Inside the course: PGA National, Champion Course

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February 27, 2012
PGA TOUR staff
Fast facts
Course Superintendent Brian Sunderhaus
Original architect Tom Fazio (1981)
Redesign Jack Nicklaus (2001)
Par value 70
Number of TOUR events as host venue 6 (including 2012)
Course ranking Ranked 2 (out of 51) in difficulty on the PGA TOUR in 2011
Yardage history 7,241 (2007)
  7,158 (2008-present)
Grass Bermudagrass; perennial ryegrass (tees, fairways, rough); Tifeagle bermudagrass (greens)
Tournament Stimpmeter 10.6 ft
Sand bunkers 78
Water hazards 26
Course tour Click here
Course record
Player
Luke Donald
Greg Chalmers
Rory Sabbatini
Year
2008
2009
2011
Round
1st
2nd
2nd
Finish
2nd
T22
WON
Holes-in-one
Player Year Hole
Ben Crane 2009 No. 5
2011 Rankings
Most Difficult Hole
The par-3 190-yard 17th Although there are eight sets of tees for recreational play, this shortest hole on the Champion is by no means the easiest. With the wind in your face or when it's blowing left to right toward the water to the right -- and a bunker long and left -- the only place to put your tee ball is on the green. With just a 30-foot landing area there, the toughest pin is middle left.
2011: 0 eagles, 28 birdies, 236 pars, 100 bogeys, 63 double bogeys, 10 others.
Easiest hole
The par-5 538-yard 3rd Nicklaus' redesign eliminated the mid-fairway water hazard, making it a fairer hole. The second shot is a gamble for those wishing to try for the green in two. A long bunker keeps balls from rolling into the water. It's a straight shot to the green from left center of the fairway, but a bunker on the right makes a pin in the back right hard to reach.
2011: 3 eagles, 136 birdies, 238 pars, 53 bogeys, 5 double bogeys and 2 others.
PGA National2011 rankings Last 5 years
Hole Par Yards Avg. Score Rank Avg. Score Rank
1 4 365 3.961 16 3.938 16
2 4 464 3.993 14 4.091 9
3 5 538 4.833 18 4.722 18
4 4 376 3.954 17 3.935 17
5 3 217 3.05 12 3.100 8
6 4 479 4.522 2 4.408 1
7 3 226 3.121 10 3.113 7
8 4 427 4.144 7 4.050 14
9 4 421 4.087 11 4.051 13
10 4 508 4.13 9 4.209 4
11 4 450 4.217 5 4.192 6
12 4 427 4.204 6 4.081 11
13 4 388 4.133 8 4.077 12
14 4 465 4.021 13 4.082 10
15 3 179 3.384 3 3.314 3
16 4 434 4.268 4 4.193 5
17 3 190 3.526 1 3.343 2
18 5 604 4.991 15 4.972 15
Course origins
One of Florida's most notable golf challenges is found on the legendary Champion course. Originally designed by George and Tom Fazio, Jack Nicklaus redesigned the Champion in 1990, adding the feared "Bear Trap" grouping of holes 15, 16 and 17.
The Champion is currently the home of the PGA TOUR's Honda Classic, benefiting the Nicklaus Children's Healthcare Foundation (and an integral part of the FedExCup) and has been the site of the 1982 PGA Grand Slam of Golf, the 1983 Ryder Cup, the 1987 PGA Championship and the PGA Seniors' Championships from 1982 to 2000. It has also been the site of the PGA Junior Championships from 1980-1987, 1989-1992 and 1994-2000 and the PGA Club Professional Championships in 1980, 1982, 1983 and 1993.
The Champion is a "must play" stop on any avid golfer's list and is included in the "Top 100" resort course rankings of several golf publications. In 2006, writer Brad Klein of GolfWeek magazine described The Champion as "an old Florida classic, core golf experience."
The PGA of America is located on course property.
--Source: Golf Course Superintendents Assocation of America
Tournament course history
Course Location Years
Inverrary G&CC (East) Lauderhill, Fla. 1972-1983
TPC Eagle Trace Coral Springs, Fla. 1984-1991, 1996
Weston Hills G&CC Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. 1992-1995
TPC Heron Bay Coral Springs, Fla. 1997-2002
CC at Mirasol (Sunset) Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. 2003-2006
PGA National (Champion) Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. 2007-present

The TOUR heads to the East Coast this week for The Honda Classic at the PGA National Resort and Spa - Champion Course in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. Learn more about this venue.

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