photo credit: Farmers Insurance Open
The Farmers Insurance Open returns to Torrey Pines in San Diego, California this weekend, January 23-26. The field is particularly strong this year, with Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, and Jon Rahm all scheduled to play in the California sun. The tournament is played on Torrey Pines GC’s North Course for the first 2 rounds, with the final 2 rounds to be played on the South Course, host of the 2021 US Open.
The tournament began in 1952 as the San Diego Open and spent time bouncing around multiple courses for the first decade, including the San Diego Country Club, Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club, and Mission Valley Country Club. In 1968, the tournament moved to its current home at Torrey Pines. Also in 1968, the club began its relationship with singer and actor Andy Williams, who would serve as the celebrity host for 2 decades and brought some Hollywood flair to the event. Past champions are a who’s who of golf history, including Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Phil Mickelson, Davis Love III, Jason Day and defending champion Justin Rose. Tiger Woods holds the record for most wins with 7. The tournament also saw the first African American participation in a PGA Tour event when heavyweight boxing champion Joe Louis teed off on a sponsor exemption in 1952. Louis’ inclusion challenged the PGA’s whites-only restrictions, but ultimately he was allowed to play the event and make golfing history. Unfortunately, the PGA would wait a further 9 years to eradicate its prejudicial practices by unanimous vote November 10, 1961.
Joe Louis at the 1952 Farmers Insurance Open. photo courtesy PGA of America
There are several options for fans looking to take in the action in-person, starting with general admission tickets. These give ticket holders access to the grounds and all public facilities for $60 per day, with kids 12 and under free. Shared hospitality venues include The Fringe on 15 Presented by Harrah's Resort SoCal, a open-air facility offering covered seating, a premium cash bar, and artisan food available for purchase for $95/day, and $325/week. Another option is the Trophy Club on 18, which provides an all inclusive experience in a sports bar like setting with outdoor seating. Tickets for the Trophy Club are $400/day, or $1,250/week. The Surf Club on 17 is another all-inclusive venue sitting right off the 17th green including televisions, indoor tables and outdoor tiered patio seating. Surf Club tickets are $300/day with no weekly option available. In addition, all Active Duty, Retired, and Reservist members of the military & their Dependents are eligible for free general admission, while veterans receive discounted general admission for $45.
The Farmers Insurance Open is being televised by both the Golf Channel and CBS. Coverage starts Thursday and Friday on the Golf Channel, 3-7pm ET. Coverage on Saturday starts on the Golf Channel, 2-2:45pm ET, before switching to CBS from 3-6pm ET. Coverage of the final round is Sunday, 1-2:45pm ET on the Golf Channel before finishing up on CBS, 3-6:30pm ET. Streaming coverage is provided by PGA Tour Live offering coverage of both featured groups and featured holes. PGA Tour Radio provides live radio commentary on SiriusXM and streaming online at PGATour.com/liveaudio.