Honda Classic ticket prices joining the big leagues
January 19, 2016 | Richard Sites
The Honda Classic was a second tier PGA Tour event for many years. Once, I took my boys to a small club in Broward County to the tournament. It seemed to be an event in search of a permanent home as it moved from venue to venue.
Then, as luxury homes were being built in Mirasol Country Club in Palm Beach Gardens, Mirasol hosted the event for a couple of years which helped put the club, with new homes to sell, and the event on the map. Still, lacking the big name PGA Tour players though, the event struggled.
Then, the event was moved across PGA Boulevard to the PGA National Resort and Spa where it found a home on “The Champion” course, one of 5 courses in the PGA Resort complex. Next, Jack Nicklaus re-designed 3 holes into what is affectionately called “The Bear Trap” , designed to give the leader board a chance to change right at the final holes. This is much the same as the 17th hole at the TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedre.
As the event continued to grow, more of the top players on the Tour followed Tiger Woods and moved into our area including Rory McIlroy, Luke Donald, Rickie Fowler and Dustin Johnson. They all live within a 15 minute drive of the venue. So, once Tiger committed to play, the others joined him and the event exploded in size and scope.
In fact, just this morning I got a call from the PGA inviting me to advertise in the program for the event because they are expecting 165,000 spectators at the event. And ticket prices reflect this popularity.
Over the years, I have attended quite a few PGA events, always on practice day. The admission was free on practice day and you could really get a feel for the players as they would talk and joke with each other. Sometimes they would hit several balls after an errant one landed out of play. But those days are gone.
A practice day ticket at the Honda Classic, being held in late February, will cost $20 per person. And it will cost you to park unless you drive a Honda. Main event day tickets will run you $50.
Ticket sales from all PGA Tour events benefit local charities.
As will everything these days, don’t try to bring in a bottle of water or a snack as it will be confiscated at the gate. I once saw the gate attendants take a banana from a guy trying to bring it in.
Still, the area is abuzz with the upcoming event and many of those participating are tuning up their games at private clubs like The Bear’s Club. With what appears to be a permanent home, the Classic has become a regular feature in Palm Beach Gardens pumping millions into the local economy and charities.