Ready to take a leap into “Poppie’s Pond” and not get wet?
That’s just one of the experiences available to golf fans attending the 46th annual ANA Inspiration, which returns March 27 through April 2 to The Dinah Shore Tournament Course at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage. The ANA Inspiration is the longest running professional golf tournament, save for The Masters, continually held at the same locale.
The first major championship of the season for men or women, this year’s ANA brings with it an enhanced fan experience to compliment the LPGA’s world-class field. Prior to enjoying the winner’s leap into the real “Poppie’s Pond” beside the famed 18th green, here’s an event scorecard to make the most of your visit.
A new food courtyard has been added to the 2017 edition.
New Fan Experiences
Along with the opportunity for fans to take a “virtual leap” into Poppie’s Pond at the ANA Experience exhibit, visitors can enjoy the event’s new food courtyard, featuring some of the best food trucks that Los Angeles has to offer. Located behind the 10th tee box, the enhanced courtyard also offers bar seating and a new, massive LED screen to keep with the action while enjoying some drink and eats.
ANA Junior Inspiration
Now an official American Junior Golf Association event, the ANA Junior Inspiration, played across 54 holes March 25-26, brings 40 of the top juniors from around the world to Rancho Mirage. The prize for the victor? The final entry into the ANA Inspiration field.
Inspiring Women in Sports Conference
After a debut in 2016 welcomed the likes of Arianna Huffington, Lindsey Vonn, Annika Sorenstam, and Missy Franklin, the ANA welcomes back the conference for a second year. Held from 1-4 p.m. March 28 on the grounds’ 18th Green Pavilion, word is that this year’s sequel will offer similar star power.
Last year’s conference roster included publisher Arianna Huffington and Olympian Missy Franklin.
Practice time for the whole family
The entire family can enjoy swing tips offered by the event’s complimentary, 10-minute golf lessons (offered Thursday thru Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.). Kids 17 and under are admitted into the tournament for free with a paid adult admission.
Where to Watch
The majority of the fan action will be found around the 18th green, and deservedly so, as the famed, par-5 home hole at The Dinah Shore Tournament Course makes for great grandstand viewing. There is also the lure of the Adirondack chairs at the “Pond Side Pub” adjacent to the water-guarded green.
For another great spot, don’t overlook the shaded area behind the green at the dramatic, par-4 sixth hole, where the world’s best women navigate the unique, island-style fairway before approaching a severe putting framed by water.
The area behind the green at the dramatic, par-4 sixth hole provides shade and a respite from the sun.
The Defending Champion
The world’s top-ranked player, 19-year-old Lydia Ko, returns to Rancho Mirage seeking to become the event’s first back-to-back champion since Anika Sorenstam in 2001-02. Ko already has 14 career tour wins (including four in 2016), and she arrives in the desert aiming to overcome a slow start (at least by her stellar standards) in 2017.
For tournament information on tickets, players, events and more, swing on over to: www.anainspiration.com.