The lure of the PGA Tour's opposite-field events
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The lure of the PGA Tour’s opposite-field events

The 2020 golf season is starting to take shape, with the West Coast Swing and upcoming Florida Swing representing some of the biggest tournaments of the year.

After a handful of weeks in the Pacific time zone and some time in the Sunshine State, the PGA Tour heads down Magnolia Lane for the first men's major of the year.

On the way to Augusta, the PGA Tour makes a few stops at opposite-field events, which are opportunities for a variety of players to earn critical PGA Tour status and FedEx Cup points that can shape or remake their careers. Both events, played against the World Golf Championships leading into the Masters Tournament, are held in island nations and territories.

The first opposite-field event of the year is the longer-running of the two. The Puerto Rico Open has become a routine part of the PGA Tour schedule, offering a chance to compete for players who do not get into the WGC-Mexico Championship.

The Puerto Rico Open is played at Coco Beach Golf and Country Club. Once known as Trump International Golf Club, Coco Beach is under new ownership and still boasts two great golf courses for its members. The host course is one of the longer ones on the PGA Tour, and the occasionally windy conditions can make scoring particularly challenging. However, the views, the hospitality and the weather -- as well the possibility of earning a two-season PGA Tour exemption -- are a magnet to some of the best players on the planet.

Coco Beach Golf and Country Club is about 30 minutes away from downtown San Juan, Puerto Rico, which is the capital of the American territory. San Juan is a beautiful city, blending the old and the new, Spanish and English. The city is truly unique, with gorgeous views, inspired architecture and an old-world feel.

The culture of Puerto Rico is also a big draw. The San Juan food scene is distinguished, with tons of artisan shops, top-notch restaurants and local flavor. The night life in Puerto Rico offers a little something for everyone, ranging from great clubs to social scenes to quiet bars.

In addition, gambling is legal in Puerto Rico, with a variety of casinos in San Juan offering table games, slots and other stakes to bettors. Many of the casinos are located in or near hotels. They may be smaller than a Vegas-style casino, but they have everything a gambler needs to get their fix. If you don't have time for a casino stop, new casino sites 2020 have you covered.

With a wide range of accommodations, from value options to world-class luxury, most travelers can do Puerto Rico well within their budget -- and all without the need for an American passport for U.S. citizens.

So, while the PGA Tour has a number of tremendous tournaments coming up in the next few months, there are few destinations as special and as much fun as Puerto Rico.

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