I have lived in the Daytona Beach area since 1997, and as a resident here it’s hard not to become at least a little bit interested in NASCAR. Having been to many different kinds of auto races in my life, I can say that NASCAR isn’t really my thing, but I have fun with it anyway. Besides, Speedweek in February is a large part of what makes this town tick.
Daytona Beach is also where the home office of the LPGA Tour is located. Indigo Lakes Golf Club used to be the home course of the LPGA, and it also hosted some pro events and PGA Tour Q-School. The LPGA then moved to a brand new office located at the newly built LPGA International Golf Club. The facility has 36 holes designed by Rees Jones and Arthur Hills, and played host to the LPGA’s Sprint Titleholder’s Championship for several years. Even though the facility was built largely to host this tournament and all the stars of the LPGA Tour including Annika Sorenstam played every year, attendance was poor and the tournament eventually failed. However, fans of women’s golf can still come to LPGA International every year for the LPGA Q-School finals and a Futures Tour event.
Last year, the LPGA fielded a record number of media requests and handed out hundreds of credentials in anticipation of Michelle Wie attending the tournament in pursuit of her tour card. The great part of the week for the fans was the fact that attendance was free, and access to the players was unlike any other pro golf event. The fans could get very close to the players, with no gallery ropes on most holes and most pairings had only a hand full of spectators following. Wie, paired on the final day with eventual Q-School medalist Stacy Lewis, drew the biggest crowds, but it was still only in the 80 to 100 range.
I was a bit surprized about being permitted to carry my camera around and snap pictures, but I tried to keep a low profile nevertheless. I was able to get some great shots on published them on my Facebook page. I recently stumbled upon these shots again while performing a backup and felt they would be worth sharing again, so enjoy! be sure to use the full screen function by hitting the button on the bottom right of the slideshow!