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NCAA Div I Golf Championships to move to La Costa Resort
18 Nov 2020
by Brayden Conover of AmateurGolf.com

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The NCAA men’s and women’s championships have found a semi-permanent home in Carlsbad, California.

Beginning in 2024, Omni La Costa Resort & Spa will play host to the NCAA Golf Championships, acting as a true neutral site for those who make it all the way to the most coveted event in collegiate golf.

An idea erected by golf powerhouses Oklahoma State and Texas, the plan could have some staying power. Both school administrations worked to piece together a plan that could have La Costa’s Champions Course become the home of college golf, similar to how Oklahoma City and Omaha are home to college softball and baseball respectively.

A former PGA Tour stop for over three decades, the Omni’s Champions Course is getting a much-needed revamp from legendary architect, Gil Hanse. With his hands tied up by the PGA of America’s new home in Frisco, Texas, Hanse’s work on the Champions Course will begin in 2022.

“It’s too soon to say if the characteristics will be more like a George Thomas Los Angeles Country Club, Bel Air or Riviera style or an Alister MacKenzie look, like at Valley Club of Montecito, or something else,” Hanse told the San Diego Union-Tribune. “But we’re looking forward to ‘solving the puzzle’ out in the land.”

Following a three-year run at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona, hosted by the University of Arizona, the Texas Longhorns will act as hosts in 2024.

Given an unproblematic trial run, a permanent move to Omni La Costa makes sense. You have a temperate climate in southern California. A west coast tournament means prime time television on the east coast. And of course, a true neutral site would add to the competition, making for about as even a playing field as possible. Long gone could be the days of seeing Oklahoma State win at Karsten Creek as they did in 2018 or Oklahoma winning at Oak Tree in 1989.

Sooners head coach Ryan Hybl is a fan of the neutral site, saying “[I] love the neutral site. [I’ve] always been a fan of it for sure.” As for golf having a “Road to Carlsbad”, Hybl loves the idea so long as fan support is there and the setup on the course fits the games of collegians.

Both players and the course itself will be put to the test in just under four years from now. Hopefully, all can go well and there will be a permanent place for college golf to call home.

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