By NAIA Communications and Sports Information Staff
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has announced that the 2014 and 2015 NAIA Men’s Golf National Championships will be hosted by The Sun Conference in conjunction with the Daytona Beach Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. The 72-hole championship will be played at LPGA International in Daytona Beach, Fla., on May 13-16, 2014, with the following year taking place May 19-22.
“We are tremendously excited to have our Men’s Golf National Championships return to Florida,” said Jim Carr, NAIA President and CEO. “It’s not every day that our student-athletes will have the opportunity to play on a course with the quality of LPGA International, which will make it a memorable experience for all individuals involved. I’m confident that The Sun Conference and the Daytona Beach Area CVB will further enhance the strong tradition of the event.”
Florida has welcomed the men’s golf national championships on four previous occasions, with the most recent event coming in 2003 at the Matanzas Woods Golf Club in Palm Coast, Fla. Prior to Daytona Beach, the championships spent the last two years at Creekside Golf Club in Salem, Ore.
LPGA International, who since 1994 has served as the home course for the LPGA Tour, is no stranger to NAIA golf, as the course hosted the NAIA Women’s National Championships in 2004. In addition to the NAIA, LPGA International – a four-star rated course by Golf Digest – hosts multiple LPGA Tour events and the LPGA Tour Qualifying School.
The Sun Conference was first established as the Florida Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in 1990 with nine members. The league, which currently boasts 12 schools, sponsors conference championships in baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s soccer, softball, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s track and field, and women’s volleyball.
“The 12 members of The Sun Conference are thrilled to host the NAIA Men’s Golf National Championships in 2014 and 2015,” said The Sun Conference Commissioner Mark Pope. “Since golf is the premier sport in Florida, South Carolina and Georgia, we know that we will have great interest in the Southeast for this event.”
I look forward to working with the Daytona Beach Area Convention & Visitors Bureau and LPGA International to make this a tremendous success for the NAIA, our participating student-athletes and the community of Daytona Beach.”
The Daytona Beach Area Convention and Visitors Bureau is responsible for the advertising and promotion of the Daytona Beach area as a tourism destination. The CVB works with area tourism and hospitality-related businesses, non-profit organizations, and event promoters to represent the area to potential travelers, tour operators, travel agents, meeting planners, and the travel media.
The CVB maintains a staff of approximately 15 full time marketing and administration professionals.
“Everyone at the Daytona Beach Area Convention & Visitors Bureau is very excited and honored to receive the news that Daytona Beach will host the 2014 NAIA Men’s Golf National Championships,” said the Daytona Beach Area CVB President and CEO Jeffrey Hentz. “Our Destination continues to attract nationally recognized sports organizations and competitive arts events from throughout the U.S., and securing an event of this stature clearly solidifies Daytona Beach as a national player in this market segment.”
I’m confident our World-Class Destination will provide the ideal backdrop for this outstanding event and one that our entire community will embrace and welcome all participants with the warmest hospitality.“
The NAIA has sponsored men’s golf since 1952, when its inaugural championship in the sport was held at the Abilene Country Club in Abilene, Texas. Oklahoma City, which won its second-consecutive team title in 2013, leads the NAIA with nine titles. Currently, 175 institutions sponsor the sport of men’s golf. For a complete list of participating schools, click here.
Since 1937, the NAIA has administered programs and championships in proper balance with the overall educational experience. In 2000, the NAIA reaffirmed its purpose to enhance the character-building aspects of sport. Through the Champions of Character program, the NAIA seeks to create an environment in which every student-athlete, coach, official and spectator is committed to the true spirit of competition through five core values: integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship and servant leadership.
To learn more about NAIA men’s golf, click here.