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Major ambition at Concession

Could the club host a PGA Tour major event?

The course at The Concession Golf Club was built to be major championship ready from the beginning, according to The Concession Golf Club general manager Brian Weimann.
The course at The Concession Golf Club was built to be major championship ready from the beginning, according to The Concession Golf Club general manager Brian Weimann.
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When it comes to majors, the PGA Tour seldom comes to Florida.

Only twice has a Florida golf course hosted a major — the 1971 PGA Championship at BallenIsles Country Club (then the PGA National Golf Club) in Palm Beach Gardens and the 1987 PGA Championship at PGA National Resort and Spa, also in Palm Beach Gardens.  

Could The Concession Golf Club in East County host the third?

At first blush, it sounds unlikely. The private club, which opened in 2006, is getting ready to host its first PGA Tour event when the World Golf Championships at The Concession comes to town Feb. 25-28. 

To The Concession general manager Brian Weimann, hosting a major is no dream at all — it's a realistic goal. 

"This was built as a championship-caliber golf course from the beginning," Weimann said. "The WGC isn't a major, but it's fairly close. We are able to host events of this caliber. The course is why we could do this on short notice. It is always ready, always in championship shape." 

Weimann said that by hosting the WGC, the club can get feedback from PGA Tour officials on how to be a host. This year's event will be atypical with limited numbers of club members and invited guests in attendance, but Weimann said the club can handle a full-sized crowd. He noted the 2015 NCAA Men's and Women's Golf Championships, which The Concession hosted, as proof that the club can handle large-scale events. It was the first time the men's and women's events were held in the same location. 

Hosting a major isn't a new goal for the club, Weimann said. It's something The Concession always wanted. 

"We are excited for the course to showcase itself," Weimann said. 

Ty Votaw, the Tour's Executive Vice President-International, said it is possible The Concession's goal becomes a reality. Votaw said there are different factors that go into hosting each of the U.S. majors that change locations — the PGA Championship and the U.S. Open . Those include course difficulty and logistical factors like sponsorship opportunities, parking availability, and the amount of fans the course can accommodate. 

Is it possible that The Concession can check all of the boxes?

The Concession Golf Club owner Bruce Cassidy said he isn't looking for an annual event, and would rather host a big event on occasion. Votaw said if the players competing at the World Golf Championships like the course and talk about it after the event, and it looks good on television, that would help its chances. 

"That will make decision makers take notice," Votaw said. "And I'm sure that's going to take place."

Votaw, too, mentioned the 2015 NCAA Championships as the first building block to get to this point. Good feedback from such an event gives The Concession more options to host another big event. Votaw said the club coming through and helping the Tour move the WGC out of Mexico (the current event was scheduled for Mexico City but had to be moved due to the pandemic) is already a success story, because of how fast everything came together and the cooperative way in which it happened. 

"Just imagine what could have happened if we had a year or a year and a half of planning for this," Votaw said. "I know that leaving here, we will always have an open dialogue with Bruce [Cassidy] to see what might be possible."




Ryan Kohn

Ryan Kohn is the sports editor for Sarasota and East County and a Missouri School of Journalism graduate. He was born and raised in Olney, Maryland. His biggest inspirations are Wright Thompson and Alex Ovechkin. His strongest belief is that mint chip ice cream is unbeatable.

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