For the first time in league history, the Sun Belt Conference will conduct women’s and men’s college golf championships on consecutive weeks at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in Miramar Beach.
The prestigious Raven Golf Club will hosted the women’s championships from April 16-19, 2016, and the men’s teams will follow on April 23-26.
Both organizations agreed to a one-year deal to add the Sun Belt women’s golf championships. The Sun Belt men’s golf championships are scheduled to be held at Sandestin each April through 2018.
The Sun Belt Conference women’s golf championship will be represented by teams from Appalachian State, Arkansas State, Georgia Southern, Georgia State, Little Rock, UL Monroe, South Alabama, Texas State and Troy. The men’s programs include the same schools, plus UL Lafayette and UT Arlington. The team champions on both the women’s and men’s competitions will earn the conference’s automatic selections into the respective NCAA Championships.
“Adding the Sun Belt women’s golf championships will make for two great weeks of collegiate competition at Sandestin,” said Rick Hileman, director of golf at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort.
“After last year, we knew the men’s teams and the Sun Belt were absolutely thrilled with the course conditions and play on the Raven,” he added. “This simply adds to our history of producing quality and competitive golf events at Sandestin.”
The Raven Golf Club is a Robert Trent Jones, Jr. designed layout carved through the marshes and tall pine trees of Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. The 6,900-yard, par 71 course is no stranger to hosting major golf events.
In the past, the Raven hosted the Boeing Championship, a stop on the PGA Champions Tour, in 2006 and 2007.
It also played host to the 2013 NCAA Division III National Golf Championship. Sandestin also regularly hosts the Golfweek Fall Invitational which brings together some of the best Division III golf programs in the country. Voted ‘Best New Course in Florida’, in 2000, the Raven has garnered numerous golf awards over the years from major national golf publications like Golf Digest and Golf Magazine. It is currently listed as one of the “Best Courses You Can Play” by Golfweek.