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Emerald Coast Classic into the final preps for next week’s event

Published: Mar. 23, 2021 at 8:51 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -We are close to seeing the return of the PGA Tour to our area. That comes next week in the form of the Korn Ferry Tour event set for the Raven Golf Club at Sandestin, the Emerald Coast Classic.

I spent a little time over at the resort Tuesday, speaking with some of the folks responsible for bringing this event in and getting everything ready for next week. They have already set up some of the ticket tents near the entrance to the course, and some of the grandstands around 18 green. Also a great deal of work on the Raven course itself has been completed, though that’s always a work in progress on getting and keeping a golf course in tip-top shape. And particularly so for a course getting set to host a Tour event. Eddie Goodman is the Tournament Director and here’s what he had to say about the preparedness as of Tuesday!

“Yeah today the office trailers and the rules trailers are in. So that’s kind of the last step, operations-wise. Now it’s just a question of getting everything together, bringing in the volunteers, bringing in support staff, bringing in Gulf Power, bringing in WiFi. And we’re at a good position right now. To say where we are today where we were four months ago, it’s been a process, but we’re in a good place.”

And all that is a little more impressive when you consider the compressed timeframe with which Eddie and his staff, and the staff at the Raven Golf Club, have had to deal with in terms of putting this entire event together.

“The toughest part for us this year has mostly been our lead time going into this event.” Goodman said. “You know the announcement in November, for four months out, and then getting everything put together, from volunteers, to sponsors, to the community to get behind the event. It was difficult at first, but the community’s responded. And I think we’re quite happy with where we’re at right now.”

There will be practice rounds for the players Monday and Tuesday. A Pro-Am is set for Wednesday. And the tournament rounds are Thursday through Sunday. More than 150 players will compete in this inaugural Emerald Coast Classic.,

“I think the quality of golf, I think everybody needs to come out and see it.” Goodman says. “The quality of golf is tremendous, these kids are amazing. The only way to explain it is to come out here and watch it. Because the quality, the enthusiasm. The Monday qualifier is bringing 250 players for 8 positions. I mean it’s just amazing the amount of effort these young kids are trying to do to get their cards.”

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