On September 19 through 25, the Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians will host the Soboba Golf Classic at The Country Club at Soboba Springs in San Jacinto, California. This marquee event is an official part of the PGA Tour, and is currently the second largest purse on the Nationwide Tour, at $750,000. This four-day, 72-hole stroke play competition begins with 156 players, and, after cuts, ends with around 60 players competing for the first place prize of $135,000.
It wasn’t long ago, however, that the Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians could only look at the gorgeous golf course that bordered then reservation and dream of what they might do with it should they own it. Then, way back in December of 2004, the tribe bought the Soboba Springs Royal Vista Golf Club from Waterhouse, Inc., a Honolulu based company.
Their plans to develop the course began almost immediately. They contracted golf course architect Cary Bickler to redesign the course, and redesign he did. The bunkers were renovated (25 newly placed bunkers were added, filled with August White bunker sand), teeing areas were laser-leveled, with each hole receiving additional new tee boxes. The course was lengthened 250 yards from the original back tee to 7,053 yards for experienced players, and stunning aesthetic improvements, such as waterfalls, streams and rock walls, have replaced older features to improve the look and feel of the course.
The Classic also aims to give back to the community. In the past two years alone, the tournament has poured more than $111,000 into local charities. There will also be several themed days during the tournament to educate the public about the Classic’s effect on the community. These include U.S. Armed Forces Day, Cancer Awareness Day, and Family Day.
“With its generous support of programs that stress educational opportunities as well as sports and leisure activities, the tribe is pleased to sponsor this significant event,” said Tribal Chairman Scott Cozart in a press release.
There will also be a free Junior Golf Clinic on Sept. 20 for kids.
For ticket and tournament information please call 951-654-4300 ext. 5200 or visit www.sobobaclassic.net.