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has anyone attended a pga tour event?

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
Hi all, I live in NY and was thinking about buying tickets to the US Open held at bethpage black (farmingdale, ny). Not sure when the next will be held and thought I'd take advantage of this "once in a lifetime" event.

I was wondering if you guys can assist in helping me select what are considered the "best days" to go and if the below assertions are true

I am looking to get ground passes on Sunday but have heard it is pointless because you will not be able to see much with all the crowds.

Is it best to follow a particular player i.e tiger woods or simply camp out at one hole for the rest of the day?

Any other tips on what I should to maximize my first visit to a pga tour event? Tickets on ebay seem to be going for $135 pp on sunday
post #2 of 33

Re: has anyone attended a pga tour event?

Originally Posted by andy View Post
Hi all, I live in NY and was thinking about buying tickets to the US Open held at bethpage black (farmingdale, ny). Not sure when the next will be held and thought I'd take advantage of this "once in a lifetime" event.

I was wondering if you guys can assist in helping me select what are considered the "best days" to go and if the below assertions are true

I am looking to get ground passes on Sunday but have heard it is pointless because you will not be able to see much with all the crowds.

Is it best to follow a particular player i.e tiger woods or simply camp out at one hole for the rest of the day?

Any other tips on what I should to maximize my first visit to a pga tour event? Tickets on ebay seem to be going for $135 pp on sunday

I went to last year's U.S. Open when it was at Torrey Pines. I've also been to a Nationwide Tour event (Empire Lakes, now defunct tournament), the Chevron World Challenge (back when it was Target World Challenge), and the L.A. Open.

For the U.S. Open, I went on Friday. I camped out at the 10th tee and watched groups go by, until the group I wanted to follow came out (Imada, Kim, Romero). It was great to follow them for the day.

Following Tiger Woods is an exercise in futility unless you are very tall and very fast. If you want to see him play, watch on TV Instead, pick a group that contains a less popular player(s) that you like, and follow that group. It will be especially nice if they are within a group or two of Tiger, because he'll draw most of the crowd away from your guys. It's a nice advantage.
post #3 of 33

Re: has anyone attended a pga tour event?

I went to the Shell Houston Open on Friday. Followed Chris Stroud most of the day. ( We went to the same high school). We he was done playing, I tried to catch up with Lefty, Rory M., Vijay, but gave up. Didint feel like fighting the crowds. Ended up sitting at the green on a par 3 for the rest of the day. We had a blast, I would reccommend doing that. Everyone you want to see has to play the hole eventually, and when they do you have front row seats!!
post #4 of 33

Re: has anyone attended a pga tour event?

I went to the St.Jude in Memphis. It doesn't have all of the top players but there are quite a few notables there. We sat at one hole and watched a couple of groups. But I ended up following Davis Love around the rest of the day because he is my favorite.

If I were going to a high level tour event, I would sit greenside on a few different holes and watch many groups. There are just so many top names there that I would hate to miss alot by following one group.
post #5 of 33

Re: has anyone attended a pga tour event?

I have been to the Memorial in Dublin, OH (Muirfield Village) a couple times. I always liked going at the early part of the week (practice rounds as well as first 2 rounds of tournament). In practice rounds it interesting, as a golfer, to see what the pros are doing to prepare - such as how they manage the course. It's also your best chance to get up close and really be able to see how good these players are. I like he first 2 rounds of tourney because it's much less crowded so you can actually see the golfers. It's also interesting because this is when you're most likely to see the 'train wrecks'. If you just park yourself for a while on one of the really hard holes you'll see players do things that you'll believe you could have done better. On the weekends it's more crowded, but there is a little more excitement in the air, plus the players that are not playing well are gone so the quality of golf is better. However, I still prefer the other days.

As for the question of following someone or 'camping out', I always preferred to do both. In the morning while I still had the energy I would follow a few golfers for a while (not all 18, but usually 4-6 holes or so). I always tried to make sure I got to see the entire course and watch a few players through each hole. Later in the day I liked to camp out at a hard par 3 or short par 4 where you get to see more stuff happen.
post #6 of 33

Re: has anyone attended a pga tour event?

We go to the Masters and Tour Championship every year, and US Open whenever it's at Pinehurst.

Skip Sunday. You're better watching the weekend rounds on TV, but if you have to go on a weekend, go Saturday morning and leave around 3:00 to watch the leaders.

We always pick a good green, get good seats, and watch the groups come through. It depends on what holes have grandstands, but we usually try to get there a little late and then get grandstands somewhere around 8-12, since the first group usually either isn't that far yet, or isn't drawing much crowd. Also consider proximity to beer; nothing sucks more than walking 2 holes over to get beer.
post #7 of 33

Re: has anyone attended a pga tour event?

I have been to the Deutche Bank at TPC Boston and the US Senior Open when it was at Salem CC. Trying to follow Jack around at the Open was tough but being 6'3" was certainly a help. At the Deutche Bank I always go on the pro am day and follow Tiger for 9 holes (gets crazy after that)-not an option last year but I did go during the second round and followed Phil around for most of his round without much issue.
post #8 of 33

Re: has anyone attended a pga tour event?

Sunday is the worst day to go if you want to see what happens with the tournament. I had weekly tickets to the US Open the last time it was at Bethpage, but sold my Sunday tickets. Bethpage is not very spectator friendly. The course covers a lot of area, a bunch of holes are not close to any other holes, and the topography makes it very hard to see action on a lot of greens. If you just want to see players up close, or the course, go on Tuesday for the practice round. Smaller crowds and a relaxed atmosphere, you can even bring a camera. Thursday and Friday are good days to see real action. The whole field is playing and with the split times you can walk the course during one wave and just sit somewhere for the other wave.
post #9 of 33

Re: has anyone attended a pga tour event?

If you can get tickets to Wednesday's practice round, that's when I like to go.

At the US Open at Oakmont in 2007, I went on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

On Wednesday we walked around from hole to hole. On Friday we camped out at the 8th green and the 18th green, on Saturday we got into the grandstands on the 17th fairway.

The practice round was the most fun. Less crowds, the players were more relaxed. Saturday sucked. The crowds were enormous. Although on all days it was fun spending $4 for a bottle of water.

On Sunday I watched it on my giant high def TV. That was the most enjoyable.
post #10 of 33

Re: has anyone attended a pga tour event?

I havn't ever attended a PGA event but I go to a Nationwide event every year. I am sure it is much different as there is never a problem getting around or fighting crowds. Even the final day watching the leaders isn't too bad.

There are pros and cons to following or staying in one spot. If you stay at one spot, you get to see everyone come through. The downside is that if play get spread out, you might have 5-10 minutes before the next group comes through and your just waiting. If you pick a group to follow it can be fun to watch all around the course, especially if someone is playing well. However, depending on the crowd, it can be a pain to get around and find a good spot to watch every shot.

I'm not sure if the spilt the tees for the first two rounds (tee off on 1 & 10) for the Open or not, can't remember. Those can be the better days to go since there will be more players on the course and until the end of the day, there are players on every hole. Over the weekend, once the final group makes the turn, there aren't many players on the course, and they are only on the back nine.
post #11 of 33

Re: has anyone attended a pga tour event?

I have went to the Wachovia for the last couple of years here in charlotte. (This year it is known as the Quail Hollow Championship, even though Wachovia is still footing the bill) Either way, the practice/weekday rounds are always the most enjoyable because of the crowds. I am going to the Pro-Am for the first time on Wed this year,and being a USC fan am hoping for a Steve Spurrier autograph.

Last year i lucked into some Saturday tickets for the masters. I made the mistake of taking my girlfriend. It was the day that we cancelled do to rain and lighting. We had almost made it to Amen corner when the sky's opened up. It was around 1.5 miles or so back to the club house. The girlfriend (who "plays" golf and has been to Quail Hollow) decided the best idea was to wear a dress and a floppy hat that you would wear to the Kentuckey Derby instead of shorts and spikes. Needless to say she looked like a wet dog. Augusta National is a beautiful place and i would love a return trip.

On a side note, if someone could offer me and opinion i would appreciate it. While we were on the long trek back to the club house i came across Boo Weekly standing by himself under an umbrella. There was no one around, and play had been cancelled. I walked up to Boo and introduced myself, and told him i listened to him on the local AM sports station and enjoyed watching him on tour. He refused to shake my hand. I was extremely taken back by it. Under normal circumstances of play, i would never approach a player. Play was delayed and the course was being cleared. Since that day, Boo has never hit enough balls in the water to make me happy. Am I in the wrong for feeling this way and did i cross the line?
post #12 of 33

Re: has anyone attended a pga tour event?

might be a silly question, but where can you find information of any pga or nationwide tour events in your area?
post #13 of 33

Re: has anyone attended a pga tour event?

Originally Posted by thr33 View Post
might be a silly question, but where can you find information of any pga or nationwide tour events in your area?
I'm sure you can get the schedule from www.pgatour.com and then if you found a tourney in your area google the name.
post #14 of 33

Re: has anyone attended a pga tour event?

I attended the John Deere Classic once when Michelle Wie was playing. I was there as a volunteer...it was my first event and it was really cool. Now if I could only make my way to Augusta....
post #15 of 33

Re: has anyone attended a pga tour event?

Been to the Transitions/Pods last 2 years with my sons. Followed some of our favorites for 5-6 holes each. It's a blast, especially when you learn the course and know the shortcuts and what holes who is on at the time. Sort of like Disney World back when I was a young whipper snapper!!

My boys are in my ear about next year's tournament (done deal)...then going to Bay Hill a week later. Hopefully that damn thing called work can be "worked" around!
post #16 of 33

Re: has anyone attended a pga tour event?

Been to two US Opens (Oakmont & Torrey Pines) and one PGA Championship (Baltusrol) - attending these events was enjoyable, but IMHO there is no substitute to watching on TV (preferably a high-def one). The amount of golf you see (+ replays) on TV can never be replicated. Of course, the atmosphere of the round (especially on Sunday) cannot be matched. I stood by the 18th green at Torrey on Saturday, and just watching the drama of the pros trying to make eagle was fun. Plus, seeing Tiger draining his was awesome. If you go to Bethpage, try and avoid Tiger. At Oakmont and Torrey, it was like a drone of bees following the Queen - it's just insane. If you must see Tiger (and haven't seen him before), try and see him tee off on one hole, and then run fast to 3 or 4 holes over to get a glimpse of him again. I can tell you that gets old after a while.

Someday I hope to get to the Masters when I've saved enough - I'll make an exception for that and be there for the practice rounds, par 3 contest, and all four rounds.
post #17 of 33

Re: has anyone attended a pga tour event?

deutsche bank championship these past 2 years...im hoping to attend the U.S. open this year as well.
post #18 of 33

Re: has anyone attended a pga tour event?

I have been to a PGA tour event when the PGA Tour stopped in Denver (Castle Pines) for the International. That was a terrific tournament with the Modified Stableford system. The players were gunning for birdies and eagles and Castle Pines (a Nicklaus design) is a terrific course for a go-for-broke strategy. I miss the International as this was a unique tournament conducted on a terrific course that was maintained almost as meticulously as Augusta National (Jack Vickers, the owner, is a member of ANGC).
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