SPORTS

Sandestin to host back-to-back Sun Belt Golf Championships in 2016

Special to The Log

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. 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.

For more information on the Raven Golf Club at Sandestin call 1-866-91-BEACH.