PGA National Resort & Spa - Champion Course
|White (W)||72||5984 yards||76.1||153|
|Green (W)||72||5581 yards||73.5||138|
|Red (W)||72||5145 yards||71.7||136|
|Black M: 75.2/148||365||437||538||376||171||488||226||427||404||3432||545||450||427||388||465||176||434||172||556||3613||7045|
|Gold M: 73.4/145||360||419||516||356||152||479||206||401||386||3275||525||425||408||370||442||163||412||161||546||3452||6727|
|Blue M: 71.8/138||345||393||495||336||138||468||186||381||360||3102||508||395||387||335||420||153||391||155||527||3271||6373|
|White M: 69.9/129||339||361||480||318||121||453||169||334||342||2917||476||346||377||323||411||143||353||131||507||3067||5984|
|Green M: 68.5/127||339||349||424||318||121||453||141||320||342||2807||476||260||293||323||367||143||325||131||456||2774||5581|
|Red W: 71.7/136||308||302||424||285||88||378||141||289||311||2526||411||260||293||286||367||110||325||111||456||2619||5145|
The Champion, hole 18 Photo submitted by TimGavrichGA
#15, start of the "Bear Trap" Photo submitted by KatharineDyson
The Bear Trap begins Photo submitted by KatharineDyson
Caddies are a strong part of the Champion golfing experience. Photo submitted by KatharineDyson
Birdie putt. Photo submitted by williamru
Another reason I play golf. Photo submitted by williamru
The Bear Trap! Thanks Jack. Photo submitted by williamru
Appropriately named, the "Champ" is a middleweight test
Playing a round at PGA National's Champion Course is a bit like stepping into the ring with a boxer. You need to stay alert at all times, because if you take a temporary vacation, even for a single shot, you can get knocked down in a hurry. Surviving to the end with your wits about you is a victory in itself, and a rewarding one. It toughens you up, because if you can play well here, you can play well anywhere.
Also worth noting, the course's recent greens expansion has made approach shots a little more manageable, though the firmness of those new putting surfaces makes shots from the rough almost impossible to keep on the green. Drive it straight if you can.
Horrible weather made course horrible...but bucket list anyway.
The Florida weather destroyed the course. The staff offered many acceptable options but it was a bucket item list for me. So this review is not indicative of anything but bad weather. The entire PGA National experience more than made up for it. Pro shop to service staff....plain awesome!
Felt Like a Pro
Played this course over the past weekend and was so excited to tee it up where the pros play every year. We played the middle tees, and it was a good idea as I can see this course being very long, thus the championship caliber. Couldn't ask for a course in better shape and for being the prime track at the resort, there was little to no traffic. Bear Trap is a great experience, though for my money the 18th hole is just as difficult. Finishing the round right in the front of the great facilities at PGA National was a real treat and very special experience. Will definitely be back.
Champions Course Review
Extremely challenging and extremely hot outside but a ton of fun. Highly recommend this course. The staff was great, the course was in great shape, etc. Thanks!
Finally got to play this course IRL
After only experiencing the Champ on TV and in video games, I was excited to finally get the opportunity to play it. It was closed the last time I was down there. I'm happy to say that I was not disappointed. My only complaint was that the greens had recently been punched, but that's going to happen when you play in FL in August. I still managed to mix in a few birdies, which helped ease the pain of the Bear Trap, where for the first time all day we saw 3-club winds in the face.
This is definitely one of the most difficult course I have played. The setup was fair, but there is definitely a premium on the tee ball. Greens had some interesting undulations but were very receptive. The Bear Trap is an exciting stretch of three holes that were a nice balance of scenery and difficulty. I highly recommend trying this course out.
Champions Course was my favorite
Was warned that this course was one of the toughest on tour, but I must have been shooting lights out as I thought the Palmer was much harder. Greens were recently punched but the ball still rolled pretty good for the maintenance being as recent as it was. Some nice challenging golf holes and the bear trap did not disappoint. 16 can create a beast of an approach shot with the wind in the face. A great signature course at a great resort.
Best I've Played In Florida
Playing PGA National was a great experience from valet to valet. The pro shop was well run as well as cart set up and the starter was fantastic. We played with a forecaddy who was knowledgeable and entertaining. The course itself was in amazing condition and with the tournament setup in progress it was certainly a different look to play holes with bleachers around them. The Bear Trap was a fun run of three holes with water coming into play which made for three different challenges. I would recommend this course to anyone heading to the Palm Beach area or, like myself, the drive from Miami is worth it to ply this gem. I have played over 250 courses in my life and for me this was a Top 10 course played. Condition was topnotch with fantastic greens and thick rough which made for a true test fo golf.
With tweaks, Champion better than ever
I got to play this course right after it reopened with new Celebration grass on the fairways, tees and collars and a renovated 14th hole by Nicklaus himself. By moving the green closer to the water, the 14th is far more interesting and more importantly away from OB. The new fairways were terrific and the course (which is cart-path only) in great shape. As is, the host of the Honda Classic is solid Florida golf, not too hard for the recreational golfer if he or she plays the right tees. The Bear Trap of 15, 16 and 17, all with carries over water, still a great test.
Staff was great. Started as a great day, then the ground crew sprayed an soaked six greens while we were at the tee box. Ball wouldn't roll. if you put your clubs on the ground they became drenched. For just under $200 a person that was ridiculous. I did email the course before sending this review but didn't hear from them.
Packed, Stacked, and 6.5 hours long
The Bear Trap... the Legendary Nicholas course utilized for the Honda Classic. I knew I had to play it. It's a shame that PGA National had to pack a 60 man group in front of me at 8 min cycles and stack up people for an entire day. Rolling an even 9.5 to 10 in the morning and 10 to 11 in the afternoon on the Stimp... Course was great. The challenge was certainly there, but it was a waiting game and lends itself to getting off pace and frustration.
An experience of a life time. Would love to go back. My friends and I enjoyed our round of golf.
Play where the pros play and be prepared for thick roughs
The Champion The anticipation of playing The Champion at PGA National, venue for the upcoming Honda Classic, was probably more exciting than the reality purely because it was in tournament-ready condition with high thick rough, lightening greens and tricky pin placements. It was more hard work than the last time I played it. Still it all depends on what tee you’re using and where the pins are. Playing from the tips would make it a much more difficult test with more water in play and more risk and reward holes. It’s not as scenic or as dramatic as other tournament tracks I’ve played and you don’t hit any memorable holes until #9, where a draw around trees and water on left would be a good shot. However when Jack Nicklaus did the redesign in 2002 of the original course by Tom and George Fazio (1981), he created some subtle and interesting challenges in greens as well as his famous “Bear Trap” (holes #15,16,17) including two par 3s over water. Those are fun. The Champion was in very good condition although the staff in the staging area didn’t seem to be up to speed. No towels or tees on the cart and the GPS was a small, basic device that we were told would be replaced after the Honda. Bathrooms on course were likewise sloppy and one was out of order. I would like to give them a pass on this as we were playing close to the tournament, but the guy we were playing with had paid more than $300 and expected more. Women? You can find a more reasonably priced and prettier course at the resort to play like The Fazio also recently redesigned (Tom Fazio, 2014) but if you want to play where the pros play and plan on watching the Honda, go ahead, pay your money and play from the forward tees at 5,145 yards or step back to the greens at 5,581. You won’t encounter any really long carries and if you take a caddy, you’ll enjoy your day even more.
This where the pros play the Honda Classic. Very challenging!
Overall My friends and I had a wonderful time. I was surprised, some of the course was worn down. Maybe from all the summer play. I expected more, because this where they play the Honda Classic. This is a very challenging course, with strategically placed sand traps and undulating greens. Worth the experience. Thanks Golfnow!
Great Course but Under Repair and Slow Play
The Champion course is one of my favorites and unless you have a membership or stay at the hotel, you can't plat this course. We were thrilled to find the course on Golf Now. The price was excellent relative to even the hotel up charge. The negative is that the course is redoing traps and especially on the back nine there is a lot of GUR. The greens are in good shape. As usual at PGA National, the play is slow. Course didn't seem to be marshaled in the pm when we played and we got backed up. Pga should ensure that they match people up. Shouldn't allow singles or twosomes out if they can be matched up at the first tee.
The Champion course is under repair.
We played mid-October 2013 and were surprised that so many holes had grounds under repair. Several bunkers were devoid of sand and newly sodded areas were marked out of play and roped off throughout the course. Hole 13 was unplayable with cranes and construction crews working in the fairways and around the greens. The bunkers on hole 14 were mud pits.
Tour worthy and difficult
I've watched golf at this venue for years, from the PGA Seniors Championship to the Honda Classic on the PGA Tour and watched it evolve. It's a tough test, to be sure, even beyond the famous Bear Trap, but it's also pretty fair, especially if it's not too windy. Add that wind, though, and you've got all the course you can handle.