Ponce De Leon Invitational – History of the Ponce

Looking to hold a golf challenge with his friends, Neil Thomson decided to introduce a golf event similar to the Ryder Cup in January 2003. In the early days, there was no assurance that there would be enough interest for the tournament to become an annual event. Thomson proposed the event be called The Ponce De Leon Invitational.

Many decisions from the early days of the Tournament remain today. Among these are the 4 rounds of competitive play, the selection of the Captain’s pairings, and of course the Final Round Singles matches.

The first tournament was held the first week of January, 2003 with just 8 players. Typically, the field is 16 strong with a waiting list of at least that many. Three times, the Ponce has taken 14-16 players across the pond to play a Great Britain team: 2012 in St. Andrews, 2018 in Sunningdale and Royal St. George’s and 2024 in Yorkshire. The Ponce is scheduled each year and played at the World’s finest golf venues. 

Notable guests and speaklers include Lee Trevino, Matt Ginella, Davis Sezna, and U.S. Ryder Cup Captain Zach Johnson. At the Champions Dinner in 2023 at Sea Island, Captain Johnson quipped, “The Ponce is a cross between Dead Poets Society, Animal House and a USGA Board meeting.”

To assist the community, each year a generous contribution is made by the players of the Tournament benefiting a charity that is selected by that year’s Chairman.

We hope that the Ponce stages a golf tournament that is enjoyable to our players, patrons and the golf community.

The Ponce is strictly an invitation Tournament.


U.S.A G.B.