The winner of this week’s Farmers Insurance Open will receive two trophies that represent San Diego. One features the iconic Torrey pine that the tournament course is named for. The other could be used to ride the waves seen from the greens; it’s a custom mini longboard made by Hansen Surfboards in Encinitas and shaped by Craig Hollingsworth.
Hollingsworth has been shaping surfboards for the last 48 years. Since 2011, he has shaped one of the most functional trophies in professional sports.
“It was kind of a neat idea. I liked it and it’s a fun thing. I like doing other things besides the regular surfboards for everybody. It’s nice to do these trophy boards,” Hollingsworth said.
Hollingsworth started shaping boards when he was younger because he couldn’t afford a surfboard. He said he genuinely enjoys making surfboards for people.
“I make them something that’s beautiful, but it’s also functional. So they take it out on the water, ride the waves. They have big smiles on their faces, whether they’re a good surfer or a beginner. It’s great that they’re out having fun,” Hollingsworth said.
Josh Hansen is the co-owner of Hansen Surfboards, which has been in the community for 62 years. He said a member of The Century Club approached the surf shop for help in creating a unique trophy.
“(They asked) ‘would you guys be interested in building a surfboard?’ And of course we’re like, ‘Sure that would be amazing,’” Hansen said, adding that the tournament is a good fit for his family business. “My father, myself, my brother we all play quite a bit of golf. We’re passionate about the game.”
The Century Club is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that operates the Farmers Insurance Open. They wanted to brand the tournament a bit differently from other PGA Tour events.
“No, it’s not the green jacket (awarded by The Masters Tournament) you win, which is pretty prestigious,” Hollingsworth said, “but getting an actual surfboard for your trophy… it’s pretty cool.”
PGA Tour player Jon Rahm won his first PGA tournament at Torrey Pines back in 2017.
“Any time you win and they give you something unique like that, it’s a part of it. And that’s one of the reasons why I love this week and I love San Diego because it’s little things like that make me feel such an emotional connection to it,” Rahm said, adding that it’s really special and “links a bit of San Diego and the attraction of San Diego with the game.”
Last year’s winner, Luke List, also got his first PGA Tour win at the Farmers. He said he has the perfect place for another trophy surfboard.
“It’s pretty iconic to have that displayed, and I’ve got it in a cool spot in my pool house back in Georgia,” List said. “Unfortunately, I haven’t used it, but it’s brought back some smiles every time I have people over, and laugh and joke about that to this day.”
San Diegan Xander Schauffele said he would love to add the trophy board to his collection.
“It would be a cherry on top,” Schauffele said. “You know, being from here and getting a home made prize and being able to put it in my own car and drive away with it, 20 minutes from my house would be amazing.”
The surfboard showcases logos of the Farmers Insurance Open, FedEx Cup, The Century Club and Hansen Surfboards, serving as a reminder of all the sponsors — and of the tournament venue.
“Surfing is such a fabric of the community. It just makes perfect sense. Black’s Beach is right down below. Torrey Pines, which is some of the best waves in the area,” Hansen said.
“Everybody in Encinitas has a surfboard in their garage,” Hollingsworth said. “A lot of the best boards in the world are made right here in North County and San Diego proper too. It’s not called ‘surf city’ but it kind of is.”
To date, no winner has taken their trophy out on the water, but some said when their days of playing professional golf are done, they may take their trophy off the wall and surf with it.