About “The Bear Trap” at PGA National: The Honda Classic

“The Bear Trap” at PGA National Honda Classic
Entering ‘The Bear Trap’ on the Champion Course at PGA National, home to the PGA Tour’s Honda Classic. (PHOTO COURTESY OF PGA NATIONAL RESORT & SPA)

The renowned Champion course at PGA National Resort & Spa was originally conceptualized as a venue to host major PGA of America events. Designed by famed architects Tom and George Fazio, the Champion course opened in 1981, and immediately became the permanent home of the Senior PGA Championship (1982-200). In 1983 it hosted the Ryder Cup matches, and four years later was the venue for the 1987 PGA Championship.

The course was revamped by Jack Nicklaus in 2014, and annually hosts the PGA Tour’s Honda Classic each spring.

Measuring 7,125 yards, the Champion course regularly checks in as one of the toughest tracks on the PGA Tour calendar.

The tricky layout is headlined by an intimidating trifecta of holes – Nos. 15, 16 and 17 – dubbed “The Bear Trap,” one of the most difficult three-hole runs on Tour.

On the scorecard, “The Bear Trap” is comprised by two par-3s measuring 179 and 175, respectively, bookending a 434-yard par-4 tester.

Let’s just say the holes look a lot easier on paper.


“The Bear Trap” Series

Hole, Par, Yards, 2020 Avg Score
No. 15: Par-3, 179 yards (3.291)
No. 16: Par-4, 434 yards (4.244)
No. 17: Par-3, 175 yards (3.120)

“The Bear Trap” Honda Classic
A plaque and statue commemorating “The Bear Trap” as seen during a practice round prior to The Honda Classic at PGA National Champions course on Feb 21, 2017 in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

About “The Bear Trap” Name

Its moniker was coined as a tribute to the “Golden Bear” Jack Nicklaus. At its entrance, on No. 15, a plaque and bear statue welcome golfers to what has come to be recognized as one of the ultimate tests in all of golf.


Watch: “The Bear Trap” Preview

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