Here in the Jupiter and Palm Beach Gardens area we are enjoying the winter weather we are so famous for. The snowbirds are reading at the beach, golfers are playing the endless array of courses in this area (there are 11 just between Mirasol, PGA National, BallenIsles and Old Palm). And shortly, the professional athletes will be joining us here.
The first thing on the calendar is spring training at Roger Dean Stadium in Abacoa, part of Jupiter. We have always been on the grapefruit league circuit due to the weather. The Atlanta Braves used to come here and the Dodgers came to Vero Beach for decades. But when Abacoa built the Roger Dean Stadium, the Montreal Expos and the St. Louis Cardinals came to roost here for spring training. Then when the Expos folded, the Florida Marlins were brought in. And all this is good for business.
First, the big name players like Albert Pujuls of the Cardinals rent big houses. And why not? They’ve clearly got the money. The rest of the players call one of the local hotels close to the stadium home for a few weeks. And of course they all eat out, hit the clubs and movies and buy stuff. So all around they are good for business.
Then, the first week in March the PGA Tour makes a stop here as it works its way through the Sunshine State. The Honda Classic is played on The Champion course at PGA National, one of the 11 courses I mentioned above. Last year the winner was a local, Camilo Villegas who lives in Tequesta on the Loxahatchee River near Mark Calcavecchia and Steve Marino. When the PGA Tour is in town, the cash registers really sing. For one thing, the Honda Classic is always packed. Most people in this area during the winter are not going to work, so they have plenty of time to hang out on the golf course.
If you are visiting or vacationing in the area, be sure to check one of these two events out. They are a lot of fun and the weather is fabulous.