PALM COAST, Fla. – Ginn Sports Entertainment, LLC announced today the inaugural Ginn Championship at Hammock Beach in Palm Coast, Fla., will be played at Ginn Resorts’ Ocean Hammock Golf Club at the Ocean Hammock Resort allowing players and resort guests to enjoy the ultimate experience.
The Ginn Championship at Hammock Beach was originally scheduled to be played on the Tom Watson-designed Signature course, The Conservatory, but with Ginn Resorts’ recent acquisition of the Ocean Hammock Resort, the golf and resort living will all be in one locale.
The $2.5 million event will be played March 26-April 1, 2007 and the winner will take home $375,000. The event will take place the week before the Masters, and two weeks before the LPGA Ginn Open at Ginn Reunion Resort near Orlando, Fla.
“With our recent acquisition of the Ocean Hammock Resort, we felt having the resort property and golf course together would provide the ideal experience for our professional golfers as well as our members and resort guests,” said Bobby Ginn, President and CEO of Ginn Resorts. “We have two unbelievable golf experiences for our members and resort guests now–the Ocean and Conservatory Courses–designed by two of the all-time greatest golfers in Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson.”
“The amenities available to our players and guests while maintaining the quality of the competition on the Ocean Hammock course provided an appealing alternative for the inaugural edition of the Ginn Championship,” stated Rick George, President of the Champions Tour. “The change in venues allows the Conservatory Course to further mature and become an even better host venue and also permit the build out of the course and club related infrastructure. We anticipate a premier event and a great presentation of the Champions Tour product in partnership with Bobby Ginn.”
On January 3, Ginn Resorts announced the purchase of the assets of Ocean Hammock Resort in Palm Coast, Fla., including the AAA Four-Diamond Award-winning Lodge at Ocean Hammock and the Ocean Hammock Golf Club, a renowned Jack Nicklaus Signature Design Course. The seller was Centex Destination Properties, a respected developer of quality second-home communities and resorts across the United States.
The only true oceanfront course to open in Florida in more than 70 years, Ocean Hammock Golf Club opened in 2000 and quickly earned accolades from pros and amateurs alike. Ocean Hammock, a Jack Nicklaus Signature design is a beautiful, challenging 18-hole course with eight holes that overlook the ocean, including a magnificent 468-yard par-4 finishing hole. Ocean Hammock features plenty of classic Nicklaus design features-visually stimulating par-4s to close each nine, a mix of reachable yet demanding par-5s and a variety of holes that dogleg left and right and flow uphill and downhill-and plays to greens large and small. Lakes, dunes and forested terrain add to the challenge. The final four holes have been dubbed “The Bear Claw” and feature the biggest water hazard-the Atlantic Ocean. The course has already earned “Top 10 New Courses You Can Play” by Golf Magazine and earned a Silver Medal by Golf Magazine in 2004.
The Ocean Course at Hammock Beach has hosted the following competitions: February 2004 – Amateur Golfers Tour Championship; October 2003 – American Amateur Golf Tour National Championship; June 2003 – U.S. Women’s Public Links Championship USGA; February 2003 – Georgia Seniors Golf Association Championship and May 2001 – U.S. Open Qualifying.
The Golf Channel will air all three rounds of the Championship.
The Champions Tour continues to grow in popularity and the class of 2007 will see the addition of Mark O’Meara and Nick Price to the great fields that include Tom Watson, Tom Kite, Curtis Strange, Jay Haas, Loren Roberts, Hale Irwin, Greg Norman, Peter Jacobsen, Craig Stadler, Jerry Pate, Larry Nelson, Fuzzy Zoeller and the recently turned 50 Fred Funk to name a few.
In addition to the Ocean Hammock Resort, Hammock Beach also features Ginn Hammock Beach, a 12-story, $150 million resort that is situated on more than two miles of oceanfront.
The five-year agreement between Ginn Resorts and the Champions Tour ensures that a first-class professional championship to highlight the game’s greatest players will be located at Hammock Beach in Northeast Florida for years to come.
About Ginn Resorts
Ginn Resorts is a privately-held resort development and management firm specializing in exclusive leisure lifestyle and vacation destination communities. The firm owns and operates communities across the United States and the Caribbean. Headquartered in Celebration, Fla., the firm’s principals have more than three decades of experience in creating large-scale, master-planned resorts and recreation-oriented communities. For more information, visit www.ginnresorts.com or call (321) 939-4700.
About The Champions Tour
The Champions Tour is a tax-exempt membership organization of professional golfers age 50 and older. Conceived in 1980 as the Senior PGA Tour, it started with just four events and purses totaling $475,000. The Champions Tour will feature a minimum of 29 official Charles Schwab Cup events offering $54.1 million in prize money in 2007 and its highest average purse ever of $1.86 million. The Champions Tour’s primary purpose is to provide significant competitive and earnings opportunities for players age 50 and older; to protect the integrity of the game; and to help grow the reach of the game in the U.S. and around the world. In addition to providing competitive opportunities for its membership, Champions Tour events also generate significant sums of money for charity. The commissioner of the PGA TOUR is Tim Finchem. Rick George is president of the Champions Tour. TOUR headquarters is in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Our web site address is PGATOUR.com.