The Bob Hope Classic will be renamed the Humana challenge after the health insurance company teamed up with the Clinton Foundation to sponsor the event.
The deal will see a change of format to the competition with the addition of 16 extra professionals, along with the usual amateur and celebrity contingent. An extra day will also be added to the event with the fourth day being restricted to professionals only.
Despite the changes, the competition will retain its focus on raising money for charity. Since Bob Hope began his relationship with the event in 1965, more than US$50 million has been raised for charity which has funded the construction of the Eisenhower Medical Center and has supported local Coachella Valley charities.
“Humana, the Clinton Foundation and the PGA Tour will work together to promote health and wellbeing in order to positively impact people’s behavior and improve their quality of life,” said PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem. “There will be a number of ways that attendees and viewers can take part in healthy lifestyle practices throughout the week that they can easily adapt to their everyday lives. In addition, we are delighted to have the enthusiastic support of the Hope family. Mr Hope epitomised a healthy lifestyle, living to be 100. We will continue to honour his legacy and be forever grateful for what he did for golf, this tournament, the PGA Tour and charity. It will be a very special and engaging week that focuses on health and well-being in addition to outstanding golf.”
“The Humana Challenge is conceived as a new kind of experience – a premier PGA Tour event that simultaneously immerses players, spectators and viewers in a variety of innovative and fun events around the theme of lifelong well-being,” said Mike McCallister, Humana’s chairman and chief executive. “The Tuesday conference and the activities surrounding the golf tournament will play a key role in addressing challenges we all face as we strive to live healthier lives.”
The tournament week is designed to bring the idea of “participatory wellness” to life for people of all ages and will feature a first ever national conference focused on health and well-being on Tuesday, highlighted by a keynote address from former US president Bill Clinton.
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