Golf's first major championship of the season returns to Greater Palm Springs this season for the 48th annual playing of the ANA Inspiration (April 4-7, 2019) at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage.

The longest-running pro golf event continuously held at the same locale, save for The Masters Tournament, this year's version of the ANA will find the elite LPGA field attempting to equal a standard which achieved new history in '18, when a mere four days of play wasn't enough to crown a champion.

Forced to a Monday finish for the first time in the event's storied history, Sweden's Pernilla Lindberg outlasted Hall of Famer Inbee Park over eight playoff holes to capture her first-ever LPGA title.

The duel proved the third-longest playoff in LPGA history, and Lindberg became just the fifth-ever woman to find maiden tour victory at the ANA.

Can the 2019 version live up to its predecessor?  Here's what you need to know to find out.

Spectating and Tickets  

Dinah 18

Prime viewing options abound across The Dinah Shore Tournament Course, with both grandstand seating and on-course strolling providing unique vantages of the action.

For a suggested on-course walk: Find your favorite pairing's tee time on the opening hole and watch as your grouping of choice aims to birdie the ever-playable par-5 second hole before taking on the gorgeous par-3 fifth, playing over lake water.

Come to the famed par-4 sixth hole, walk ahead and grab a prime, shaded perch behind the green to watch as players take on the multi-tiered putting surface.

For those seeking reserved seating choices, further options abound.  Clubhouse access provides VIP treatment with restaurant dining, indoor/patio cocktailing (and, yes, an air-conditioned respite from the mid-spring sun).

On Dinah's world-renowned par-5 home hole, 18th Green Suites offer a premier perch to see players take on the water-guarded par-5 finisher. Food, beverage and valet parking are all included. 

The event is also debuting some enhanced flavor for 2019, with a new beer garden featuring local and SoCal-centric brews.  The cheers will no doubt be captured on the public-access 18th hole grandstands, as beer discounts will be in play every time a player makes a birdie or better.

The Leap

The event's most iconic (and photographed) moment most has come via the victor's leap into Poppie's Pond, adjacent to Dinah's 18th green.  Begun by three-time winner Amy Alcott in 1988, the now-annual splash has seen everything from cartwheels and cannonballs to family dives and Lorena Ochoa's pool party in front of a live Mariachi band.

Adding to the festivities, ANA's robe presentation to the winner continues to add texture to the special moment.

The Ladies

Lexi at ANA

Since her unlikely win, Lindberg continues to seek a follow-up victory.  Though she'd make the cut in all four of the LPGA's other major championship in 2018, she's authored but alone top-10 finish since claiming the ANA crown.  The event is seeking its first back-to-back champion since Annika Sorenstam in 2001-02.

The world's top-ranked golfer and reigning LPGA "Player of the Year," Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand has won 10 times on tour since 2016 . . . but remains snake-bit at the ANA.  The past three years have seen her finish fourth, T-8 and tied for fourth, respectively, which points to a trend toward an eventual Leap.

The world's top-ranked American, 24-year-old Lexi Thompson, has been an ANA fan favorite since she earned her maiden major at Mission in 2014.  Thompson still seeks a second major championship crown on her mantle, and with an ANA resume which includes eight top-25 finishes in nine years, she's always one to watch.

Korea's Seo Yeon Ryu check-in as the No. 3 player in the world, and will be looking to rebound in Rancho Mirage after a mere T-48 finish in '18 followed her 2017 playoff victory over Thompson.