The Bob Hope Classic
While fierce winter winds prohibit golf in most of the United States, the PGA Tour enjoys warm weather every January in California’s Coachella Valley. Part of the tour’s early season West Coast swing, the Bob Hope Classic is famous for its celebrity pro-am and unique format. Currently “The Hope” is the third event on the Tour’s annual schedule, and is also part of the FedEx Cup competition.
This PGA event, so rich in tradition and golf history, will be played in the winter golf mecca of La Quinta, California for the 52nd consecutive year. This tournament, a 5-day format played on 4 desert courses, features 128 top PGA professionals and 383 amateurs and celebrities. Most importantly, since its inception in 1960, “The Hope” has donated 49 million dollars to local charities.
The Classic’s biggest draw is the celebrity Pro-Am competition which attracts each era’s biggest celebrities. Past participants include:
Pres. George H.W. Bush
Pres. Dwight Eisenhower (first US President to play in the Pro-Am)
Pres. Gerald Ford
Sugar Ray Leonard
Fun Facts about the Bob Hope Classic:
- Arnold Palmer won the first classic when he shot 22 under par 338 to win $12,000.
- The winner of this year’s Bob Hope Classic will earn $900,000, which is more than the total of all the purses from the first decade of the event.
- Phil Michelson ($2,029,861) is the Classic’s all-time leading money winner.
- Left-handers won “The Hope” three years in a row (2002-2004).
Former Hope Champion Bill Hass enjoys recommending this favorite of national tournaments. “If somebody asks me, ‘What do you think of the Bob Hope?’ I say, ‘Go!’ This is a place I will always play…And I would tell people it’s hard to find a place that’s better for golf!”