PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — The Honda Classic is set to open its gates to the public on Feb. 24 and the tournament organizers are optimistic.
"I want to say it's back to normal, but it's elevated beyond that. We're 10% over our 2020 build," tournament Director Andrew George said. "We still have a lot of the best of the  elements still implemented from a sanitizer perspective, the masks and the deep cleaning."
As far as COVID-19, Kenneth R. Kennerly, executive director of the Honda Classic, said things are fluid.
"The PGA Tour is on the West Coast," he said. "Now rules could change as they come east, but, right now, inside the clubhouse, masking will be mandated, so players and their families will be wearing masks inside the clubhouse. But everywhere else here at the resort and outside [we don't] have that mandate."
George said people should use the online ticketing system via Ticketmaster.com to pre-purchase their parking and tickets for sanitation reasons and certain areas of the tournament are expected to sell out. Grounds tickets cost about $60 a day.
Double-Decker Bleachers at Bear Trap
The Bear Trap is an additional $150 a day and patrons will notice a new double-decker bleacher.
"You look at and all the waterways that Jack [Nicklaus] created out here, which is fantastic for the viewing, it's made it hard for us to continue to grow on that first level. And we're at a point now, whether you look at [the 17th hole, 18th hole or the Bear Trap], we've got to go up," George said.
"The Iconic Bear Trap, those three great holes of golf, and then, thanks to our partnership with Goslings Rum and Cobra Puma, [we continue] to grow that Bear Trap each and every year," Kennerly said.
Kennerly said there would be private suites on the second level.
"The sightlines are really the best out here [and] I was up there earlier and while people are going to be focused on 17 and even over to 16, when you get up there, turn around, because you see 4, you see 6, 11. ... In Florida, it's flat, so the higher you go, the more you're going to see," he said.
Organizers said they plan to expand the double-decker around 17 and 18 in the future.
Public and Shared Venues
If the Bear Trap isn't your scene, there are several free stands and bleachers that only require a daily general admission ticket for access, including several new additions.
The Honda Classic said providing them to the public is important.
"This is more than a golf tournament," George said. "It is a community celebration to each and every person [who] comes out. Whether you're a family of four or you're here with your buddies for a social trip, we want to make sure you walk away saying, 'This was a great day the Honda Classic.'"
New Public and Shared Venues
- Honda Deck is a new stands area on the 18th tee. Come watch the pros tee off at the last hole of the course.
- TruGreen® Backyard is perched between the 11th and 17th holes, take in the views of the iconic Bear Trap or watch full tournament coverage at the video wall.
- Cincoro on the 10th green
- The U.S. POLO ASSN. Champagne Lounge is an upscale, open-to-the-public lounge inclusive of an outdoor garden that offers a great place to sit and sip as players tee off on the 10th tee.
- The Garrison Brothers Distillery Bunker overlooks the 16th fairway, the open-air club features specialty cocktails, beer, and soft drinks for purchase, and features an outdoor patio with views of the 12th and 16th hole.
- The Duffy's Zone is a new open to the public venue located on the 8th green, it will provide a family-friendly environment to enjoy food and drinks while enjoying premium golf views from the new 8th green bleachers.
- The Wine Group Wine Deck public bleachers on the 10th green.
Returning Public and Shared Venues
- Corona Premier Clubhouse features unparalleled 360-degree views of 5 key holes on the back 9 – including the first leg of the Bear Trap – the feared 15th hole.
- Tito's Stillhouse Lounge offers stadium seating and an enclosed lounge with premium sightlines to all the action on the 17th hole with an additional viewing deck on the 10th green (ages 21 and up).
- FPL Patio is stadium seating overlooking the 17th hole, is an ideal place to hang out and catch the thrilling action at the tail end of the Bear Trap. The area treats all patrons to theatre-style seats with unobstructed sight lines of one of the toughest holes in professional golf.
- Pratt & Whitney Patriots Outpost provides free admission to the tournament and a special hospitality venue at the 17th hole.
- Garden of Life's Oasis is located on the signature par-3, 17th hole with unobstructed sight lines to the 17th tee and green, it has covered seating, high end interior decor, wines from various parts of the world and fine fare.
- Nicklaus Neighborhood is located on 18, the venue includes complimentary family care lounges, covered AC seating, and family-friendly amenities for all. Featuring games, activities, concessions and more.
- Ideal Nutrition Public Seating on the 1st tee and watch your favorite PGA TOUR pros tee off for The Honda Classic.
- The Terrace overlooking the 9th green caters to a full range of tastes in dining and entertainment. Cold drinks and food enjoyed on the open-air Terrace allow for continued golf viewing throughout the day and when the last putt drops, the Terrace becomes a Honda Classic bash.
- Jupiter Medical Center bleachers on the 16th green.
- Cobra Puma Golf bleachers on the 17th tee.
- Carrier bleachers on the 18th green.
- Personal bags 6"x6"
- Clear plastic, vinal bags not exceeding 12"x6"12"
- Food may enter the tournament in a one-gallon clear resealable plastic bag (At the tournament's discretion)
- Reusable plastic or metal cups up to 32 onces (must be empty on entry and exit)
- Mobile phones on silent mode
- Cameras with a lens smaller than 6" and no case.
- Umbrellas without sleeves
- Portable radios with headsets
- Infant or medical car supplies
- Collapsible chairs (no bags)
- Binoculars (no case)
- Seat cushions with no pockets or compartments
Daily Theme Days
- Thursday, Feb. 24 - Military Appreciation Day
- Friday, Feb. 25 - Healthcare Heroes Day
- Saturday, Feb. 26 Family Day
- Sunday, Feb. 27 Honda Classic Cares Day (Play Yellow Day)
Player Field Update as of 2/8/22
Matt Jones - Winner of the 2021 Honda Classic - World Golf Ranking No. 81
"Winning is so hard on the PGA Tour," said Matt Jones at The Honda Classic's Media Day on Tuesday.
Rickie Fowler - World Golf Ranking No. 113
Brooks Koepka - World Golf Ranking No. 20
Louis Oosthuizen - World Golf Ranking No. 12
Tommy Fleetwood - World Golf Ranking No. 43
Shane Lowry - World Golf Ranking No. 48
Justin Rose - World Golf Ranking No. 47
Lee Westwood - World Golf Ranking No. 41
Gary Woodland - World Golf Ranking No. 143
Other notable players include Bill Hass, Billy Horschel, Camilo Villegas, Charl Schwartzel, Danny Willett, Harris English, Ian Poulter, Jach Johnson, Jason Dufner, Jason Kokrak, Jhonattan Vegas, Jimmy Walker, Joaquin Niemann, Keith Mitchell, Luke Donald, Mackenzie Hughes, Matt Wallace, Nick Watney, Padraig Harrington, Roy Rabbatini, Ryan Palmer, Stewart Cirk and Sung-jae Im.
- Tommy Fleetwood
- Kyle Westmoreland
- Chase Koepka
- 1 spot TBD
PGA Tour Restricted:
- Padraig Harrington
- Jason Dufner