- By Sarah Peters Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
The Honda Classic is always evolving, and this year is no exception.
The tournament in its 12th year at PGA National Resort & Spa keeps breaking attendance records, and that doesn’t happen without serious consideration for the fan experience. The highlights of this year’s additions: phone-charging lockers and a shuttle to and from The Bear Trap.
Here are the details of what’s new this year.
— Lilly Pulitzer Lounge: Spectators can catch a break from the sun and shop for a variety of Lilly Pulitzer attire in this new lounge on the 10th green. The lounge will sell the limited-edition “The Honda Classic” print, which plays off The Bear Trap and contoured fairways of PGA National. Proceeds will go to Honda Classic Cares, the tournament’s charitable arm.
The lounge also offers signature drinks and a view of the golf action.
The specially designed pink and green Honda Classic print is also splashed across a Lilly Pulitzer Free Ride, a battery-powered shuttle that takes tourists from the Hilton Garden Inn to The Gardens Mall. The shuttle runs 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Feb. 22 through 25. It stops at the Food Court, Sears, Nordstrom and the Hilton Garden Inn every 15 minutes.
— A better phone-charging situation: The tournament has had cell phone chargers for a few years now, but this year, spectators can leave their phones in a locker to recharge. It beats waiting at a table and missing all the action.
Spectators can find 128 lockers with chargers for public use at four locations around the course. The lockers will also be in most private hospitality areas.
— Bear Trap shuttle: SunPass is sponsoring a shuttle so that people who can’t walk to The Bear Trap or don’t want to will have an easier time getting to the 15th or 17th holes and back.
— Kenny G concert for sick children: Instead of his traditional free concert for fans Thursday evening, saxophonist Kenny G. will perform a private show for the young patients at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami.
Instead, The Spazmatics will perform after the final putt drops Thursday. The Texas band describes itself as the “ultimate 80s new wave tribute.” Fusion, a dance band with musicians who performed with Pitbull, Pharrell Williams and Usher, will return for their Friday night gig.
Canadian DJ Skratch Bastid, three-time winner of the Scribble Jam DJ Battle, will keep the party going Saturday.
Catch the fireworks spectacular Friday and Saturday night.