These four tournaments attract droves of golfers, and especially Canadian golfers. For the PGA Tour player, especially those who earned the 50 PGA cards in 2019, an early start offers these players opportunities to get off to a quick start in their careers.
Canadians not only are avid golfers, but also comprise many of the homeowners throughout the Coachella Valley (Palm Springs to Coachella), Phoenix/Scottsdale and San Diego. Then, of course, the weather for these “Snow Birds”, is the main reason for their presence. And how can you complain about beautiful golf courses that meander through stunning desert landscapes and sit atop ocean-side cliffs and host Major Tournaments?
The Coachella Valley is by far the most popular area for the Canadians. Affordable housing and upscale golf communities, great hotels, plus the 100+ golf courses, are the main attractions.
Golf courses in the desert are experiencing far more play than last year, home rentals are reasonably priced and the desert’s reputation, particularly for golf and weather, plus the Desert Classic Tournament, have attracted more people to desert courses than in recent years.
So let’s talk about the golf tournaments that attract not only the Canadians, but locals and coast cities’ residents to these events as well. Many Canadians volunteer for all 4 of these tournaments and the “eh,” “aboot” (about), Ays are ubiquitous at all venues.
Look to see Canadian Tour players, Adam Hadwin, Nick Taylor, Ben Silverman and Corey Conners to be in the field. Perhaps even Graham deLaet, Roger Sloan, David Hearn and McKenzie Hughes as well.
The American Express Tournament, January 16 -19, 2020, formerly the Desert Classic, continues to flourish and each year the field gets stronger, and the organizational aspects more consistent, which leads to higher attendance. With the addition of American Express’s sponsorship this year, the field should definitely improve and puts American Express as one of the two biggest names for sponsorship on the West Coast swing.
Part of the reason for the past increased attendance are Lagardere Sports and their very progressive approach to admission.
The paying visitor now has an all-access, all-inclusive ticket for the concert and hospitality areas and to all 3 courses. Transportation to and from the 3 courses and parking area always runs smoothly all week long. The $10 parking fee is very reasonable and Uber and Lyft are also another popular option.
Players love the La Quinta Country Club (54 years and counting as a co-host) and most of the Canadians I speak to also enjoy the LQCC.
Another smart move by Lagardere will be the three local exemptions handed out for the tournament.
Tournament host Phil Mickelson always draws in fans, as does Patrick Reed and Jon Rahm. This makes for the stronger field that the tournament is attracting recently, and also because of their USP (Unique Selling Propositions) – Concerts and free access to all areas of the course. One can assume that many locals will continue to support the tournament so they can attend the free concerts offered on two separate nights. The event’s concerts have been announced and will feature Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Stevie Nicks on Friday, Jan. 17, and country musician Luke Bryan on Saturday, Jan. 18.
The Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines – January 23 -26, 2020.
With its proximity to the desert, Orange County and LA County, many Canadians make the 2 -21/2 hour drive to San Diego from the desert. As with previous visits to the Coachella Valley and the golf tournaments, accolades, envy, jealousy, weather and excitement will be the words most used by all the Canadians. Seeing Tiger play and watching Canadian players, makes their enjoyment just that much greater. Having the US Open in 2021 at Torrey Pines is the icing on the cake.
Many of the Canadians make a long week out of the Farmer’s, especially the landlocked residents of Edmonton and Alberta. Being able to play a course that is on the US Open rotation is a huge attraction, not only for Canadians, but for golfers worldwide. Next year’s tournament will see the latest additions and revisions to both the north and south courses.
There are many Canadians living in San Diego and many have businesses in Southern California. The SanDiego.org is a great connector for them.
Rest assured, the parking lots are going to be at capacity. The reason – a golfer named Tiger Woods! How great was it to finally see him back in action in 2019 especially with his historic Master’s win? The whole golf world breathed a sigh of relief when he made the cut and the crowds could not have been happier.