While the PGA of America did in fact choose Palm Beach County as the perfect location for its headquarters back in 1965, its seems as though they were not the first to call this area “home”. Jack Nicklaus, who has often been regarded as one of the sport’s most accomplished players, actually made the decision to relocate here with his wife, Barbara two years earlier in 1963. To this very day, North Palm Beach remains the perfect fit for the professional golfer, and he’s been spreading the word.
Nicklaus may have paved the way, but as we see more and more of the pros flock to this region we have to wonder – what is it about Palm Beach County?
Convenient for Work – Many pros, like 2010 Honda Classic champion Camilo Villegas have more than one home, but their Palm Beach home is often considered their work home. Not only is the weather great most of the year, allowing them to get as much practice in as possible during both the on and off season, but there are also plenty of major airports and private jet centers nearby for them to easily travel during tours. Plus with a few tour stops being held right in the area, it’s nice for players to know that they can sleep in their own bed at least one week out of the tour.
An Abundance of Golf Courses – Playing off our last point a bit, Palm Beach County has no shortage of low-traffic golf courses and practice facilities for players to utilize. One of the great things that a lot of players like is the fact that as more pros to move down to Southern Florida, there’s always someone around. According to Keegan Bradley, “The new trend is for everybody to more to Jupiter. I think the secret’s kind of out. I mostly play at the Bear’s Club, [Nicklaus’ family club] but if you show up anywhere, you’re going to have a bunch of guys to play with. It’s a good deal.”
Peace and Quiet – While Palm Beach County has its fair share of pro golfing residents, Orlando is up there on the list as well. However for players like Mark Calcavecchia, Palm Beach County has much more to offer for anyone looking to live a calm life. After doing to the whole Orlando thing in the past, Calcavecchia liked the fact that he could drive around without running right into Disney World traffic. With the beautiful ocean scenery and a ton of great restaurants and courses to choose from, what else could you need?
The People are Friendly – One of the great things about living in an area that is a popular living choice for celebrities and professional athletes is the fact that the rest of the community becomes desensitized. At least that was one of Tiger Woods’ favorite parts when he made the move. According to him, “One of the things that I really like about this area is how friendly everyone is. People are really nice, and you’re not treated like you’re special, which is great. When I’m out on the boat or in town with my children, everyone says hi. We’re very happy.”
Simply checking the list of local names in the Honda Classic field will astonish you, and that list is only expected to keep growing as the years go by. As more and more players settle down in Palm Beach County with their own set of reasons for the move, what will be your own reasons?
(Source: Palm Beach Post)