NCAA Selects Omni La Costa Resort & Spa as first “neutral” site to Host Trio of National Championships following Gil Hanse Renovation
Reimagined Champions Course to Host Men’s, Women’s NCAAs in 2024, 2025 and 2026
Carlsbad, Calif. – The NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Golf Committees has selected Omni La Costa Resort & Spa, Southern California’s premier golf and luxury resort destination, as the host site for the 2024, 2025 and 2026 Division I Men’s and Women’s Golf Championships. Play will be conducted on the resort’s famed Champions Course following a planned 2022 renovation by acclaimed golf course architect Gil Hanse.
The event’s debut at Omni La Costa will mark the Division I Women’s Golf Championship’s return, after a 28-year absence, to Southern California. The Division I Men’s Golf Championship was last played in the region (at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades) in 2012.
The Men’s and Women’s Championships will be contested over consecutive weeks starting in 2024, the first year each culminating national championship will be played in combination at a neutral site. While the University of Texas will serve as the official host institution for all three sets of championships, no players – outside of those teams and individuals who advance each year to the championship – will be permitted to play Omni La Costa’s Champions Course during that season.
“We are thrilled that the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Golf Championships will return to California in 2024,” said Connie Hurlbut, senior associate commissioner at the West Coast Conference and chair of the NCAA Division I men’s golf committee. “The collegiate golf community is excited about the opportunity to play La Costa as a neutral site for the championships and we have complete confidence that it will prove to be a unique and challenging championship experience for all.”
Touched by fresh ocean breezes and set within a captivating 400-acre Spanish Mission-style village, Omni La Costa Resort & Spa, is home to 36 holes of award-winning golf on the Champions and Legends Courses along with a host of luxurious recreation and leisure amenities.
Omni La Costa boasts a rich history of stars and professional golf events. In 1965, shortly after La Costa opened, the original Dick Wilson designed course hosted the made-for-TV CBS Golf Classic. The PGA TOUR’s Tournament of Champions (later called the Mercedes Championship and the Sentry Tournament of Champions) was hosted from 1969 until 1998 with a parade of Hall of Famers, including Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Tom Watson, Lee Trevino, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods further cementing their winning legacies at Omni La Costa. In 1999, the WGC Andersen Consulting World Match Play Championship was played on the original course layout.
“Omni La Costa is one of 12 exceptional golf resorts within the Omni portfolio and is well known for its elevated service and amenities, including its two championship golf courses,” said Peter Strebel, president of Omni Hotels & Resorts. “Gil Hanse is a gifted architect and his redesign of the Champions Course, alongside our partnerships with PGA TOUR and PGA of America and securing the Division I Men’s and Women’s Golf Championships, further demonstrates our commitment to world-class golf, our members, guests and clients.”
Hanse, whose growing list of high-profile design projects has pushed him to the top of his profession, is the architect of the highly anticipated, under-construction East Course at PGA Frisco (new headquarters of the PGA of America) on the grounds of the Omni PGA Frisco Resort, which was awarded the 2027 and 2034 PGA Championships and a potential future Ryder Cup. His recent work includes restorations of major championship venues like the West and East Courses at Winged Foot Golf Club (Mamaroneck, NY), The North Course at Los Angeles Country Club (Site of the 2023 US Open), the East Course at Merion Golf Club (Ardmore, PA) and original designs of The Olympic Golf Course in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Ohoopee Match Club (Cobbtown, GA) and the South Course at Los Angeles Country Club.
“Our team is very excited to be a part of bringing Omni La Costa’s esteemed stature in American tournament golf into a new generation. Just as we did with the Olympic Course in Rio, we embrace collaborating with the NCAA on creating a course that is suitable for both top-tier men and women players as well as Omni La Costa’s members and resort guests,” Hanse says. “Bob and Blake Rowling (owners of Omni Hotels & Resorts) have tremendously high golf IQs. They understand what quality golf is and what it takes to make it a reality. Their support has been invaluable and motivates us to create something special here in this excellent Southern California landscape. It’s too soon to say if the characteristics will be more like a George Thomas Los Angeles Country Club, Bel Air or Riviera style or an Alister MacKenzie look, like at Valley Club of Montecito, or something else, but we’re looking forward to ‘solving the puzzle’ out in the land.”
NCAA officials share Hanse’s optimism for a dynamic, pleasing course set up. “The renovation that La Costa has committed to with Gil Hanse will make the Champions Course outstanding on many levels for our men’s and women’s student-athletes as well as for the membership there,” said Julie Manning, executive associate athletics director and senior woman administrator at Minnesota and chair of the NCAA Division I women’s golf committee. “Similar to what Gil was able to accomplish with the Brazilian Olympic course, the renovation at La Costa will provide a challenging but fair venue, with plenty of teeing grounds for both genders that will undoubtedly lead to outstanding play during each of the championships.”
The NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championship was first played in 1939 while the women’s tournament began its history in 1982. Past individual champions of college golf’s most prestigious title include Nicklaus, Mickelson, Woods, Ben Crenshaw, reigning U.S. Open champion Bryson DeChambeau, Annika Sorenstam and Stacy Lewis.
For more information, visit omnilacosta.com.
About Omni La Costa Resort & Spa
An escape from the everyday, Omni La Costa Resort & Spa was originally created as a playground for celebrities and athletes with every amenity imaginable and is now the perfect destination for family vacations, meetings and events and more. The Spanish Mission-style property boasts more than 600 guest rooms, suites and villas, 110,000 square feet of meeting and event space, an Athletic Club, and eight sparking pools including an adults-only pool and exhilarating waterslides.
Omni La Costa Resort & Spa, a GOLF Magazine Top-100 Resort in North America and Golf Digest Editors’ Choice among Best Golf Resorts in California features two iconic golf courses, Champions and Legends. Complimenting the world-class golf is the highly-acclaimed Golf Performance Institute, offering Southern California’s most comprehensive game improvement program. The 43,000-square-foot Spa at La Costa includes a private pool, waterfall showers, café and therapeutic reflexology path. Acclaimed restaurants – Bob’s Steak & Chop House and VUE – present an updated take on local cuisine. For more information, call (800) 854-5000 or visit www.omnilacosta.com.
About Omni Hotels & Resorts Omni Hotels & Resorts creates genuine, authentic guest experiences at 60 distinct luxury hotels and resorts in leading business and leisure destinations across North America. With more than 25 iconic golf courses and 16 award-winning spas featured in dynamic locales nationwide, every Omni proudly opens its doors to share the true spirit of its destination. Reflected through local color, personalized service, unique wellness options, signature restaurants and creative culinary offerings, Omni leaves a lasting impression with every guest and a heightened level of recognition and rewards delivered through its Select Guest® loyalty program. As a founding member of the Global Hotel Alliance, Select Guest is further expanded through the DISCOVERY loyalty program offering members additional global benefits. Omni is committed to reducing hunger and is on a mission through its Say Goodnight to Hunger initiative to provide millions of meals each year for food banks to feed children, families and seniors in communities in which it operates. Omni Hotels & Resorts is the official hotel of the PGA TOUR® and PGA TOUR Champions.
Located in some of the country’s most beautiful destinations, Omni’s collection of 60 luxury hotels includes 12 golf resorts featuring more than 25 courses designed by award-winning golf architects. Each golf resort is complete with luxurious accommodations and superior service, on and off the course. Championship courses include the recently redesigned Fazio Foothills at Omni Barton Creek in Austin, Texas; Cascades Course at The Omni Homestead in Hot Springs, Virginia; Oak Marsh at Omni Amelia Island in Florida; and the Champions Course at Omni Las Costa in Carlsbad, California to name a few. As part of its partnership with PGA TOUR, Omni provides four meals for every birdie-or-better made at each TOUR event. On average, 60,000 birdies-or-better are made each season. For information or to book accommodations, visit omnihotels.com or call 1-800-The-Omni.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is a member-led organization dedicated to the well-being and lifelong success of college athletes. Celebrating its 115th year as an Association in 2020-21, the NCAA is a volunteer association of more than 1,000 colleges and universities that classify their athletics programs in one of three membership divisions, with over 17,000 student-athletes competing in Divisions I, II and III. For additional information, visit NCAA.org.