2019 Lexus Champions for Charity: The Golf Event that Just Keeps Getting Better
“This is my 6th year in a row coming here, and I can’t imagine ever missing another one.”
“I read your blog about this event last year, and I immediately knew I had to get here. It’s been unbelievable.”
“This feels like the culmination of my golfing life.”
These were just a handful of the the comments I heard in talking to attendees of the 2019 Lexus Champions for Charity event at Pebble Beach – which is truly one of the greatest charity golf events in the world.
I was fortunate enough to attend with Lexus last year, and by some miracle they were happy enough with what I did to invite me back for the 2019 Lexus Champions for Charity.At this point for me in the world of golf, there are only a handful of those “drop everything and go” type places.
Pine Valley, Augusta, Cypress are the obvious ones.
And this Lexus event is now on that list as well.
Bold statements, right? Yep.
But as you’ll read about here, the Lexus Champions for Charity is a bold tournament that does everything right.
Let me show you what I mean.
What is the Lexus Champions for Charity Golf Tournament?
The Lexus Champions for Charity is an annual charity golf event that is held at Pebble Beach Resort each December.
Two person teams from all over the country come to Pebble for 4 days and compete in a tournament that is held over three days at Spanish Bay, Spyglass Hill, and of course Pebble Beach.
The top 5 gross best ball teams, and top 10 net teams win prize money that gets awarded to their charity of choice.
The week is filled with beautiful dinners, luxurious cars, world class food and drink – and a number of surprises that make this one of the most special tournaments in golf.
The Inn at Spanish Bay – One of the World’s Great Hotels
Your Champions for Charity experience starts when you’re picked up from the airport in a new Lexus and are promptly whisked away to your home for the week, the Inn at the Spanish Bay.
Simply put, the Inn at Spanish Bay is a world class property. There are golf and ocean views from seemingly every window, and the service is impeccable.
The rooms have been drastically overhauled since my first trip there in 2015, and are absolutely gorgeous.
Huge soaking tub, automatic fireplace, and free snacks in the mini bar? What’s not to like?
Sitting out at one of their fire pits at sunset, while their iconic bagpiper makes their way around the property is truly an experience, and whether it’s a cocktail from Traps, the ridiculous filet mignon lasagna from Peppoli, or delicious steak and seafood at Roys – it’s safe to say you won’t go hungry.
But on top of how great the hotel is, the best part about this whole experience is the fact that everyone for the tournament is staying there.
I had so many casual conversations at the bar, the fire pit, or standing outside the first tee with golfers from all over the country. With everyone staying there, you end up making more meaningful connections than you would at other tournaments.
Spanish Bay Golf Links
If you were to put Spanish Bay at 99% of golf resorts in the world, it would be the crown jewel, and be heaped praise. While it certainly still gets its fair share of praise, when your bigger brothers are Pebble and Spyglass? It’s easy to fall under the radar.
But man, Spanish Bay is a golf course. The greens are wildly undulating, the fairways are rumpled and at times quite tight, and there are some world class views of the ocean all over the course.
Quite simply? Spanish Bay is so much fun to play, and it was the perfect opening round for us this year.
And then there was me.
A 9 handicapper that these days looks more like a 19.
All of us kept saying throughout this round how good the course was, and honestly I enjoyed it even more than I remembered.
7, 8, and 9 is a world class stretch of holes – and 8 is one of my favorite par 3s at the entire resort.
Pebble Beach Golf Links
Honestly, what can you say about Pebble Beach that hasn’t already been said?
It’s quite simply one of the most historic and very best golf experiences on the planet.
The Old Course, Augusta, and Pebble Beach – I’m not sure there are any more bucket list worthy course than that.
And for me?
It not only lives up to expectations – it exceeds them.
Pebble Beach is one of those rare places where there’s history, an excellent golf course, and such stunning scenery you wonder how on Earth they ever got approval to build on such spectacular land.
These are just some of the reasons why I have it as my favorite golf course on the planet.
So to be able to play in a tournament on the course, with a friend or loved one, and participate in everything else the Champions for Charity offers?
It honestly doesn’t get much better than that – and for me, it honestly hasn’t. This ranks right up there among my all time favorite golf experiences.
Spyglass Hill Golf Course
On our final day we got the chance to tee it up at Spyglass Hill.
In talking with a handful of better golfers than I, many of them consider Spyglass to be the best course at the resort. It’s a beast from the tips, but still has the beauty and wow factor to appeal to the average golfer.
In the past I didn’t necessarily love Spyglass.
But in this, the third time I played it, it struck me a bit more.
I was reminded just how difficult it could be, but I also found myself enjoying what it had to offer more – and that includes one of the best opening holes in golf, 4 beautiful and fun to play par 3s, and one of the most unique greens in golf on the 4th hole.
Speaking of which, we had a bit of fun on this one and instigated the 2019 Spyglass Hill Putting Championship. Who do you think won?
It’s More Than Just Golf…
The great thing about the Lexus Champions for Charity is that it’s more than just the three rounds you play.
There was the opening gala at the Beach Club that had one of the best raw bars I’ve ever seen, and even a custom donut station.
After the “Havana Nights” themed dinner on night two there were cigars and glow golf.
After the round on Friday there was a fantastic clinic put on by Johnny Miller, Peter Jacobsen, Jamie Sadlowski, and Wesley Bryan (which was just as entertaining as you expect).
Oh, and did I mention the test drive program?
Throughout the week all of the latest, greatest, and coolest Lexus vehicles are onsite – and you can drive them all. Simply register for a chosen time slot, and hit 17 mile drive.
Naturally, I had to go with the LC500. And let’s just say the 2020 model felt a bit, hmmmm, throatier than last year’s model 🙂
How Can You Play in the Tournament?
Ever since I started posting on social media about my time at the tournament, I’ve received numerous requests from people saying “how can I play in this?!”
Fortunately, the answer is pretty simple: visit your local Lexus Dealer.
Each year Lexus hosts dozens of local charity events around the country. And those dealers are each given a sport for two at the Champions for Charity event.
They can do whatever they want to give them away. Most often it’s as an auction, but could be as a raffle or as a prize for winning an event.
So if you want to compete in the 2020 Champions for Charity simply go visit your local dealer and ask them if they can provide information on events where you can bid on a chance to participate.
I’ve also seen a few of these come up for auction online over the last year, so keep an eye out for those as well.
You can get more information about the specifics here.
Finishing Up Our Lexus Champions for Charity Tournament Recap
As you can probably tell, I’ve had an incredible time attending Champions for Charity the last two years. Our 2019 video will be released in the next couple of weeks, but here was last year’s recap:
While yes, I was a guest of Lexus for this event, all opinions and thoughts are 100% my own. In fact, I didn’t even need to write this article – but it is such a special event and it does so much good for all of the charities involved that I truly feel like I need to spread the word about what they’re doing.
If you have any questions about the event, how you can participate, Pebble Beach, or what it’s like to drive Lexus’ latest sports car, just drop a comment or shoot me an email!
I can only hope I’m fortunate enough to be asked back next year, and if I’m not – then well, it may just be time to go talk to my Portland dealer 🙂
And want more of the specifics of the event? This has some of the details.