The LPGA Tour returns to Industry Hills for the first time in nearly three decades.
The Kia Classic returns to the Los Angeles area this month, on a new playing field in an old location.
The second annual tournament will be held at Industry Hills Golf Club at Pacific Palms Resort March 21-27. This marks the first LPGA event in the Los Angeles area in six years — since the Office Depot Championship at Trump National Golf Club in 2005 — and a return to the City of Industry venue that last hosted the circuit nearly three decades ago.
Organizers say the move is not only good for the tournament, but golf enthusiasts as well.
“Holding the Kia Classic at Industry Hills is terrific for the tournament and for the LPGA,” says Kia Classic tournament director Dennis Baggett. “While we had no complaints about being at La Costa last year, being in the country’s second largest city and the entertainment capital of the world is a huge deal for us. In addition to the likelihood that our attendance will significantly increase, the increased exposure of being in Los Angeles County is very important.”
The tournament route will be split between Industry Hills’ two courses. Play will begin on the 10th hole of the Eisenhower (“The Ike”) Course, switch to the Zaharias (“The Babe”) Course for nine (holes 2-10) and then return to the Eisenhower for the remaining eight (holes 11-18). Tournament organizers say this route will ensure a competitive layout for the players and maximum visibility for spectators.
“The two 18-hole golf courses at Industry Hills have undergone major renovations since the LPGA was last here in the early 1980s,” says Baggett. “While there were some complaints at that time that the course was too difficult, we think the players will be pleased with the tournament course that we’ve put together using holes from both courses. The layout will be challenging yet fair.”
The inaugural Kia Classic was held last year at La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad. The club announced plans for extensive renovations to its two courses and the tournament soon found a home at Industry Hills at Pacific Palms Resort. In 2009, the facility completed a $22 million renovation that helped it earn Golf Course of the Year honors from The National Golf Course Owners Association in 2010.
WHEN: March 21-27.
WHERE: Industry Hills Golf Club at Pacific Palms Resort in the City of Industry.
TICKETS: Monday’s open qualifier and Tuesday’s practice rounds are free; Wednesday’s Pro-Am is $10; Thursday through Sunday competition rounds are $20; Wednesday through Sunday weekly grounds pass is $50; active military and their families and children 17 and under (with ticketed adult) are free.
TERRACE CLUB: Two tickets valid any day are $300; includes access to Terrace Club hospitality venue with unlimited food and beverages.
PARKING: $10 per day; all Kia vehicles are free.
VOLUNTEERS: Volunteers are required to work at least three days, four to six hours per day. Fee is $60 and includes more than $300 in gifts, including a round of golf at Industry Hills, shirt and visor, event passes, lunch and more. Visit event website for more information.
LAST YEAR’S HIGHLIGHTS: Hee Kyung Seo (pictured), the 2009 Korea LPGA Player of the Year, won her first LPGA event at age 23. Seo began Sunday’s final round birdie-birdie-eagle, a start she parlayed into a tournament-low 7-under-par 65. She ended up shooting 12-under par to win by six shots.
DID YOU KNOW: The LPGA last held tournaments at Industry Hills Golf Club at Pacific Palms in 1981 and 1982. South African Sally Little took home the trophy back-to-back years at the Olympia Gold Classic.
FOR MORE INFO: Visit kiaclassic.com; or call (888) 733-5742.
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