes on Saturday.