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The Honda Classic at PGA 'International'

By: David Wood


With foreign-born stars Rory McIlory, Lee Westwood, Padraig Harrington, Graeme McDowell, Ernie Els, Camilo Villegas, Henrik Stenson, Darren Clarke, Sang-Moon Bae and Y.E. Yang all joining Tiger Woods in the field for this week's Honda Classic at PGA National Resort & Spa, perhaps the south Florida destination should be called PGA "International."

Third Green at the Champion Course

In fact, the last four winners of this first stop of the "Florida Swing" - Rory Sabbatini, Villegas, Yang and Els - all hail from lands afar. Why the elite international field? Greg Norman might have the best answer. When speaking of the Champion Course in a press conference earlier this week, the Great White Shark noted, "It's a course for great players."

Harrington says that outside the majors, the Champion is "the best course we play on Tour." Great players like playing great courses.

It might also be argued that international players enjoy playing the Honda because the resort itself makes for a comfortable week when far from home. It's not just the golf that is world-class.

After their round, Tour players and their families can indulge in one of more than 100 treatments offered by The Spa, a lounge in the zero-entry pool, or enjoy one seven on-site restaurants and lounges highlighted by the chef-driven Ironwood Steak & Seafood. The iBAR in the lobby is the perfect spot for something cold to drink and people watch.

Resort guests of the non- Tour variety can also enjoy PGA National without going through Q-School. The property has four additional layouts - The Palmer, The Haig, The Squire and The Estates Courses. Plus, both the David Leadbetter Golf Academy and the Dave Pelz Scoring Game School can help you start playing your best.

The 18th Green on the Palmer Course

No matter what country you're from, it's all good at PGA National (www.pgaresort.com).

In addition to writing on golf and travel, author and noted speaker David Wood has made several appearances on "Late Night with David Letterman" as well as dozens of other television shows. His book - "Around the World in 80 Rounds" - was just released in paperback on www.Amazon.com. Currently he works in public relations with Buffalo Communications in Vienna, Va. His website is www.DavidWoodSpeaking.com.