Honda Classic in March will have limited fans, socially-distanced Bear Trap

PALM BEACH GARDENS — The 2021 Honda Classic plans to welcome spectators to PGA National Resort & Spa March 15-21.

That was not always a given considering the on-going coronavirus pandemic and a lot can still happen in the next two months. However, with the primary focus on the health and well-being for all involved with the tournament and the local community, daily attendance will be limited. Those levels will be determined at a later date.

The Honda Classic was named the Most Fan-First event of 2019 by the PGA Tour and last year’s tournament – won by South Korea’s Sungjae Im – attracted 206,384 spectators over seven days.

The 2020 attendance mark was the second-highest in tournament history, following the 224,642 spectators who attended the event in 2018.

While attendance records will not be broken this year, tournament officials are building a unique and first-class fan experience – and those fans fortunate enough to be on site may see a stronger field.

The tournament was pushed back two weeks from its usual end of February dates. The schedule change was made in the hope that it would  solve a two-year stretch of underwhelming fields. It will now follow The Players Championship and sit in the spot held by the Valspar Championship in Palm Harbor the last three years.

Those who attend will see a re-imagined Bear Trap on the 17th hole with social distancing guidelines. The 18th hole footprint will be different too, but there will be fans waiting there on Sunday as usual when the new Honda champion is crowned.

“We are being conservative in our planning as we continue to navigate the pandemic,” Honda Classic Executive Director Kenneth R. Kennerly said. “We want to do everything possible to make sure that The Honda Classic will be a great experience and continue to make a significant charitable impact on the thousands of children in our community whose lives we are able to enhance every year.”

The Bear Trap, which usually winds around the 16th green and 17th hole tee box area, is being re-imagined into three sections with limited seating in socially-distanced blocks of two and four seats. Advance reservations for The Bear Trap and other shared and private hospitality areas are now being taken by email ( or by phone (561-799-4638). General admission ticket sales will begin at a later date.

More: Honda Classic awards record-setting $5.35M to South Florida charities

The traditional Pro-Am events, which benefit the tournament’s charitable endeavors, will be contested during the week, with amateur participants being tested for COVID-19 prior to those competitions.

Final details on all areas will be announced in the near future.

“With so much uncertainty across all categories of the business, we have really focused on prioritizing flexibility with our site planning,” Tournament Director Andrew George said. “We’ve worked collaboratively with our vendors to delay the start of construction. We are frequently updating our health and safety protocols as we receive new guidance or best practices. And our hospitality venues will be strategically altered to provide a first-class entertainment option while facilitating social distancing.”

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