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Preparations underway for the Honda Classic

Posted at 5:40 PM, Jan 21, 2016
and last updated 2018-12-10 09:41:59-05

Preparations are underway for the Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens.

The event starts on February 22 and runs until February 28.

Right now, crews can be seen constructing the stands where fans can sit.

But tournament director, Andrew George, says the preparations started long before today.

"The tournament preparation really starts the day after the tournament the previous year," he says.

Andrew hopes to see 200,000 fans walk the course and sit in the stands this year.

New this year, those who sit in the stands will have hundreds of extra seats to choose from.

"We have more tip-ups available for someone who just comes in with a regular admission ticket," Andrew says.

He says there were 165,000 fans who came out to the event last year, which he says is down compared to prior years.

Last year, fans and golfers experienced severe weather with strong winds and heavy rains moving through the area and delaying time on the course.

"To have almost six inches in March is just off the charts," says Brad Nelson, director of agronomy for the course at PGA National.

"We're the keepers of the turf... so to speak," he says.

Brad and his team of more than one hundred people have an important job to do on the course.

"We do have five golf courses, over 800 acres that we've got to maintain and keep in pristine shape.. hopefully," he says.

The crew works around the clock throughout the year to make sure it's in good shape, especially for The Honda Classic.

The tournament isn't just about golf, though.

Last year, proceeds from the event benefited more than 120 local charities.

In 2015, the Honda Classic raised $2.55 million for charities.

The folks behind it hope to raise even more this year.