Category - Amateur Programs

For One Weekend, Florida's Coral Creek Turns into Everyone's Home Course With National Club Championship

By Abby Parsons, PGA
Published on

I previously worked at a small private club in Southwest Florida called Coral Creek Club. It is a beautiful Tom Fazio design with great golf to be played from tee to green, and the visuals of the golf course are unforgettable.

Once a year, the club would host a tournament named “The National Club Championship,” and it is the favorite event of many members. Since this part of Florida is specifically popular for seasonal residents, members of Coral Creek Club have the opportunity to invite a PGA Professional from their summer club, along with two members of that club to complete the group.

This is a great opportunity for members to showcase their winter club to their summer pals, and have fun doing it.
The Coral Creek range during the National Club Championship.
The Coral Creek range during the National Club Championship.
The driving range is lined with flags from all of the visiting clubs, and each participant has multiple opportunities to mingle with fellow members, as well as golfers from all over the country. They learn about each membership, the clubs, events and cool experiences each location has as their own traditions. They finally put faces to names they’ve heard about through their friends at Coral Creek.

The tournament lasts three days with a practice round and big dinner to kick off the event. The dinner is where members catch up with their group, and introduce them to others.

The first round consists of a fun alternate shot format where the PGA Professional in the group is paired with the “C” amateur, and the “A” and “B” amateurs are the other partners in the pairing. After this, they eat lunch and get geared up to play in the infamous Par 3 Challenge.
I will never forget setting up the Par 3 portion of the tournament. We put the tees in the craziest parts of the course, and the pins in places the participants probably hated us for. Since the event was usually full, we were able to have each club’s flag have their own hole during the challenge. It was great to see their faces when they came across their own flag (especially if they thought that was a particularly difficult pin).

The final day brought a standard best-two-balls-of-four format, followed by lunch and awards. Seeing the golfers gather all together and talk about their time during the event and crown the champions is one of my favorite parts of it all.

“The National Club Championship has not only been an amazing event for CCC for many years, but has provided a great pipeline for future members of the club," says Jim Lohbauer, a PGA Master Professional and Coral Creek's Head Professional. "The origin of the event was used to recruit prospective members through existing members of the club.”
As a PGA Member, getting to meet fellow PGA Professionals from all over the country from the most prestigious clubs in the nation was such a unique experience. I was able to ask questions, learn from others, and build relationships. We were able to bond over being PGA Professionals, and it made me even prouder to be a PGA member.

It is amazing to witness the friendships and memories that are made amongst the participants in this event. The National Club Championship at Coral Creek Club will forever be one of the most special golf experiences of my career.