Korn Ferry Tour, Global Golf Management Announce Emerald Coast Classic At Sandestin

MIRAMAR BEACH, Florida — In partnership with Global Golf Management, the Korn Ferry Tour announced a new tournament to debut on the Tour’s annual schedule starting in 2021. The Emerald Coast Classic at Sandestin will be contested at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort’s Raven Golf Club the week of March 29 – April 4, with 156 players competing for a $600,000 purse. A three-year agreement is in place through 2023.

“Sandestin Resort is truly a remarkable location for professional golf, and we are eager to bring the Emerald Coast Classic to this community,” said Korn Ferry Tour President Alex Baldwin. “We have vibrant partners with great track records of building spectacular events, and we are confident that the future stars of the PGA TOUR will enjoy competing in this region.”

The tournament will be managed by Global Golf Management, which currently manages three Korn Ferry Tour events. Founded in 1989, Global Golf Management has successfully staged more than 1,000 events on five continents and currently provides consultation, management, and tournament operations service for over 40 professional golf events across the globe.

“We are thrilled to partner with the Korn Ferry Tour and Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort as we look to build one of the Tour’s premier events,” said Global Golf Management President Mike Harmon. “The Emerald Coast Classic at Sandestin will deliver exciting drama with the future stars of the PGA TOUR competing in Northwest Florida. With the announcement, we’ll have the ability to further our efforts of creating a year-round community impact in the Destin area.”

The Raven Golf Club at Sandestin is a classic Robert Trent Jones Jr. design that offers players a true traditional golf experience. The par-71 layout, carved through the marshes and pine trees of Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, provides a myriad of exciting shot options. The beautiful natural setting of the Emerald Coast has drawn golfers to the region for decades. Prior to hosting the Korn Ferry Tour, the Raven Golf Club hosted the PGA TOUR Champions Boeing Championship at Sandestin in 2006 and 2007. 

“Since the Raven Golf Course hosted the Boeing Championship in 2006 and 2007, we knew we wanted the PGA TOUR back for another event” said Rick Hileman, PGA Executive Director of Golf Operations at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. “It has taken commitment and resolve from both parties to be here, announcing the collaboration of the Korn Ferry Tour and the Emerald Coast Classic at Sandestin. This is a big win for not only the resort but our Sandestin community and Walton County as a whole. We are excited to once again partner with the PGA TOUR to bring what is sure to be a great event.”

With 50 available PGA TOUR cards for the following season (since 2013), the Korn Ferry Tour is the path to the PGA TOUR. Twenty-five TOUR cards are reserved for the leading points earners at the end of the Regular Season. Another 25 are up for grabs at the three-event Korn Ferry Tour Finals that follow the Regular Season in August.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 season has been combined with the 2021 season, postponing PGA TOUR promotion until the end of the 2021 season.

During the PGA TOUR’s 2019-20 season, players from the Korn Ferry Tour’s Class of 2019 experienced great success on the PGA TOUR. Lanto Griffin earned his inaugural TOUR victory at the Vivint Houston Open, while Viktor Hovland won his first title at the Puerto Rico Open. Scottie Scheffler, who took home Korn Ferry Tour Player of the Year honors in 2019, finished the season ranked fifth in the FedExCup and won PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year honors in 2020.