After a longer wait than normal, the 2016 John Deere Classic is finally right around the corner. With more than 45 years of history behind it, the event has become a staple of the PGA TOUR calendar and one of the most charitable tournaments year in and year out.
Whether you’re going to the event or will be watching it on television, here are some things you need to know about the 2016 John Deere Classic.
This year’s John Deere Classic will be in action the week of Aug. 8-14, joining a list of PGA TOUR events that had to be rescheduled due to the addition of golf to this summer’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Next year, the John Deere Classic returns to its traditional dates, July 10-16, the week before the Open Championship. Beyond 2017, the event is expected to retain its typical early-July timeslot.
There are currently 144 players committed to this year’s event. The list is headlined by 2015 British Open and 2012 John Deere Classic champion Zach Johnson, as well as Steve Stricker, who is one of the tournament’s most beloved players after winning the event an astonishing three straight times from 2009 through 2011. Stricker also leads the list of local University of Illinois products that will be participating at this year’s tournament, including D.A. Points, Luke Guthrie and Scott Langley.
In addition to established PGA TOUR veterans, the 2016 John Deere Classic will welcome a number of recent college golf star graduates. 2016 NCAA individual and Oregon team champion Aaron Wise will join Charlie Danielson, Jon Rahm, Jordan Niebrugge, and Lee McCoy as some of the youngest participants.
While Jordan Spieth won’t be in attendance at this year’s John Deere Classic, part of him will be there in a small way. On Tuesday, Aug. 9, Jordan Spieth bobble head figures will be handed out as part of Youth Day. Many of the updates to this year’s event will be seen at the Family Zone, a place on the grounds where parents can take their children for a variety of activities and noise-making where it wouldn’t otherwise be allowed.
The 2016 Family Zone updates include a long drive simulator, closest to the pin simulator, longest putt contest, mini-golf, and a trivia kiosk that will present a series of questions about the John Deere Classic’s history, to name a few. Speaking of history…
The John Deere Classic was born in 1971, but was then known as the Quad Cities Open. From 1971-1974, the event was hosted at Crow Valley Country Club in Davenport, Iowa, before moving to Oakwood Country Club in Coal Valley, Illinois (1975 to 1999). TPC Deere Run became the home of the John Deere Classic in 2000, the location it remains at today.
More recently, the John Deere Classic was handed the 2015 “Most Engaged Community” and “Best Social Media Activation” awards by the PGA TOUR. The recognitions marked the fourth time the tournament had earned the Most Engaged Community award and the first time it had been granted the Social Media Activation award.
The winner of the event receives a trophy that depicts a deer leaping across a fairway. It was designed by renowned jewelry designer Malcolm DeMille.
As always, if you’re going be in attendance at the 2016 John Deere Classic, keep an eye out for the various pieces of John Deere equipment that will be scattered across the course!
For more information, visit the John Deere Classic website.