Exploring Entertainment in Florida's 850 & Beyond
MIRAMAR BEACH, Fla. (Sept. 10, 2015) – For the first time in league history, the Sun Belt Conference will conduct women’s and men’s golf championships on consecutive weeks next April at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in Miramar Beach, FL. The prestigious Raven Golf Club will host the championships with the women’s teams competing from April 16-19, and the men’s teams to follow on April 23-26, 2016. Both organizations agreed to a one-year deal to add the Sun Belt women’s golf championships. The Sun Belt men’s golf championships are scheduled to be held at Sandestin each April through 2018.
“We are excited to have our women’s golf student-athletes join our men’s golf student-athletes for back-to-back weeks of championship golf and the opportunity to play at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. The Emerald Coast is home to some of the finest golf in the country and we are looking forward to another great event,” said Sun Belt Commissioner Karl Benson.
“Adding the Sun Belt women’s golf championships will make for two great weeks of collegiate competition at Sandestin,” said Rick Hileman, director of golf at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. “After last year, we knew the men’s teams and the Sun Belt were absolutely thrilled with the course conditions and play on the Raven (course). This simply adds to our history of producing quality and competitive golf events at Sandestin. We appreciate the commitment of the Sun Belt to bring both golf championships to our facility.”
The Sun Belt Conference women’s golf championship will be represented by teams from Appalachian State, Arkansas State, Georgia Southern, Georgia State, Little Rock, UL Monroe, South Alabama, Texas State and Troy. The men’s programs include the same schools, plus UL Lafayette and UT Arlington. The team champions on both the women’s and men’s competitions will earn the conference’s automatic selections into the respective NCAA Championships.
The Raven Golf Club is a Robert Trent Jones, Jr. designed layout carved through the marshes and tall pine trees of Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. The 6,900-yard, par 71 course is no stranger to hosting major golf events. In the past, the Raven hosted the Boeing Championship, a stop on the PGA Champions Tour, in 2006 and 2007. It also played host to the 2013 NCAA Division III National Golf Championship. Sandestin also regularly hosts the Golfweek Fall Invitational which brings together some of the best Division III golf programs in the country. Voted “Best New Course in Florida,” in 2000, the Raven has garnered numerous golf awards over the years from major national golf publications like Golf Digest and Golf Magazine. It is currently listed as one of the “Best Courses You Can Play” by Golfweek.
For more information on the Raven Golf Club at Sandestin and the three other courses at the #1 Resort on Florida’s Emerald Coast, visit Sandestin.com, or call 1-866-91-BEACH.
About Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort
Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort is a major destination for all seasons and all ages, and was named the #1 resort on Florida’s Emerald Coast. The resort invites guests to a world of 2,400 acres and 30 charming neighborhoods featuring more than 1,275 vacation rentals, condominiums, villas, town homes and the best in South Walton hotel accommodations. As a member of Visit South Walton and Visit Florida, the resort features more than seven miles of beaches and pristine bay front, four championship golf courses, 15 world-class tennis courts, 19 swimming pools, a 113-slip marina, a fitness center and spa, meeting space and The Village of Baytowne Wharf, a charming pedestrian village with events, shopping, dining and nightlife. People are invited to download Sandestin’s APP for iPhone and Android devices, or become a Facebook Fan or Twitter follower for the latest events and news.
About the Sun Belt Conference
The Sun Belt Conference mantra “Together We Rise” exemplifies what has quickly become America’s most up-and-coming collegiate athletics conference.
Founded in 1976, the Sun Belt has adapted and evolved in its nearly 40 year existence. The league was originally formed as a home for some of the nation’s premier mid-major basketball teams and it wasn’t until a number of changes and the demand for a higher national profile that the league began sponsoring football in 2001. Because of this decision to move the league in to the group of football playing conferences, the Sun Belt Conference has a permanent seat on the NCAA’s 18-member Board of Directors. As a result, the conference has a crucial voice on some of the most pressing issues in college athletics.
The Sun Belt Conference’s membership consists of 11 football members for 2014 – Appalachian State, Arkansas State, Georgia Southern, Georgia State, Idaho, UL Lafayette, UL Monroe, New Mexico State, South Alabama, Texas State and Troy. UALR and UT Arlington compete in all-sports as non-football members while Idaho and New Mexico State are football only members.
For more information on the Sun Belt Conference, visit www.sunbeltsports.org.