Time to Tee Off!
Prepare to have a ball when the 21st Annual PGA Champions Tour’s Toshiba Classic — Orange County’s largest sporting event, attracting 85,000 spectators annually — returns to the Newport Country Club’s world-renowned 6,600-yard, par-71 William “Billy” Bell-designed course this year with a new fall time slot and some fresh fun offerings.
Set for Friday, Oct. 30, through Sunday, Nov. 1, expect to see more than 30 the most recognizable and accomplished players in the game — from 2014 champ Fred Couples to Duffy Waldorf and many more —competing for a total purse of $1.8 million against a backdrop of picture-postcard views of the sparkling blue Pacific and Newport Bay.
In addition to a move from its long-standing March date — which positions the event as the last before the season-ending Tour Championship by Coca-Cola — this year also marks the 20th anniversary of the Newport Beach Country Club hosting the event. And, while the new clubhouse won’t be ready for this year’s tournament, a 7,000-square-foot temporary Clubhouse Tent will be built especially for the event and feature seating, flat-screen TVs, and food and beverage service.
Also new this year is the inaugural Military Appreciation Day presented by VerdeWatts Saturday, Oct. 31, to benefit the One/One and Open Hearts for Purple Hearts foundations. On that day, all former and active military members and three of their guests will be honored with free admission and food and beverage vouchers to thank them for their service to our country. An interactive Military Appreciation Village also will be open daily at 8 a.m. to the public during tournament week, with additional military-related activities including an Elite Military Course Run and Children’s Halloween Costume Contest.
Other special happenings to look forward to during the week leading up to the tournament include:
- The Toshiba Classic Breakfast with a Champion presented by The Allergan, Tuesday, Oct. 27, at 7:30 a.m., at the Balboa Bay Club and Resort, featuring 16-time PGA Tour winner Mark O’Meara as keynote speaker ($125 per person).
- The third-annual Women’s Business Day, presented by RightSourcing, Thursday, Oct. 29, at 1 p.m., with LPGA legend Juli Inkster serving as guest of honor. Following a golf clinic featuring Inkster and a networking party, Inkster will take the stage to share some stories from her 29-year career ($135 per person).
All of the action kicks off Monday, Oct. 26, with players teeing it up in practice rounds and in the Monday Pro-Am., and continues Tuesday, Oct. 27, at 9:30 a.m., with the third annual Toshiba Classic $50,000 Skills Challenge — featuring legends from the Champions Tour, current and former professional athletes, and prominent members of the local media — and the Toshiba Classic Pro-Am Wednesday, Oct. 28 — offering patrons the incredible chance to get up close and personal with some of their favorite golfers. Official tournament play begins Friday, Oct. 30, at 10:30 a.m., and runs through Sunday, Nov. 1.
Last, but definitely not least, this year’s tournament will benefit the Mary & Dick Allen Diabetes Center at Hoag for the fifth consecutive year.
To interact with the Toshiba Classic on Facebook, visit www.facebook.com/ToshibaClassic, and follow the tournament on Twitter and Instagram for fun social content, behind-the-scenes photos and videos, and contests. And don’t miss the Toshiba Classic’s social media tent at the 14th hole, where you can check out the Twitter wall, take photos and more. To purchase tickets click here or call (949) 660-1001, or visit participating Roger Dunn Golf Stores with one-day tickets priced at $25 in advance of the event ($30 at the gate). For more information on this year’s tournament, visit www.ToshibaClassic.com