In an effort to promote health and wellness, as well as bring a slice of championship golf to the desert, and instill the idea of participating in improving the quality of life, the PGA along with Humana has teamed up with the Clinton Foundation to present the newly christened Humana Challenge.
Formerly known as the Bob Hope Classic, the Humana Challenge spanned 9 days from January 14th to the 22nd with a host of events lined up along with the involvement of the 42nd President of the United States William J. Clinton. With a new trophy, a new format and a new name, the Humana Challenge took part at the PGA West Golf Club in La Quinta, CA that involved players, spectators and viewers in a variety of activities and events that circled around the theme of lifelong well-being.
On Saturday the 14th the event kicked off with the Humana Wellness walk along the Bear Creek Trail along with a Healthy Fun Fair that took place in Palm Desert that provided a number of interactive activities as well as valuable information on health and wellness. Sunday brought the Humana Farmer’s Market at Old town La Quinta where I was able to sample some of the delicious veggies and fruits that lines the streets and allowed myself to share some friendly words and smiles with the large gathering of food seeking people. The festivities continued on Monday with spectators being welcomed to come out to one of the three courses and catch some practice rounds from the pros or watch the Bob Hope Legacy Pro Am that took place on the PGA West Nicklaus Private course.
Tuesday presented the Kickoff Breakfast at the La Quinta Chamber of Commerce followed by the Clinton Foundation Conference with the keynote speaker being former president Bill Clinton with the topic centered on Activating Wellness in Every Generation. Then it was time to play some golf.
Starting on Thursday professional golfers such as Phil Mickelson, Greg Norman, Anthony Kim, David Toms, Stuart Appleby, Justin Leonard, David Duval, Rich Been and defending champion Jhonattan Vegas tee’d off along with celebrities like Alice Cooper, Morgan Freeman, Billy Crudup, Michael Bolton, Smokey Robinson, Don Cheadle, and the legendary basketball hall of famer Julius Erving who is better known as Doctor J.
The four day tournament played the first three rounds in a pro-am format. Each team consisted of one pro and one amateur playing in groups of four, with the amateurs competing in daily competitions as well as overall.
The final round was professionals only. The field size expanded 16 professional spots from the previous format making it 144 professionals along with 144 amateurs. The number of courses used in rotation was reduced from four to three. Those three were the La Quinta Country Club, PGA West Nicklaus Private, and PGA West Palmer Private. So along with the golf action that took place throughout the week, the Humana Challenge presented a number of activities that were designed to play a key role in the way we all strive to live healthier lives.