The Rocket Mortgage Classic expects to raise more than $1 million to support its “Changing the Course” initiative, which aims to end the digital divide in Detroit. Pictured, Dustin Johnson tees off at the 2019 Rocket Mortgage Classic.

The Rocket Mortgage Classic expects to raise more than $1 million to support its “Changing the Course” initiative, which aims to end the digital divide in Detroit. Pictured, Dustin Johnson tees off at the 2019 Rocket Mortgage Classic.

File photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Rocket Mortgage Classic’s AREA 313 looking to become most charitable three holes in golf

By: Zachary Manning | Metro | Published April 23, 2021

METRO DETROIT — The Rocket Mortgage Classic recently announced that it expects to raise more than $1 million through fan engagements and returning initiatives at its three-hole stretch, AREA 313, as part of a larger fundraising effort to support the tournament’s multi-year “Changing the Course” initiative to end the digital divide in Detroit.

AREA 313, named in honor of Detroit’s famed area code, is composed of the 555-yard par-5 14th hole, the 160-yard par-3 15th hole and the 446-yard par-4 16th hole at the Detroit Golf Club.

“We are proud to make AREA 313 the most charitable three holes in golf, though the real gratification comes from the lives we will be able to impact together,” Rocket Mortgage CEO Jay Farner said in a release. “The digital divide is a glaring, systemic issue in Rocket Companies’ hometown of Detroit, and we hope that our efforts will eventually make Detroit a model for digital inclusion that can be replicated nationwide.”

This year, AREA 313 at the Rocket Mortgage Classic offers three ways for anyone to pledge their support and donate toward “Changing the Course.”

New to the Rocket Mortgage Classic in 2021 is the “Faces of AREA 313 Presented by Priority Health” program. It will enable companies and community members to pledge $313 or more for their face or that of a fellow fan, first responder, frontline worker or loved one lost from the COVID-19 pandemic to be prominently displayed on an electronic videoboard or along the hospitality structures within AREA 313.

Each donation will be matched dollar for dollar by Priority Health, which has pledged $50,000 to the initiative. Faces are available to purchase by visiting RocketMortgageClassic.com, and each purchase is accompanied by a ticket that allows fans access to the event June 28 and 29.

The Rocket Mortgage Classic will also bring back its popular AREA 313 Celebrity Scramble, which was recognized by the PGA TOUR as the “Best Special Event” across all its tournaments during its 2018-19 season. On June 29, the three-hole charitable exhibition will pair select professional golfers playing in the Rocket Mortgage Classic with celebrity athletes and entertainers.

This year, the event allows for corporate partners of the tournament to donate to sponsor the teams participating in the AREA 313 Celebrity Scramble. Each team sponsor can also arrange VIP access for an executive or client to play the event and walk inside the ropes alongside the pros and celebrities from holes 14-16.

Finally, the Rocket Mortgage Classic will continue its tradition of pledging donations to the community through the AREA 313 Challenge during the tournament’s 156-player professional competition.

Anyone can make a flat donation toward the AREA 313 Challenge by visiting the AREA 313 Challenge webpage (under the ‘tournament info’ tab) at RocketMortgageClassic.com and clicking on the red “donate” button.

“All proceeds raised through AREA 313 will be directed to the multi-year Changing the Course initiative, and these contributions will be invested into organizations and infrastructure that seek to end the digital divide and offer digital connectivity for all Detroit residents,” Rocket Mortgage Classic Executive Director Jason Langwell said in a release. “We are unconditionally committed to Changing the Course, as it is vital for us to support our local community and provide necessary technology, digital access, digital literacy and educational training for Detroiters now and in the future.”

The PGA Tour professionals participating in the Rocket Mortgage Classic will also be playing for a chance to help the “Changing the Course” initiative.

The first player to score a 3 on hole 14, a hole-in-one on hole 15, and a 3 on hole 16 – scoring a 3-1-3 along that stretch – cumulatively over the four days of tournament play will trigger a $313,000 donation made in his name and split between a charity of the golfer’s choice and the Connect 313 Fund, in support of Changing the Course.

Additionally, for each 3 made on hole 14, Rocket Mortgage will supply $5,000 to Changing the Course, while any 1 made on hole 15 will trigger a $10,000 donation and any 3 made on hole 16 will result in a $5,000 contribution. Last year, with 15 eagles made on the 14th hole and 63 birdies made on the 16th, the company’s donation totaled $385,000.

The Rocket Mortgage Classic tournament staff is working with government and health officials, as well as with the PGA Tour, to finalize health and safety plans that aim to have fans returning to the 2021 Rocket Mortgage Classic. More details will be announced at a later date.