La Costas hiatus ends with new LPGA event


There's a reason golf resorts like La Costa near San Diego don't go long without a professional tour event. With superb conditions and classic golf at a world class resort and spa, who wouldn't want to park there?

In this case it's the LPGA's turn, and it will play the inaugural Kia Classic March 25-28 (televised by Golf Channel). It's actually the first event of the year for the LPGA Tour on the U.S. mainland after returning from the HSBC Women's Champions tournament in Singapore.  

La Costa, which is located in Carlsbad, Calif., is old hat at playing host to tour events. Most recently, it was the site of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship before it moved to Tucson in 2007. And before the WGC Match Play, it was the longtime site of the PGA Tour's Tournament of Champions, which is now the SBS Championship played in Hawaii.

One of the reasons the WGC event moved was that it was played in February, which has traditionally been one of the wetter months in Southern California. In the last few years of the event, it seems, the wet conditions had become increasingly problematic. Mid-March is a much more favorable time slot.

What many golf fans might not realize is that professional events at La Costa these days are generally played on a combination of the two classic Dick Wilson designs, the North course and South course.  It gets a little confusing explaining which holes are used in the tournament, so I won't bother. What you should know if you visit La Costa is that both parkland-style layouts are outstanding and are in fantastic shape.  

On Wednesday greens were running 11 or 12 on the Stimpmeter, and the 2-inch rough, from all the rain recently, is extremely healthy. The LPGA players will play the par 72 at just under 6,700 yards, and since the ball doesn't roll much on these fairways, it will play longer than its yardage – even without the rain.