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March 9, 2002

Cy Case

Dick Colliver

Cliff Danley

Irv Grossman

Craig Perna


GARY FERMAN: We'd like to thank everybody for coming today. First, let me introduce the gentlemen sitting at the podium.

You have Cy Case, the chairman of the Classic Foundation. Dick Colliver, who is the executive vice president of auto sales for American Honda. Cliff Danley, the executive director of the Honda Classic. And Craig Perna, who is the project manager for the country Club at Mirasol.

We will begin the press conference with a statement by Mr. Case, and a few other statements, and then we will open the floor to questions after those statements.

CY CASE: Thank you and good morning.

As the chairman, I've been involved with the tournament for many years, and of course it's going to be sad to see it leave Broward County with all of the support and all of the charities and all that we represented.

Of course, as you all are aware of, probably this past year, you've been writing about this subject, and the information that we will give you today is not any different than when you've been reporting; other than the fact than we can now make it official.

As of Thursday, we have signed contracts with Honda, going through the year 2006, as well as the PGA TOUR. And in a minute, we will be signing a contract right here at the table with the Mirasol people to move the event to Palm Beach.

We are excited about the move. We think that will have some advantages of new blood, as well as the ability to be able to create a new field with a new course that we all feel will be very excited, the architect being that of Tom Fazio.

So at this time, while Mr. Dick Colliver speaks to you, I am going to take a moment, these are the formal contracts; I will sign them and then send them down to Mr. Perna, and that actually signs all of the contracts necessary to move the event with everything in place.

The reason why there was a lot of delays and half-truths in this last year was there was a lot of details to work out, and this now puts it to bed. Most of your information was correct, but now it's for sure.

So we thank you for your information.


American Honda has had a great relationship with the PGA TOUR and the Classic Foundation, and we look forward to continuing that relationship and expanding it more at the Country Club at Mirasol. We value the relationship with south Florida and Broward County and the volunteer1 that have been with us, and fortunately, we think we are going to have those people with us next year at the tournament, as we met with them during this week.

So it's a great tournament and we want to move the level of the tournament to a new level as we move into Mirasol in 2003.

Craig Perna from Mirasol is here, and I'm going to let him make a few remarks.

CRAIG PERNA: On behalf of Taylor Woodrow Communities worldwide and the entire staff the Mirasol Country Club, we want to welcome the Foundation, and, of course, American Honda.

We feel our venue will be one that will be exciting. Palm Beach Gardens is very excited about the event coming, and I know Palm Beach County is. I think in the future, in future years, we will have a course that will be exciting to the players. The challenge has been passed to Tom Fazio, and that course is under construction right now, and by 2004, I think we will be in top tournament condition. We look forward to it and welcome everybody.

DICK COLLIVER: I might add that we've had the opportunity to meet with the representatives in Palm Beach County, and I think we are going to establish a really good relationship with the people there. So we're looking forward to the move to Palm Beach County.

GARY FERMAN: At this time, we'll open the floor to questions.

Q. Is there an option for four years?

CY CASE: I believe it reads for four years. It really depends on the PGA TOUR. Their contract with TV, I think it is a four-year interval. If it moves forward, then, of course, we have the option to proceed with another four years. So basically the contract ties to a contract for a four-year period; our contract with the NBC, with the PGA TOUR and the Foundation.

Q. For Craig, country club developments tend to happen where a tournament comes in and they sell out the property; the tournament serves its purpose and moves on. Are there any plans to make the Honda the long term, make it a long-term home at Mirasol, to go beyond 2006?

CRAIG PERNA: Taylor Woodrow will no doubt be developing a country club with Mirasol for eight to ten years. We feel that the tournament has -- will do what we feel it will do, and it will please the members to continue on possibly after that period.

I think we have a pretty good run and we'll obviously evaluate it at the end of the contract term, but we feel very comfortable about it and hopefully the members will, also.

The Fazio course now, matter of fact, we have been told that it will be 7,500 yards. It will be a very challenging track. Tom and his entire staff, Tom Marzoff (ph) and Steve Maziak (ph) are working very diligently on it, and they are out there constantly. I think the challenge of having a professional tournament on one of the Fazio courses is something that will be very appealing to Tom himself.

Q. Craig, what's the state of development of the two courses right now?

CRAIG PERNA: The Arthur Hills course has been opened for some four months already. Its greens are in excellent condition right now. The fairways are somewhat weak, being a very new course, but we feel very confident that through this growing season that it's going to be in top shape for next year.

The Fazio course, we have three holes completed at this time. We have the routing done and clearing done for the remaining of the holes and full-fledged construction will commence probably by April 1, at the very latest.

Q. Your knowledge of the second course, where it will eventually move, how much water is there that involves forced carries off the tee or into the green?

CRAIG PERNA: The routing will be somewhat different. I think you'll find that unlike most of the development golf courses, the Fazio course, at least 12 of the holes, run throughout total preserve and there are no homes on it at all. That was one of Tom's requirements before he would develop it.

There are a number of preserve areas that have forced carries and that are very appealing to the eye. Truthfully, as we start to clear, and it's somewhat in a rough state right now, Tom's staff will look at what he wants to do and what preserve areas he wishes to bring into play. There will be a number of lake holes that will be challenging. There will not be as much water on a Fazio course as there is on Hills course.

Q. Is there a danger that if there's too many forced carries and the wind blows, you're just going to have player complaints like what happened at Eagle Trace?

CRAIG PERNA: I don't think so. I think the way that Fazio designs, his corridors are wide enough, for the caliber of the play on TOUR, I think they will be able to handle that course and handle it fairly easily.

Q. It won't be as difficult in the wind?

CRAIG PERNA: It may be difficult for the amateur, but I doubt it will be difficult for the professionals.

DICK COLLIVER: A lot of trees, too, surrounding the course.

Q. So you don't think the wind will be as difficult out there?

DICK COLLIVER: I played the Arthur Hills course Saturday, and it was windy, but it didn't impact us that bad. But we're amateurs.

CRAIG PERNA: The Fazio course runs throughout large preserve, wooded areas, too, and unlike your typical Florida course, I think that will break up the wind considerably. There's tremendous pine strands that it will traverse, and I think it will be a different look and it will break up the wind a little bit.

Q. It seems like there was a certain set of complaints at Eagle Trace about the wind, and a certain set of complaints about this course with not a lot of forced carries; is this a compromise, do you think?

CRAIG PERNA: I think this course will be unique, only because of the nature of the land, but find me one course on Tour where there are not complaints or for one reason or the other.

Q. You won't.

CRAIG PERNA: There is no perfect thing, no perfect golf course.

Q. You mentioned 7,500 yards. That would make it by far the longest course on TOUR.

CRAIG PERNA: That's what Tom said. They had found -- initially we had 7,200 yards and they indicated to us a little bit over 7,200. And they indicated that with certain tee locations that they feel they are going to be up around 7,500., Or the ability to be up around 7,500 yards. Whether the Tour plays it there or not, obviously, is not our decision.

Q. Is sounds like you are trying to, right from the beginning, design a course that's long enough that you are not going to have to go back and add length the way a lot of courses are doing now. Is that the thinking?

CRAIG PERNA: We'll definitely have a luxury of knowing that in 2004, we will be playing the golf course that is not constructed yet. Having an architect such as Tom Fazio, knowing that he's going to have a professional event played on this course; that you have certain abilities to do certain things, keeping the tournament in mind and the professional in mind. So I think that it gives us an opportunity and gives Tom a unique opportunity to try to develop something that is geared towards the tournament player, as well as the amateur.

And the Arthur Hills course is right around 7,290.

Q. Could you talk about, obviously, you just signed your contract for another four years. Could you talk about how Honda went through that process; in regards to the economy has changed a lot, PGA TOUR has had some difficulties signing some of their sponsors this year and have lost some already. What was your decision-making process was in deciding to stay on for four years?

DICK COLLIVER: I think a lot of it goes back to the long-term relationship. We are the third-longest tournament sponsor on TOUR right now. We have had a good relationship with the PGA TOUR over the years, and we as American Honda, we have limited number of sports sponsorships that we are involved in. And where we do like to get involved, we like to get involved in the community and, we like to support the local charities and we like the volunteers that work with us. We bring our people to work the tournament. We bring approximately 120 dealers down for a week to play golf and go to the tournament.

So economically, it was not a real hard decision for us, because we felt like it's a good investment for us. We like to be involved in south Florida. It gives us presence here in south Florida.

Q. Dick, the future of PGA TOUR, of purses, are climbing significantly. How competitive will American Honda be?

DICK COLLIVER: We are considering that right now, but we have not made the decision. We know what's going on with the purses, and so we are considering that.

Q. Mr. Case, historically, and pardon my ignorance on this, but what's usually the arrangement on rent when the course is played on a private course? I know there's no fee paid at a TPC course, but what arrangement between the Foundation and the Tour about being the rent on this course?

CY CASE: That will be the responsibility of the Foundation or the tournament to pay the fee.

But Mirasol has worked out an arrangement whereby with the first year and the second year, with new costs and one-time costs. Hopefully once we get up there is and get in position, they will assist us in making those payments, but it is not anything that is exorbitant to damage our bottom line to our charities.

Q. Have you done any preliminary studies, as far as impact of the move on ticket sales, charitable organization, volunteers, etc.? Have you done any preliminary studies as far as the involvement up there?

CLIFF DANLEY: I'd like to address that, if I could.

Obviously, after spending 31 years in a community, we have about 1,100 volunteers that have been very dedicated to us. Part of the process in negotiating the move and moving forward is to talk to the volunteers. We have been very candid with them, as candid as we could be, and we are pleasantly surprised at how many are actually going to move up there with us.

Obviously, not everybody can go. It's a little bit farther north and from some of our volunteers that are in the southern part of the county; it is considerably farther north. So we realize there is a great volunteer base up there. They had a Seniors Championship up there for 13 or 14 years, and I guess the LPGA just moved up there. But this will be a significant golf course in Palm Beach, and the golf tournament.

So the volunteers, we have met with some of the people that have been involved in prior golf tournaments. They are very excited about us coming up.

As far as the demographics go and ticket sales, we are still in season up there. We think the county will embrace us wholeheartedly. We've had talks with the mayor and the sports commission and the people up there about our coming up there and getting county participation and things like that, and they are very excited to have this event up there.

As you all know, the tournament has moved several times in the past, and each time we have moved, the tournament has been bigger and better with each move and we feel that this move will equate to the same thing. We will get great volunteers, we will get great community support, and one of the reasons obviously for moving is to make the event bigger, and we are looking forward to being in Palm Beach County.

Q. Tom Fazio could be the greatest designer in the world, but if he doesn't have a commitment from Mirasol to fund it, it might not be a great course. What is the budget going to be? How committed are you to having a great course?

CRAIG PERNA: Well, have you been to Mirasol?

Q. I've seen it in the very early stages.

CRAIG PERNA: Well, come see it now and you will answer your own question as to commitment to makes to all of its communities. This is probably the flagship community within North America. Taylor Woodrow has made a major commitment. We realize what is required to have a PGA TOUR event.

My background is fairly substantial in PGA TOUR events, so we know what we have to do and how we have to go about it. And frankly, we have not limited Mr. Fazio in any way, within reason, but we feel very confident that he will give us the product that we all want.

Q. What do you project the course will end up costing when it's done?

CRAIG PERNA: A minimum of $10 million.

CLIFF DANLEY: I think you all need to realize that this is the first PGA TOUR event that will be held on a Fazio golf course. So I think he has accepted the challenge that , unlike the things he's done at Augusta where it was already designed and he is called upon by people to tweak it, this design is literally his baby.

So we all know these guys, and any time you have 144 of the world's greatest players, they will definitely have an opinion.

I think Craig's point earlier was the fact that he has time. He knows what's going on. It's not like the course is already routed, already done and then we are going to put an event there, which has been the case in some of our prior moves.

So he realizes what this is all about, and I'm sure we'll get a great golf course.

Q. You speak to the players a lot and everything, have you gotten any input from them, have any of them that maybe live around here seen the course or have they seen the plans for it, what it might look like, and will players be consulted between now and the opening of this second course?

CLIFF DANLEY: I think several players have gone out there, and several of you have reported some of their comments. But it's like anything else, my role with them is to basically try and preface that we are moving.

I can't speak to the qualifications of the golf course. I'm not a good enough player. I mean, I know what I visually like, and if I play, obviously I could give you an opinion on it. I'm going to let that develop as the golf course develops. We are going to play Arthur Hills for one year as an abridge to when the Fazio course is done.

So my talks with them right now are basically talking about why we are moving, the fact that we are moving. Some of the players really like this place. Obviously, the ones that play well here, do.

So I'll be going out on the road more in the future with these guys, as the Fazio course develops and we see where we stand in the clubhouse for 2004; and some of the logistic things, the amenities and things that we're involved in.

Q. Have you gotten enough assurances from enough players that, "I'll come here more often," or "I'll come here if it moves," that kind of input?

CLIFF DANLEY: Well, some say yes. Obviously, the pros that live up there would be more apt to support it because it is in their backyard.

But the point is they can say whatever they want. We'll know the Friday before our tournament next year how many of them are committed and how many of them are going to play.

You know, that will be part of the relationship-building that we have to do with these guys. I've talked to Craig and his people. We'll be taking some artist renderings and getting it to him as things become more apparent. I mean, this is a work-in-progress.

DICK COLLIVER: We think the new course -- and the players that I've talked to, the attractiveness of PGA National to be a headquarters, that's attractive to them, because they can bring their families, so they can stay there with the amenities right straight across the street. They have been very impressed with that. And a lot of them live in Orlando and in Palm Beach County.

CLIFF DANLEY: When this thing is finished, the clubhouse will be about 60,000 square feet. There will be a fitness center and spa in a separate building. There will be 36 holes. We are talking about a significantly larger and more spectacular site to offer amenities to these guys, from the clubhouse, to the wives and the spa, to 36 holes for us to do some multiple Pro-Ams on site, with the Honda dealers, with other people in Palm Beach County. It is a much bigger scope of an operation that we will have available to us, probably starting in 2004.

So that's the story that we are going to talk about, not only to the players, but to the community up there. The dealers are all excited about it. At dinner on Monday, Craig came and addressed all of the dealers that were here and talked about the project and what it's going to be like, and so that's what we will be talking about in the not-too-distant future.

Q. Is it safe to say that two of the players will see the plans very soon, Mr. Norman and Mr. Price?


Q. Is that one goal to get those two in this tournament?

CLIFF DANLEY: You know, just speaking from my perspective, my goal isn't to do anything that's going to get "a" player. Our goal with our volunteers and our sponsors, both nationally and locally, is to put on the best event we can.

Obviously, we discussed the purse and we want to be competitive, offer the amenities that we can, that we think are reasonable, and attract the best field possible.

Now, as a tournament director, I would like everybody to play. But I don't really go out and say, "If I do this, can I get so-and so to come." Because it's 140 or 150 different stories. What turns one guy on might not turn on another; what one guys's wife, kids likes another one won't. But if we make the hospitality to these guys and our families as good as we can make it, and our volunteers are friendly and efficient; and we're going to have a great site, no question about that, we're going to have a great field on a golf course, where it is going to be tough for them not to play. And that's what all our job is, to put on an event that is tough for them to say no to.

But we don't target that to one particular player. As a reporter, you tell me what one guy likes versus the next guy.

Q. A couple of years ago, the Senior Tour left PGA National; you had an LPGA event leave; there was a lot of concern up there about not a lot of support for professional golf tournaments. Have you found a different climate? Obviously, you are going to be in season and they are with not. Was there any concern about that ?

CLIFF DANLEY: I'm not so sure it was a concern. Obviously, we are aware of the history of Palm Beach County. I don't believe they have had a regular Tour event there since the early 70s. I know I look real young, but I did work there in '83, the Ryder Cup at PGA National. I worked the U.S. Amateur in '87 and the PGA Championship. So they have had some specialty events and they have had the PGA Seniors and LPGA events.

So this will be the first regular tournament event that's going to be there a while. We are not going anywhere. So that's different.

No. 2, it's a different date. The other events were in August. We all died and melted out there and some of the events. The Seniors was in April, which a lot of people have left the county. So we are in the season. We are aware of that.

The people we talked to from the volunteer perspective in the business community, just superficially, they are very excited about it and I think we will get a great amount of support.

Also, we naturally believe we are a different event. We are the PGA TOUR. We are run by a 501(c)3 Foundation. We are part of the community. We are going to make our money in the community. We are going to spend money in the community, and the ultimate winner is going to be the charities of the community. That's the way we are set up, and those are our goals, to put on the best event we can, attract the world's best players, provide great hospitality for American Honda's people, give our spectators a great bang for their buck, provide great hospitality for the players; and at the end of this week, we are going to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for a local children's charities in West Palm Beach; and that was our goal at Inverrary, Weston Hills, Eagle Trace and Heron Bay; and that will be our goal at there and we will accomplish it.

Every year this event grows, we give more and more to charity. We surpassed 10 million last year and we are hoping with Craig's help and with the Tom Fazio course, we are going to make 10 more million up in Palm Beach County for the local kids up there.

Q. Question about the Foundation. It's been a Broward organization for 31 years. How will the Foundation's organization change, will Broward members go up there or will you try to establish a new Foundation?

CY CASE: No. The existing Foundation will stay in place. It's known at the Classic Foundation, the actual title.

Our proposal now is when we go into Palm Beach, moving the Foundation up there, that we will bring in new members from the Palm Beach area to assist the Broward County members to put on the event and to help with the distribution of the funds to the different charities.

Our bylaws state that the money goes to children's charities of south Florida; so it's not only to Palm Beach. We can cross lines either way in order to provide the funds.

One of our policies is usually it's a charity that can assist us in the events: Boys' and Girls' Clubs, Ronald McDonald, and this year we have Junior Achievement, and those organizations all exist in Palm Beach. So we are going to coordinate those two moving forward so we can maintain our same charity base going forward.

Q. Will people contact you to say, "Look, we would like you to consider us as a charity?" How is that process going to work?

CY CASE: Well, we have always gotten requests. Of course, even here at Broward County, there's hundreds of charities around. But with our policy in place stating that, yes, we do have dollars available, if, in fact, you have some way that you can assist the tournament in its operation, whether it be valet parking or what-have-you. Of course, that excludes, if we get cancer or senior people donations and so forth, we usually exclude those, only because our bylaws state it's for kids and that's what Honda and the County and the Foundation has done for the last 30 years. That's where the money has gone, the 10 million that Cliff has spoken of.

Q. A bottom line question. Ultimately, after 31 years in Broward, ultimately, why did you have to leave? Why did you see the need to leave?

DICK COLLIVER: I think it was -- it's a combination. I think working with the PGA TOUR, working, our desire to elevate the tournament to another level.

IRV GROSSMAN: The dictates of the Tour provide that they will set the date, and they will tell you and they will approve where you play. They no longer approved Heron Bay to play this tournament.

Q. Was that because you didn't approve of it being played here?

IRV GROSSMAN: No. "They," meaning the PGA TOUR. So why they did that, you'd have to ask them.

Q. You said they no longer approved this place?

IRV GROSSMAN: There are two conditions that the PGA awards. One is the date, and where you play. They approve both.

Q. When did you know? When were you notified them that Heron Bay would no longer be an appropriate place for a PGA TOUR event?

IRV GROSSMAN: It was a culmination of the sentiment of a good number of players. And officially, I think two years ago.

Q. So they gave you a two-year window to find a new venue?


Q. What went wrong here? There was a 25-year contract and a vision, like I'm hearing here, four years ago.

IRV GROSSMAN: That answer would have to come from the PGA TOUR.

As far as we were concerned, nothing would move. I mean, you know, we had every intention when we came here six years ago, to stay forever.

CY CASE: We didn't have any problems at all with the City, as far as sponsorships and everything. Everybody was on the same page. There was nobody looking to try and vacate the contract that was in place, and we really thought we had a 25-year home, and basically what Irv said is what dictated our move. The City and the PGA TOUR and the Foundation have come to reasonable terms to discontinue the contract going forward.

Q. When you moved here six years ago from Eagle Trace, did the PGA TOUR push you into this direction, into this venue?

IRV GROSSMAN: It was a joint effort to find us a spot to play. The responsibility of getting a venue is not the sponsor's. It's the local Foundation and the PGA TOUR, and together we worked to find a place to continue the Honda Classic.

DICK COLLIVER: We actually came from Weston Hills, and they had built out and they didn't have room for the tournament.

IRV GROSSMAN: The Eagle Trace interlude was because this course was not fully playable.

Q. I guess the general question is: Did the PGA TOUR basically say, "We are building a new TPC venue at Heron Bay, McCumber is coming out; we think it would be a good idea for you to move the Classic"?

CY CASE: I think it was a joint search, a place available to us. We wanted to keep the event here in Broward County. It was joint. There was no pressure for us to come out here at all. We looked at other places even besides this.

IRV GROSSMAN: Originally, TPC did not own this facility. So it wasn't theirs when we moved here.

Q. Was it a mistake to come here?

CY CASE: The mistake I see is the number of times this event has moved. Because what it does, it impacts what our goal is as a Foundation, and that's to provide dollars to the charities. So every time we make a move, the upstart costs and so forth runs $200,000 or $300,000 that basically we can't give to our local charities. Every time we move, we hope it's going to be the final one; and we thought that was going to be the case, but as he said, the PGA TOUR dictates the date and the times. They are the big gorilla in this game.

Q. Was there anything else in Broward County suitable for yourselves and the PGA TOUR?

IRV GROSSMAN: The answer is: No, we could not.

CY CASE: One of the biggest problems, as you know in any event is parking. We try to get 1,500 parking spaces and like you asked Dick, the developers as they squeeze down and use their open space. Sop you have to have support of the City that you are in to provide public transportation. And a lot of our clientele has gotten a little bit spoiled over the fact that they come so close to our event and park.

As you can see this year, we are out some distance, which was part of the original contract and being bussed in; so they are not used to that. So up there, right off the bat, they will get accustomed to being bussed in, and hopefully they will continue to support us as we go forward.

Q. Speaking of parking, what will be the parking situation be at Mirasol?

CRAIG PERNA: We have ample space right now. I think that we are going to be meeting, our full staff, finding location for general parking that will be convenient throughout the entire tenure of the event.

So right now, we are fine in terms of parking on site. We have a lot of undeveloped land that we will be utilizing. Plus, there is future land that's near us from the Board of Education that won't be built on for a considerable period of time. We think that we will be able to handle the execution.

Q. Is that land farther west on PGA Boulevard?

CRAIG PERNA: No. It's right on the property at Mirasol.

End of FastScripts....

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