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THE CHAMPION, PGA National


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#1 MyBluC4

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 09:09 AM

PGA National
The Champion Course

Visited the PGA National in Palm Beach and played The Champion, site of the ’83 Ryder Cup, ’87 PGA, 8 time host to the PGA Senior’s Championship and now the current home of the Honda Classic. The track was designed by Tom and George Fazio, opened in 1981 and later redesigned in 1990 and again in 2002 by Jack Nicklaus.
The course is a beautiful set up playing 7048 yards from the tournament tees. I played the blues at 6373, with the 35 mph winds the course felt like 8000 yards. This day called for 2, 3 and four club differences. For example, on the 7th hole, a 186 yard par 3, normally a 5 iron, I cremated a 4 wood to 2 inches short of the green. The wind was so wild that putts were being pushed on 10 footers.
It is said that the 15th, 16th and 17th are 3 of the toughest finishing holes on the tour and it is to be believed. Nicklaus designs very good tournament tracks and this is right up there with a lot of risk/reward plays for the pros. Just fantastic layouts with plenty of bunkers and water. In fact, there is water on 16 of the 18 holes.  At the 15th tee there is a huge statue of a bear to mark the beginning of what is referred to as “The Bear Trap”. The 18th is the most scenic hole coming into the club house. The course was in great shape and an absolute blast to play. What I liked especially was that I could walk the course with a caddy that gave the experience that nice added touch. Could not believe the wind burn I got however.
Overall, the resort itself is a great place to spend a few days with 5 courses to play, absolutely top notch spa and a very good pro shop with terrific selections and wonderful service from the team there.  There is also a Ledbetter learning center and a PGA van to get your clubs checked. I got a club fitting from Juan Pina, the PGA fitting manager. Juan, a teacher and pro in his own right, is a great guy who really knows his business and is very willing to help tweak your swing to help maximize how you are using your equipment.  All in all, a super time and highly recommended if you are considering a golf vacation to Florida.



    

#2 Jim Clark

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 09:18 AM

PGA National is nice, but pretty expensive. We went to golf school there a bunch of years ago (it wasn't Leadbetter at that time). The Champion course is really good, the other courses are OK too.

For the best golf bargains, it is absolutley Myrtle Beach. You can get real nice condo accomodations with full breakfast (everyone gets their own room and bathroom, we stay at Barefoot), golf at the best courses, it's 4 nights and 4 rounds for $1k. You CAN do Myrtle for less but we only go high end.



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