The $1 million Nationwide Tour event that debuted last year at the Country Club at Soboba Springs has a new name, the Soboba Golf Classic, and a new tournament director, Ed Winiecki, who was hired in January.
Ed Winiecki has been in the golf business nearly three decades (PHOTO: Eddie Meeks).
Winiecki lives in Murrieta with his wife Cecily and two children. With 27 years of golf administration experience, he brings an infusion of energy and ambition into a tournament that signed a five-year contract with Soboba Springs last year.
We caught up with Winiecki and asked him what’s on tap for 2010.
What makes the Soboba Golf Classic distinct in terms of professional golf events in Southern California?
We are the only Nationwide Tour event in Southern California. Additionally, we are the only event that gives 100 percent of our ticket proceeds to the charities involved with our Tickets Fore Charity program.
What do you see for the event’s future?
I truly believe this event will continue to grow and become one of the major events on the Nationwide Tour. I also know this event has a chance of becoming a PGA Tour event in the very near future.
How does the involvement of the Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians, which owns the Country Club at Soboba Springs, impact the event?
Since its establishment in 1883, the tribe has meant so much to the development, economic impact and overall betterment of the entire region. And with one of its primary goals as finding ways to give back to the community, the chance to host a Nationwide Tour event was the chance of a lifetime.
What innovations are on tap this year?
We are really trying to open up the tournament to surrounding communities this year. Thursday, September 30, is U.S. Armed Forces Day. All military personnel get in free with a valid ID. On Friday, it’s Health and Wellness Day, highlighted by a blood drive, which offers a free ticket to anyone who donates blood that day. Saturday is College Day, highlighted by the 15th hole turning into college corner. And the final day is Cancer Awareness Day.
This year’s Soboba Golf Classic will be Sept. 30 - Oct. 3. Call (951) 654-9354 or visit sobobaspringscc.com.