2019 Tournament Chair Adam Campbell speaks at Women’s Council of Realtors luncheon.
by Maggie Fitzroy, Contributing Writer
This year, the final round of The Players Championship is scheduled on St. Patrick’s Day instead of Mother’s Day.
The weather is expected to be cooler and likely windier for the PGA Tour’s March 12-17 event at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach.
“The course is in the best shape I have seen in 20 years,” 2019 Tournament Chairman Adam Campbell told Women’s Council of Realtors members Feb. 21 at a luncheon at Deercreek Country Club.
Returning to March after being held in May since 2007, Campbell said real estate agents “are awesome advocates for the tournament.”
He said the global event, broadcast in 30 languages, “is also an opportunity to showcase the area.”
Last year, he said 58 percent of attendees came from outside Northeast Florida and the tournament had a $151 million impact on the region. Since 1977, The Players has raised $100 million for local charities.
Campbell said renovations to the TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course, including new greens and a “difficult and challenging” rough, will test players not familiar with playing the course in March.
For fans, the test will be finding parking.
Because of construction of the new PGA Tour headquarters off County Road 210, there will be about 1,000 fewer parking spaces available this year.
Campbell urged Realtors to let customers know they will need to purchase parking passes in advance for Thursday to Sunday rounds, because passes will not be sold at the lot.
Parking will be free on Tuesday and Wednesday practice days, but fans need to arrive early to get a spot.
Gerri Landrum, a new Realtor with The Legends of Real Estate in Jacksonville Beach, said she attended the luncheon to hear about The Players and to join the Women’s Council of Realtors. Her broker, Andrew Bell, is this year’s state president — the first man to hold that position.
Despite the organization’s name, “about 10 percent of state and national members are men,” said Bell, who said he joined for the education, networking and leadership skill development opportunities.
The organization bills itself as a network of successful Realtors, advancing women as professionals and leaders in the business and in their communities.
In Northeast Florida, the Women’s Council hosts roundtable discussions and events featuring panels of industry experts and new marketing concepts.
Landrum said that pursuing a career in real estate, full time and “without a backup plan,” like she is, takes determination, courage and financial investment, and she appreciates the opportunities.
Nationally, the average member income is $134,470; 54 percent do referrals through the network annually; and 62 percent are business leaders in their community or association.
As a former resident of Augusta, Georgia, the home of the Masters Tournament, Landrum said The Players especially intrigued her.
Moving the tournament to March will ultimately “prove better for players and spectators,” Campbell told luncheon attendees.
In the past, when the final round Sunday usually coincided with Mother’s Day, fans were encouraged to wear pink.
While finishing on St. Patrick’s Day, fans won’t be encouraged to wear green and no ponds will be dyed green, nor will the beer, Campbell said.
But the event will feature the world’s best golfers.
“It is the best of the best, going toe-to-toe,” he said. “Everything we are doing is building on our brand.”