The heroic act of sportsmanship that paved the way for the upcoming WGC event at Concession Golf Cub

Jack Nicklaus' famous gesture towards Tony Jacklin in the 1969 Ryder Cup at Royal Birkdale was the inspiration for The Concession Golf Club

The WGC-Mexico Championship had found a popular home at the Club de Golf Chapultepec, just outside Mexico City.

They say the cream rises at the best courses and the four winners there were Dustin Johnson (twice), Phil Mickelson and Patrick Reed.

But, this year, Reed will defend his title at a different venue. Due to the logistical challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the tournament heads back across the border to southwest Florida.

The plan is to return to Mexico next year but, for now, a new course is in the spotlight - The Concession Golf Club

The story behind The Concession Golf Club

An unusual moniker on first glance, the course actually takes its name from one of golf's greatest acts of sportsmanship.

Back in the 1969 Ryder Cup at Royal Birkdale, Jack Nicklaus holed his par putt at 18 to ensure the United States would retain the trophy.

Opponent Tony Jacklin faced a three-foot putt to halve the match but before he stood over that knee-knocker, Jack intervened.

To astonished gasps, Nicklaus picked up Jacklin's ball and marker and conceded the putt. He told the Engishman: "I don't think you would have missed it, but I wasn't going to give you the chance, either."

Nicklaus' grand gesture which meant the match ended in a 16-16 tie - the first in its history - became known as "the concession".

Forever united by that piece of golfing theatre, Nicklaus and Jacklin joined forces to build The Concession Golf Club in Saratosa, Florida.

Nicklaus did the bulk of the design while Saratosa resident Jacklin offered suggestions.

Their joint-project opened in 2006 and quickly established itself in Top 100 lists. Golf Digest named it "Best New Private Course".

Now this venue really puts itself on the map by staging a World Golf Championship event.

The big-name star with notable history at Concession

The Concession Golf Club President Bruce Cassidy says this of his venue: "With our vast experience hosting high-profile events, we believe this course will provide a stern but memorable test of golf to this collection of the very best players in the world."

One of the high-profile events he refers to is the 2015 NCCA Division 1 Men's Golf Championship. Quite simply, it's the top annual competition in US men's collegiate golf.

Ahead of that tournament, Charlie Rymer and Gary Williams previewed the course for The Golf Channel. Rymer picked out the "greens and the greens surrounds" as the key aspect.

The idea of short game being key was also highlighted in another preview from Concession Member Andy Bean and his fellow Ryder Cup star J.B. Holmes.

Bean said: "I think you just have to have imagination, like Phil Mickelson. He's got all types of shots to get the ball up and down and they're going to have to learn not just a flop shot. You're going to have to learn bump and runs."

Holmes added: "If the wind is blowing, it can be really, really difficult. You've got to golf your ball around here and you've got to have a good short game."

So how did that NCCA work out? The LSU Tigers won the 30-team tournament but individual honors went to a promising star at SMU who topped the leaderboard with 8-under-par.

The name of that player? Bryson DeChambeau!

A more streamlined Bryson DeChambeau in action in 2015
A more streamlined Bryson DeChambeau in action in 2015

"He's the best ball-striker in college for sure," SMU coach Jason Enloe said later. "Possibly top 20 in the world. Like, you could put him against any ball-striker playing for a living. He'd be right there with those guys."

After finishing runner-up to Reed at Chapultepec last year, perhaps the planets have aligned for DeChambeau to go one better this time.

Then again, with those mentions of short-game prowess, don't rule out Reed defending. The 2018 Masters champion has magic in his wrists and should love this test.

Reed's first big win came at a World Golf Championship event in Florida - the WGC-Cadillac Championship - so the omens are good for him too.

DeChambeau and Reed - two of the game's more outspoken and controversial figures - battling down the stretch at a course founded on altruism? That might just get an ironic chuckle from Nicklaus and Jacklin.

Latest Golf Videos