For the second Year, ANA Inspiration will be the title sposor of the LPGA's first major of the season. Played every year since 1972, this national event takes place at the Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, California.
The ANA Inspiration, the first Major tournament of the year on the LPGA Tour. All 46 years of the tournament have been played on the Dinah Shore Tournament Course at Mission Hills Country Club. Only the PGA Tour’s Masters at Augusta National has had a longer continuous run of any major tournament at a single venue on either the men’s or women’s professional golf tours.
The 2018 ANA Inspiration will draw an elite field of professional and amateur women’s golfers from the United States and around the world. Expected to compete are defending champion So Yeon Ryu, Lexi Thompson, Lydia Ko, Inbee Park, Stacy Lewis, Suzann Pettersen, Karrie Webb, Paula Creamer, Na Yeon Choi, Catriona Matthew, I.K. Kim, Cristie Kerr, Angela Stanford, Jiyai Shin, Beatriz Recari, Michelle Wie, Natalie Gulbis, Morgan Pressel, Ai Miyazato, Yani Tseng, Brittany Lincicome, and Se Ri Pak.
MISSION HILLS CC - DINAH SHORE TOURNAMENT COURSE HOLE-BY-HOLE DESCRIPTION
The course opener requires a tee shot down the middle. The three bunkers surrounding the green are the main challenge to this hole. The elongated green hosts some tough pin-placements, so the approach shot must be accurate.
One of the longest holes on the course, this slight dogleg-left is bordered by traps down both sides of the fairway. Despite the downward slope which makes it hard to hold the green, this is one of the few true birdie holes. Long hitters can hit the green in two.
Hole 3’s uphill fairway makes it play longer than it is. The narrow landing area off the tee requires a long, straight shot. Often one of the toughest holes on the course, the large green is made more daunting by difficult pin placement.
The slight dogleg-right demands an accurate drive. The uphill approach shot to the green is deceiving, and leaves many players scrambling to save par. The three bunkers guarding the green add to Hole 4’s difficulty.
The fifth hole requires a precise iron shot over the water to the two-tiered green. With a rear pin placement, plenty of spin is needed to hold the ball on the top tier.
Hole 6 is a severe dogleg-left. Players who choose to go for it have to carry water and a row of palm trees. A safer tee shot is to the landing area down the right side. The well-trapped green slopes severely from back to front, causing most players to attempt to keep the ball below the hole.
Prevailing winds often come into play on this sharp dogleg-left. The ideal tee shot lands to the left-center of the fairway. This is the only way to take the trap and mound on the right and trees on the left out of the approach shot.
Hole 8 is short on yardage and long on intimidation. The elevated green guarded by two traps taunts the player from the tee.
Finishing off the front nine is the longest hole of the course. A sharp dogleg-left, the tee and second shots are tight, tree-lined target areas. The subtle undulations on the green often surprise many a golfer.
This wide fairway allows players to be aggressive off the tee. Fairway bunkers line both sides, but players favor the right. This leaves a clean approach to the deepest green on the course.
Long hitters will find the green in two, as long as the narrow fairway is found off the tee. Varying pin placements increase the difficulty on the green.
A birdie is possible on this downwind rolling fairway with a slight dogleg left. A well-placed drive is important to miss the midpoint bunker just before the trees.
One of the more difficult holes on the course, 13 begins a four-hole stretch that separates the champion from the rest of the field. The large, tiered green is notorious for not holding approach shots.
Even though this is the shortest hole on the course, it requires accuracy and good timing due to shifting winds, bunkers and water. The tee is elevated and the fairway slopes downward, making club selection crucial.
No. 15 has the reputation for being the toughest driving hole on the course. Bunkers on the left at mid- point and trees on both sides of the fairway leave little room for stray tee shots. The green is elevated and well-guarded by deep bunkers.
Consistently ranked as the most difficult hole on the course, staying out of the trees on the right is crucial. The green is hard to read with its many subtle contours. Most players are glad to take par on this hole.
No. 17’s tee shot is deceptively more difficult than it looks. The green is uphill from the tee, and is protected on the front and in the rear by deep bunkers.
The most famous 18th hole on the LPGA has two different tees. The LPGA determines each day which tee is played. The island green is huge with hard-to-read contours requiring accuracy and skill with the putter. Watch for the winner to jump in Poppie’s Pond on Sunday!
ANA INSPIRATION GOLF TOURNAMENT, MILESTONES:
1972 The first tournament, which consisted of 54 holes, is played on the Old Course at Mission Hills Country Club and won by Jane Blalock.
1982 Nabisco assumes sponsorship of the tournament from Colgate-Palmolive Co. The Nabisco event is also the first LPGA tournament to have all four rounds broadcast on national television. ABC carries the premiere broadcast.
1983 The LPGA designates the Nabisco a major championship tournament on the Tour.
1985 The Patty Berg award is presented to Dinah Shore by the LPGA’s board of directors for her outstanding contributions to women’s golf.
1988 Amy Alcott makes her first big splash at the 18th green when she captures her second Nabisco tournament title.
1991 Dinah Shore joins three-time winner Alcott for her celebratory swim, thus launching the “swim at the Shore” winner’s tradition.
1994 Dinah Shore is inducted as the first and, to date, only honorary member of the prestigious LPGA Hall of Fame. (She passed away in February 1994.) Champion Donna Andrews also makes a splash at the 18th green to honor Dinah and continue the tradition.
1995 The Dinah Shore Wall of Champions is dedicated to honor Dinah and the tournament’s past champions.
1996 Nabisco celebrates a “quarter century of champions” at its 25th anniversary tournament.
1997 Nabisco welcomes LPGA Hall of Famer Betsy King into the exclusive three-time champions club. King starts the final day tied with Kelly Robbins, but emerges victorious. Amy Alcott is the only other member of the club.
2000 Nabisco announces a new name for the tournament, the Nabisco Championship, and increases the purse by $250,000. Nabisco also unveils the Dinah Shore statue located along the 18th green at Mission Hills Country Club. The bronze statue serves as the focal point for Dinah’s Walk of Champions.
2001 Nabisco raises the purse for the second consecutive year to $1.5 million, an increase of $250,000 from the previous year.
2002 The tournament is renamed the Kraft Nabisco Championship, reflecting the acquisition of Nabisco by Kraft Foods in December 2000.
2003 Kraft Nabisco Championship raises its purse to $1.6 million, an increase of $100,000 from the 2002 tournament. This latest increase represents an overall raise of $600,000 over the past four years. In addition, the tournament revises its criteria for player eligibility.
2004 Kraft Nabisco Championship increases the purse to $1.8 million.
2005 Annika Sorenstam wins her third KNC title and joins Amy Alcott and Betsy King in the three-time champions club.
2006 The Kraft Nabisco Championship celebrates its 35th anniversary, and introduces “Poppie’s Pond” at Champions Lake at the 18th green. The tournament also moves to CBS Sports for its Sunday broadcast after 15 years on ABC Sports.
2007 Kraft Nabisco Championship raises the purse again to $2 million, reflecting the continued growth of women’s professional golf and the overall increase in prize money on the LPGA Tour.
2011 This was the 40th edition of the Kraft Nabisco Championship and its 29th year as a women's major golf championship.
2015 ANA signs on as Title Sponsor through 2019 and raises purse to $2.5M.
Rancho Mirage, CA