PGA Professional Championship set for Florida Return

PGA Golf Club, Port St. Lucie, Florida. Via Wikimedia Commons

Golf fans in Florida will be buoyed by the announcement the PGA Professional Championship will return to the state at the PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie in 2021.

The Port St. Lucie venue will host the 54th edition of the PGA event in 2021 on its Wanamaker and Ryder courses. The Championship for golf club professionals and teachers has been played in the Sunshine State on six previous occasions, most recently in 1993 when Jeffrey Roth triumphed at Palm Beach Gardens.

A field of 312 PGA professionals, including 41 PGA section champions and past winners, will descend on the Treasure Coast club to compete for the top prize, which is expected to exceed $75,000. Last year’s event, held at the Bayonet Golf Club in Seaside, California, was won by Ryan Vermeer.

The top 20 finishers at the PGA Golf Club will book themselves a place in the prestigious 2021 PGA Championship to be held at The Ocean Course in Kiawah Island, South Carolina. As a gateway to one of golf’s majors, this event holds great appeal for the club professionals who qualify each year.

A change of date

As of next year, the event will switch to April following a scheduling change which will see the PGA Championship move from August to May.

The prestigious PGA Championship has traditionally been the fourth and final major of the year and is one of the most popular events amongst golf betting fans looking to back a winner. Dustin Johnson and Tiger Woods have been installed as early favourites for the 2019 edition.

However, with so much variance in golf betting, many punters prefer to wait until closer to the event to assess the true credentials of the participants, cross-checking their odds to have a better idea of what to expect. In general, this is a great way to be able to forecast participants’ performance, if only giving an indication of winning trends. Players can quickly slip in or out of form, and course set-up and weather conditions can also play a huge role in separating the contenders. Matching in-form players to courses that suit their style of play is also a vital part of golf betting.

After the move, the PGA will follow the Masters and precede the US Open. That means The British Open Championship, traditionally played in July, will become the final major on the calendar.

The first edition of the PGA Professional Championship to be played at the earlier date will be held between April 28 and May 1 at Belfair in Bluffton, South Carolina.

The venue

PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie features 54 championship-level holes and is rated as one of the best golf courses in Florida. Nearly 30,000 professional golfers from around the world play and train on the venue’s three championship golf courses: the Wanamaker Course, Ryder Course and Dye Course.

All three courses were expertly designed by world-renowned architects Tom Fazio and Pete Dye. As well as being home to championship facilities, the resort also features the PGA Village 6-hole Family Short Course where youth players and newcomers can cut their teeth in the Florida sunshine. Also on site is the PGA Learning Center, a 35-acre facility where golfers of all ages and capabilities can benefit from expert tuition.

The Wanamaker and Dye Courses both featured in Golfweek’s 2018 list of the best courses to play in Florida – the former ranking 18th and the latter 22nd.

PGA Member events that have been held at the course include the PGA Minority Collegiate Championship, Senior PGA Professional Championship, National Car Rental Assistant PGA Professional Championship, PGA Jones Cup and the PGA’s Tournament Series and Winter Championships.

Where to watch

All four rounds of the event will be televised live on the Golf Channel, giving golf fans around the world the chance to tune in to this prestigious event.

If you are lucky enough to live nearby or are willing to travel, you can watch the action live at the venue along with thousands of other golf enthusiasts.

The most famous winner of the event is undoubtedly Sam Snead. The seven-time major winner known as “Slammin’ Sammy” won the event back in 1971 aged 59. Of the other winners, only 1969 champion Bob Rosburg also won a major in his career (the 1959 PGA Championship).

A favourite destination for golfers

Florida has long been a favourite destination for golfers from around the world. Many top players including Tiger Woods, Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Greg Norman and Jack Nicklaus have all made Florida their home. The proximity to popular practice courses such as Jack Nicklaus’s Bear’s Club and the Medalist Club, founded by Norman, is a major part of the appeal.

The warm climate and abundance of championship quality courses also attract thousands of amateurs and lower-ranking pros, all hoping that, by rubbing shoulders with the elite, some of the magic will rub off of them.

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