SAN DIEGO — (NEWS 8) - The KIA Classic is celebrating 10 years; some of the best female golfers in the world will tee off at Park Hyatt Aviara Resort in Carlsbad. As a reporter covering the social and sports aspects of the tournament for 5 years, I'll tell you...this is one of my favorite North County events. It is a healthy entertainment option for all ages and an awesome opportunity to inspire and empower young female athletes. Here are my tips for the tournament, so you're in the know before you go!

The Basics
144 players make up the field; they'll compete for their share of the $1.8M purse. In addition to a $270,000 first place check, this week's winner will also get a 2010 Kia Telluride SUV.

Wednesday is the Kia Classic Official Pro-Am; admission is free from 7 a.m. - 5 p.m. on this day and I think it is one of the best days to attend the tournament. Not only is it beyond affordable, since it's free, but there won't be a crowd. You'll have the opportunity to get very close to some of the best players in the world and you'll see the excitement of amateurs who get to play with the pros.

Thursday gates open at 7 a.m. with Second Round Tee Times at the 1st & 10th tees starting at 7:15 a.m. This is also referred to as Women's Leadership Day presented by Servant Leadership Institute and Adidas Golf.

Friday is Military Appreciation Day at the tournament and the gates open at 7 a.m. followed by 7:15 a.m. First Round Tee Times at 1st & 10th.
Saturday gates open at 7:00 a.m. with Third Round Tee Times, 1st Tee at 8:45 a.m; there will also be a Junior Clinic Driving Range from 3 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. The junior clinic is open to kids of all ages and makes for a great day for the whole family. Children 17 and under receive free admission into the tournament all week. Register for the tournament here

Sunday is the final day of the tournament; gates will open 7:30 a.m; unless you choose to attend the 7 a.m. Sunrise Service. There will be free grounds admission for those who attend.

If you have a Kia, guess're in luck! You can park for free. For everyone else, general parking is available on site at Aviara Golf Club for a $10 fee.

Fun Facts
As the Kia Classic celebrates its tenth year and returns to Carlsbad, attendees can go to the tournament knowing they're seeing one of the LPGA Tour's strongest fields. 88 players out of the 144-player field represent 27 countries outside of the United States. And when you break down the field, there are some pretty interesting facts.

  • 45 of the top 50 players on the 2018 Official Money List
  • 8 of the 9 past Kia Classic champions are in the field
  • 4 players that have had babies in 2018: Karine Icher, Cristie Kerr, Stacy Lewis, Gerina Piller
  • 2 players that are expectant mothers: Brittany Lincicome has a baby girl due September 2019 and Sarah Jane Smith is due with a baby boy due July 2019.

Find more interesting facts about the field of players here

Inspiring Athletes
The LPGA athletes are so kind and approachable. These athletes are also tough, they are working hard and do not want to be distracted during tournament play, but after the players complete their scorecards it is an excellent time to say hello and ask for an autograph. The LPGA players are known for handing out golf clubs, signing programs and sometimes they'll even give away an autographed golf club. I can speak from personal experience, as I have brought my kids to the tournament and the players take time to speak with the young attendees about sports and goals. It is a wonderful opportunity to inspire young athletes to work hard and chase dreams. Not to mention, it is an incredibly healthy activity for the entire family as you stroll the beautiful grounds at Park Hyatt Aviara Resort.

Have more questions? Want specific details or details information about the tournament? Ashley loves hearing from you and would love to jump into a conversation, use #AskAshley on your social media outlets to connect and ask questions.