The Fans Speak: Honda Classic A Huge Hit

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Like the novel A Tale of Two Cities begins, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times … ”

Looking back, that was the situation for the Honda Classic and the Champion Course at PGA National Resort & Spa this year.

Here are the best of times: The tournament ended March 1 in super-successful fashion, with fans swarming the course in near-record numbers as South Korea’s Sungjae Im surprisingly took the title. Some 206,384 attended, second-best in tournament history and surpassed only when Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy graced the field.

“Another great year for the Honda Classic,” tournament executive director Ken Kennerly rightfully said.

Here are the worst of times: Not too long after Im walked away with the trophy, the course was absent of a single soul playing it.

The virus had hit.

The Champion Course, like virtually all courses throughout Florida and the U.S., had been shut down.

At least the Honda Classic fans walked away with some good memories. We conducted a survey of 10 fans during the tournament, asking them to rate it from 1 to 10. Average the rankings of those 10 fans, it comes to 9.6.

Yes, highly unscientific, but it gives you a pretty good idea of how they felt about the 2020 Honda Classic.

Here’s what those fans had to say:


30, New Jersey

“This is my first time at any golf tournament. The concentration the golfers have and the skill they have is amazing. I’ve never played golf … well, mini-golf.”

What can be improved?

“The crowd can be a bit excessive and overwhelming.”

Honda grade:

“A definite 10”


36, Delray Beach

“The players are very accessible, and they are very friendly to the fans.”

What can be improved?

“I would like to see a little less emphasis  on The Bear Trap.”

Honda grade:



61, Montreal and Palm Beach Gardens

“The Bear Trap is wonderful. It is something you don’t see in other tournaments. It’s a classic. People here are very welcoming.”

What can be improved?

“Can’t come up with anything.”

Honda grade:

“A fabulous 10”


39, Jupiter

“I’ve been here five times, and this is the best of times for me – particularly with (my 7-year-old son, Ty) here. The setting in general is great.”

What can be improved?

“More spots to get out of the sun would be nice.”

Honda grade:



24, West Palm Beach

“I like the Bear Trap with the view there, and also  the atmosphere there.”

What can be improved?

“Goslings has a setup/tent near the Bear Trap, and I think everybody should get a free sample. Not a full drink, just a sample.”

Honda grade:



30, Jupiter

“There’s a lot to do besides golf,” Latham offered while enjoying a cigar. “You don’t even have to watch golf to have fun. The crowd is a mix of avid golf fans and people who just want to have a good time.”

What can be improved?

“I wish more of the golfers from this particular area were playing – Tiger Woods should play, Rory McIlroy should play.”

Honda grade:



70, Toronto

“It’s a great course. Can you get me a free pass to play it. [Note: No, I can not]. I find it very nice just getting around the course. The setting is very relaxing.”

What can be improved?

“Well, there’s too much wind,” Rajewski said, with all players nodding in agreement to be sure. The Canadian drifted on to other topics: “For some reason, there’s no snow.”

Honda grade:



42, Palm Beach Gardens

“This has turned into one of the fun events on the PGA Tour,” said Pigott, who has been to Augusta and the Players Championship.

What can be improved?

“The PGA moved the schedule around and this Honda event lost some great players when that happened.”

Honda grade:



14, Stuart

“I’ve never played a round of golf. The experience of watching golf is much better
in person than on TV.”

What can be improved?

“Not much. It is almost perfect the way they set it up and with all the different areas you can go to.”

Honda grade:

“A solid 9.”


37, Bonita Springs

“This is (my 5-year-old son Cameron’s) first time at a tournament, but he loves golf, so this is special to him. His favorite player is Rickie Fowler. He met Ian Poulter and Rory Sabbatini and got an autograph from Lee Westwood. There’s all sorts of things for kids to do.”

What can be improved?

“There are too many carts that you sometimes have to dodge.”

Honda grade:



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