The Allianz Championship embarks on its fifth year at the Old Course at Broken Sound with, arguably, its best field of legendary golfers from the Champions Tour. Boca Raton resident and the tour's top money winner, Bernhard Langer - who captured last year's event with a dramatic chip-in from the bunker on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff - is back to defend his title against the likes of Nick Price, Corey Pavin, Tom Kite, Mark Calcavecchia, Hale Irwin, Curtis Strange, Fuzzy Zoeller and a host of other golfing greats.
It's a testament to the allure of Boca Raton - and the picture-perfect conditions at the Old Course - that so many top players have added this South Florida stop to their early-season calendar. According to Allianz officials, players have become enamored with our neck of the woods.
It's no wonder, then, that tournament is expanding its menu of events surrounding the actual tournament, which kicks off Feb. 11. A week-long slate of festivities begins Feb. 7 at the Old Course with the annual Broken Sound Pro-Am. The following afternoon, the ladies will have their day on the links at the first Women's Pro-Am presented by Lilly Pulitzer. Nine foursomes will play nine holes with a PGA Champions Tour player during a day that includes lunch and a gift package from Lilly Pulitzer. Call 561/241-4653 for more details.
Two more days of Pro-Ams (the Konica Minolta Pro-Am on Feb. 9, and the Championship Pro-Am on Feb. 10) will be followed by the first round of the tournament on Friday, Feb. 11. That night marks the return of the Allianz Championship Golf and Wine Experience. Guests will be able to sample wines from the vineyards of golf pros such as Arnold Palmer, Ernie Els and Gary Player. Call 561/241-4653 for more information.
The Allianz also is initiating a "birdies fore charity" program, where local nonprofits can solicit pledges from supporters based on the number of birdies made by players during the three days of the tournament.
Best of all, the tournament is once again waiving admission fees this year. Visit allianzchampionship.com for complete details about this year's event.