There’s the golf, of course, but so much more (including Brad Paisley).
If you’d never heard of the Valspar Championship before last year, you probably know about it now.
Why? Tiger Woods. Though he’d played a mixed team tournament at Innisbrook Resort’s Copperhead Course in 1996, he’d never played Valspar, so the crowds last year at Copperhead were, in a word, crazy.
“Crazy in a great way,” says Valspar Tournament Director Tracy West. “Our Tampa Bay region responded in droves.”
But Woods wasn’t the only draw, she adds. “We had Jordan Spieth back, Rory McIlroy for the first time. Our crowds have been building and building over the years.”
Woods is not yet confirmed for the 2019 Tournament, which takes place at Innisbrook March 18-24, but there are plenty of other reasons you should attend — at least 10, by our count:
1) It’s for charity. All the proceeds after expenses go to local charities, administered through the tournament’s non-profit arm, Copperhead Charities. The tournament has raised more than $41 million since its beginnings as a mixed PGA/LPGA event in 1977.
2) It’s good for Tampa Bay’s pocketbook. According to a study by USF’s Muma College of Business, the tournament pumps $51 million into the local economy each year.
3) You can actually see the golfers. “It’s not the same as sitting in the third deck of a stadium,” says West. “Those golfers are walking right past you!”
4) You can meet them, too. “Players are great about signing autographs after they come out of the scoring area,” says the tournament director.
5) It’s great for families — and a lot cheaper than Disney World. “There’s a big family fun zone,” says West, “with rock climbing, putt putt, hula hoops, free popsicles — and kids 15 and under get in free!” And speaking of tweens (and the tween-at-heart), this year there’s the Sensible Micro Fortnite Zone, with eight PlayStation consoles available for players of the mega-popular online video game Fortnite.
6) You can chill out at the Publix® Chillounge. One of Rainer Scheer’s chic white outdoor living rooms comes to Valspar for the first time, and on Thursday and Friday nights after play it will morph into a Silent Disco, 300 headsets at the ready.
7) You can see Brad Paisley! The tournament has featured some big-name musical acts in the past, but Paisley is arguably the biggest. The Saturday night concert is free with a tournament ticket and takes place on a huge stage built specially for the concert on the Osprey Driving Range adjacent to the 14th fairway.
8) You could be on TV! The tournament is covered by NBC and the Golf Channel and broadcast in over 200 countries.
9) You can volunteer. Over 2,000 volunteers are needed in every aspect of the tournament from scoring to ticket-taking.
10) Girl Power! Tracy West is one of the few female tournament directors on the PGA Tour, and her sister, Jennifer Hines, is an assistant tournament director on the PGA Tour. Sisters… doing it for themselves!
For info on tickets, volunteering and more, go to valsparchampionship.com.