Story By: Sol Tucker
Photos By : Edward Kerns II
Ponte Vedra Beach, FL–
As the PGA preps for its Florida swing over the next few weeks, it will be the first time for 2021 where multiple tournaments have spectators in attendance.
The first big tournament of the season that had spectators in attendance was the Waste Management Open in Scottsdale. While we must say that when we checked this out, it was less Wasted Management and more just watching golf. One thing that is missing from some of these tournaments is the social interaction enjoyment. Clearly, this is not something anyone is not used to by now, but how many fans is just enough and how many is too many, questions the PGA is still trying to figure out.
Two of the biggest tournaments on the Florida Swing, the The Players Championship and the Honda Classic are two of tours top events in the state considered the “IT” place to be in the Spring. Both are making adjustments to allow fans this season, but at what cost? Do you strip all of the amenities of these tournaments for fans and just focus on people who really want to watch golf versus going to enjoy a day at the course? This is what many people we have asked around Jacksonville the past few weeks are debating.
The Players is one of the more sought after tournaments for fans to attend behind the Masters and its all about the experience for the fans. How many places can you go and see a top EDM act, The Chainsmokers in 2020, and golf at the same time? “This is what people pay for,” said, Fred Stewart from Mandarin. ” I am a golfer, so it works both ways for me. I come to enjoy watching the premier players, but I can understand why people come here for the hospitality tents and experiences that will be missing this year for the same prices. I think they do need to consider how the offer daily grounds passes and what they offer for the same price.”
The Honda Classic in West Palm Beach is another Spring Swing must for people heading to Florida that will certainly be limited with in its County Club style experience this year, but just having fans back on the course to watch in multiple weekends seems to fare well with some of the golfers on tour.
So, if you are heading to the Sunshine State for some PGA action, remember its going to be a quite different experience overall, but still great golf.
Florida Swing Schedule
Arnold Palmer Classic March 2-7
The Players Championship March 9-14
The Honda Classic March 16-21