Tiburón will be pulling off a trifecta for Southwest Florida professional golf.
The North Naples golf club at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort will host the 2021 Chubb Classic, Naples’ PGA Tour Champions event, from Feb. 8-14, the tournament announced Thursday.
The Chubb Classic, which started at The Club Pelican Bay in 1988, will be played on the club’s Black Course. The agreement is for just one year.
Tiburón already hosts the PGA Tour’s QBE Shootout and the LPGA Tour’s CME Group Tour Championship but on the club’s Gold Course. Both were designed by World Golf Hall of Famer Greg Norman, who also is the founder and host of the Shootout.
“We’re definitely excited to host all three,” Tiburón Golf Club general manager Kevin DeDonato said. “They were certainly looking for a venue, and for us, it just kind of made sense for 2021. We’re excited to be able to help out the tour.
“We still have a great relationship with QBE and the CME, and have full intention to continue the long-lasting relationships that we have there. This is just an addition to the other events we have at the club.”
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Shootout and LPGA tournaments will be played on back-to-back weeks this year, starting Dec. 9 through Dec. 20. Normally the LPGA event is played the third week in November, ending the Sunday before Thanksgiving.
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Tiburón will become the 10th course to host the PGA Tour Champions’ event, which had been at The Classics at Lely Resort the past two years. Scott Parel won in February.
The Black Course hasn’t been used previously for a professional tour event except for part of the Shootout in 2014, when a turfgrass disease attacked some of the greens on the Gold Course.
“The Gold gets so much attention because of the longstanding relationship we have with the PGA Tour and QBE, and then the LPGA Tour as well,” DeDonato said. “That’s much-deserved attention. The Black is just different. It hasn’t hosted an event, and it’s tighter. The layout is fantastic. It’s very fun to play, and it’s kind of a completely different experience than the Gold Course.
“I think the Black is kind of a hidden gem that will get some exposure from this event as well.”
While the pairing of the Chubb Classic and Tiburón is new, Eiger Marketing managing partner Tim Erensen and DeDonato have known each other for years. Eiger Marketing is taking over for longtime management company Octagon.
Erensen and DeDonato worked together when DeDonato was at Stockton Seaview Hotel & Golf Club, the host course of the LPGA Tour’s ShopRite Classic, which Erensen ran. So those two will gett to work together again, along with Scott Reid, the executive director for the tournament.
“Tim’s a great guy,” DeDonato said. “I got to know Scott as well. Scott and I have kind of been working on the agreement and so forth. It’s just kind of win-win for both of us.”
The Chubb Classic will again have a $1.6 million purse.
Chubb Classic organizers also announced that volunteer registration is open.
Volunteers donate their time to serve scoring, transportation, hospitality services and many other functions. Visit http://www.ChubbClassic.com for more information about how to sign up to volunteer.
“Volunteers have been an integral part of our event since its inception and we’re extremely grateful for their assistance,” Reid said in a release. “Our event attracts hundreds of individuals to volunteer their time and they are crucial to help us stage one of Naples largest annual events.”
Chubb Classic host courses
1988–1990 — The Club Pelican Bay
1991–1995 — The Vineyards
1996 — The Classics at Lely Resort
1997–1999 — Bay Colony
2000–2001 — Pelican Marsh
2002–2006 — TwinEagles
2007–2008 — Quail West
2009 — TPC Treviso Bay
2010–2011 — The Quarry
2012–2018 — TwinEagles
2019–2020 — The Classics at Lely Resort
Greg Hardwig is a sports reporter for the Naples Daily News and The News-Press. Follow him on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter: @NDN_Ghardwig, email him at email@example.com.