photo courtesy the PGA Tour
The 2019 Honda Classic returns to South Florida and the PGA National Golf Club this week as the PGA Tour begins its swing through Florida. The tournament takes place February 28-March 3 and features a strong field including Justin Thomas, Rickie Fowler and Brooks Koepka. Thomas, currently ranked 3rd in the world, is the defending champion and will look to turn last week’s top-10 finish at the WGC-Mexico Championship into the Honda Championship’s first back-to-back winner since Jack Nicklaus.
2017 champion Rickie Fowler. photo courtesy PGA National
The tournament dates back to 1972 when it was originally known as Jackie Gleason’s Inverrary Classic. Gleason, a comedian and television star best known for his role on the Honeymooners, remained host until 1980. Honda began it’s sponsorship of the tournament in 1982 and has maintained its relationship to the present. The tournament had numerous host courses throughout its history, including Inverrary Country Club, TPC Eagle Trace and Country Club at Mirasol. The tournament has been played at the PGA National Golf Club’s Champion Course since 2007. The course is routinely considered to be one of the toughest on the PGA Tour since it was redesigned in 1990 by Jack Nicklaus.
Nicklaus himself is one of only 4 golfers to win the tournament twice. Other golfers with 2 wins include Johnny Miller, Mark Calcavecchia and Padraig Harrington. The tournament has many notable former champions, including Curtis Strange, Mark O’Meara, Vijay Singh, Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler. The tournament’s low scoring record is held by 2003 champion Justin Leonard who won with a score of -24.
Tickets are still available for the 2019 Honda Classic with Daily Grounds Passes going for $50 for tournament days. In addition, Good Any Day Grounds Passes are available for $55. Upgraded tickets are also available that provide access to more exclusive venues. Tickets for the Gosling Bear Trap include access to a sports bar like atmosphere with upgraded food and beverage options and views of both the 16th and signature 17th holes with comfortable patio and stadium seating. Tickets are available for $135, with two pack going for $259 and “fore” packs going for $479. An all inclusive option is the Waterford Club, located on the 17th hole, which includes unlimited food and premium bar service in an open air venue for $285, or choose a weekend pass for $490. The Champions Club overlooks the 18th club and offers full buffet services and upscale bar service in an all-inclusive environment that includes observation decks and indoor and outdoor seating for $400. The luxury option is the Legends Club, where $775-$950 will earn you a private hospitality suite with premium food and top-shelf bar service.
For fans unable to make the trip to South Florida, television coverage will be provided by the Golf Channel and NBC. The Golf channel provides coverage 2-6pm ET Thursday and Friday, and 1-3pm ET on Saturday and Sunday. NBC will provide primetime coverage of the final two rounds Saturday and Sunday from 3-6pm ET. Streaming coverage is provided by PGA Tour Live while radio coverage is through PGA Tour Radio on SiriusXM and PGATour.com.