This weekend I will be attending the eighth annual Kia Classic LPGA Tournament along our beautiful Southern California coastline in Carlsbad, CA. The 2017 Kia Classic Official Pro-Am officially kicked off this morning with 144 of the world’s best female golf players all going head-to-head for a $1.8 million purse and an all-new Kia Cadenza premium sedan! This family friendly tournament is being held at the Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, Golf Club and Spa in Carlsbad.
If it is anything like I remember from our last experience at the 2013 Kia Classic, it is a gorgeous resort with plenty to see and do. If you’re staying onsite, you’ll love the pool area and beautiful views of the neighboring canyons. Aside from the tournament itself, there will also be plenty of other activities happening at the Kia Classsic – like a fun trick shot demonstration on Saturday, an LPGA lesson zone, yoga on the green and even player autograph sessions – enough to keep the whole family entertained!
Among the myriad of star golfers, I may be most excited to get to watch Lydia Ko, the youngest golfer ever to be ranked number one in professional golf, as she defends her title from the 2016 Kia Classic. Although we don’t share the same age, we do share the same birthplace of Seoul, South Korea and I tend to be biased towards my fellow countrywomen. Besides, she’s pretty bad ass! Her 19 under par 269 score and four shot win over Inbee Park earned her a $225,000 winner’s check and a Kia K900, one of my favorite rides in Kia’s lineup.
A Southern California based company, Kia is always taking the next step in giving back to the local community and it’s one of the reasons I’m so proud to be a long term partner. This year, they are welcoming back the Hire Heroes USA and donating a portion of the proceeds from the Classic to this national non-profit organization which aides military veterans in finding civilian jobs. There will also be free admission to the Kia Classic for all active duty military members and their families (with ID). This extends throughout the week as well as on official Military Appreciation Day on Friday, March 24th. As a former military brat whose father retired from the Marine Corps, I love when brands include veterans in their outreach efforts.
If you have some aspiring young golfers interested in taking a few swings, be sure to stop by the free Kia Classic junior clinic which will be held on Saturday, March 25th at 3pm on the driving range. The junior clinic is open to kids of all ages and makes for a great day for the whole family! Children 17 and under receive free admission into the tournament all week. Click HERE to register.
While it will be thrilling to watch some of the world’s best golfers, including 100 of the top 100 players on the 2016 LPGA money list, I also can’t wait to be reunited with the 2017 Kia Cadenza. After some great one-on-one time with this beauty in Virginia last year, I’m interested in seeing others’ reactions to the new modern design with sleek chrome accents, the 8 speed Sportmatic® transmission and four wheel independent suspension. If you’re curious to check it out now, you can get 360 degree views of the all new Kia Cadenza with this app for your iPad.
As a loyal Kia enthusiast, it is always exciting to be a part of major events like the Kia Classic. Kia is an “Official Automotive Partner” of the Ladies Professional Golf Association (and the NBA!), and constantly striving to play a role in the community and beyond. The Kia Classic’s contribution to Hire Heroes USA is just another one of the reasons I enjoy being a Kia owner, besides the amazing cars. It is one of many charitable projects Kia has been involved in and what has helped them become one of the 100 Best Global Brands and 50 Best Global Green Brands by Interbrand.
Visit Kia Classic for more information or to purchase tickets. If you can’t make it to the Kia Classic you can watch it on the Golf Channel and follow along on social media @LPGAKiaClassic, @Kia and #KiaClassic.
Disclaimer: As ya’ll know, I work with Kia regularly. While they provide the cars and host my travel and activities, I share the experience and my opinions are still mine, all mine.