SEBRING — Starting Friday, sports fans have events to spectate and stand a really good chance of a good seat, especially if they have a golf cart or a boat.
Friday will see the three-day American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) Preview Tournament tee off at Sun ‘N Lake Golf Club. Saturday and Sunday will see the Liqui Moly ProWatercross National Tour open its 26th season at Veterans Beach, bringing in 120 competitors on Jet Skis and similar craft. Then, on Monday, the first of three Minor League Golf Tour tournaments at Sun ‘N Lake Golf Club will tee off.
Finding a way to view any of these three events should be easy, said Joel Lamp, senior director for Tourism & Events at Airstream Ventures, the company working with VisitSebring to bring such events to the area.
Casey Hartt, tourism consultant for VisitSebring – the trademark of the Highlands County Tourist Development Council, said she has already gotten social media messages asking for details. She said the ProWatercross event will be featured on a recap show on CBS Sports. However, Lamp said, people who want to see it in person will have ample opportunity.
People can bring their own chair and watch from the shore, but if they want to watch from the water, they’ll need to either have a boat – or a friend’s boat – moored on Lake Jackson or launch a boat from Veteran’s Beach before 8 a.m. Competitors will need to launch their craft after that, along with pits on the beach to prep their craft between races.
Saturday races will begin at 9 a.m.; on Sunday, at 8:45 a.m.
Courses will be marked with buoys, Lamp said, but whether spectators choose a land or water seat, they should have a good show. Lamp said competitors will race out 300 yards from the shore, turn into a zig-zagging course before heading into a 600-800 yard straightaway.
Each race will have three to five laps, Lamp said. Professional races will take place Saturday and amateur motos will take place Sunday.
“We are excited to start our 2021 ProWatercross season in an iconic racing destination like Sebring,” said AJ Handler, chairman of ProWatercross said organizers are excited to start at an iconic destination like Sebring, and said Veterans Beach provides an ideal venue.
“This is a great opportunity to showcase one of our beautiful lakes in a new way that continues our theme of being a premier racing destination,” Hartt said, noting that Veterans Beach has plenty of room for everyone to take in the races for free.
ProWatercross is a not-for-profit focused on safety education, preserving the environment, and amateur competition.
The golf tournament on Monday will tee off at 11 a.m., Lamp said, and then early Tuesday and Wednesday. Competitors are pushing to get on the Professional Golf Association tour. One of the better-known names in the competition will be Brook Koepka, Lamp said.
“These guys play at a very high level,” Lamp said.
Spectating either of the golf tournaments is relatively easy, Lamp said. The rule of thumb is to get a cart and follow quietly out of the way on the cart path, behind the competitors.