Allianz Championship adds new events for '11

BOCA RATON, Fla. – The folks running the Champions Tour’s Allianz Championship are at it again.

They’re not sitting by, hoping to run a successful event simply by trying to entice people to walk through the gates in order to watch golf.

Last year, they gave us professional golf’s first no-cost admission policy (to be repeated this year) and a circle-the-date-on-the-calendar, must-attend hospitality function that featured vintages from wineries owned by golf’s most successful vintners. To close the week, they lucked out with what might have been the year’s best finish as Bernhard Langer won a playoff with an eagle 3 by miraculously holing a buried lie in a bunker.

For this year’s event, scheduled for early February at the Old Course at Broken Sound, they’ve added a women’s executive pro-am and a kids’ fun zone near the back of the practice range. They also are opening their doors to the running and fitness community with the Fairway 5K, a 3.1-mile run that will wind around much of the perimeter of the Old Course. It will be held before the scheduled start of the second round on Saturday and ends with entrants running up the 18th fairway. (Note to caddies: There’s no reason why you shouldn’t have the exact hole locations for at least half the holes when you step onto your first tee later in the day.)

“There’s something here for everyone,” said tournament director Ryan Dillon.

And after the 2011 event is over in a couple of weeks, he’ll have nearly an entire year to add more attractions.

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