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Your first time attending a PGA event

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

I was at Sherwood for the final round of the Northwestern Mutual Open and it was my first time at a professional golf event, even if it wasn't a sanctioned PGA event.  I had a great time and had some thoughts I'd like to share about my experience and would like to hear about some others' first experiences and opinions of pro golf events.

 

  1. Following Tiger Woods around is an infuriating experience because of the huge gallery that follows him.  I knew it was going to be really bad and it lived up to expectations.  Maybe it was because it was Sunday and he was in the lead but I'd only try to follow him on a Thursday round otherwise you really only get to see 1 shot per 2 holes he plays because you need to jump in front of the crowd to get a decent view.  
  2. I am a huge golf fan, not just a TW fan, so I was excited to see all the golfers in action.  Nevertheless when Tiger came out on to the range to warm up there was a huge buzz of electricity that honestly surprised me.
  3. My favorite moments of the event (besides the ending) were with small galleries.  Steve Stricker and Hunter Mahan going up and down to make birdies, Jason Duffner telling a kid trying to Duffner that he's right on point, Matt Kuchar sinking a long putt, Jordan Spieth almost hole out on 18.
  4. Seeing these guys swing up close in person is really amazing and all the videos on the web don't do them justice.  I got a head on view of Rory's driver swing, maybe 5 feet away and was blown away even though I've seen it a million times.
  5. I was really surprised at the amount of drunk people around.  I'm not talking about happily buzzed, I'm talking incomprehensible word slurring and staggering through the galleries.  There were your typical frat boy types which I expected, but there were also a lot of middle aged women who were completely hammered and both were pretty obnoxious.  I'm 28 and like to drink myself, but the event seemed like a weird place for people to get THAT drunk.  Maybe it was this particular Thousand Oaks type crowd.
  6. Zach Johnson just made two lifelong fans out of me and my girlfriend.  Watching him hole out for par on 18 was one of the craziest, most clutch things I've ever witnessed and will go down as the second most amazing sports moment I've ever seen live.  
post #2 of 20

It just amazes me that people would take time, spend $$$ to attend that event, then proceed to get blitzed and not remember a dam thing about the tournament......crazy.

 

Sounds like you had a good time non the less..Wish I could have gone. 

post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 

Don't get me wrong, I still had a great time, I was just legitimately surprised how blitzed some people got.  

post #4 of 20

As long as the drunks behave, all is good.   Glad you had good time.    I made a promise to attend a pro event in 2014 and will avoid the weekend crowd (weekend is reserved for my own golfing rounds anyway :-)).    Likely, it will be an LPGA event first.  

post #5 of 20
Quote:

Originally Posted by Entropy View Post

 

  1. Following Tiger Woods around is an infuriating experience because of the huge gallery that follows him.  I knew it was going to be really bad and it lived up to expectations.  Maybe it was because it was Sunday and he was in the lead but I'd only try to follow him on a Thursday round otherwise you really only get to see 1 shot per 2 holes he plays because you need to jump in front of the crowd to get a decent view. 

 

 

The good part about this is the galleries following the other groups are almost non-existent. I was at the 2007 Presidents Cup and 95% of the spectators on Sunday were following Weir/Woods. I was part of the 95%, haha, but if you wanted to follow Phil, you would have gotten pretty close.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rkim291968 View Post
 

As long as the drunks behave, all is good.   Glad you had good time.    I made a promise to attend a pro event in 2014 and will avoid the weekend crowd (weekend is reserved for my own golfing rounds anyway :-)).    Likely, it will be an LPGA event first.  

 

LPGA events are a lot of fun. They sure can play!

post #6 of 20

The drunkenness is a testament to society losing it's morals, or golf has attracted a more diverse audience, or maybe both.

 

1982 Bing Crosby Pro AM

 

The really cool thing about this besides seeing Nicklaus still in his prime IMO was that my dad (I was 15 at the time) worked for Oldsmobile and they were one of the sponsors so we got to stay in the lodge during the event. Seeing all the celebrities at breakfast sitting a few feet away from us was cool as well, my dad struck up a good conversation with Telly Sevallis (spelling) while he was eating his frosted wheats. LOL. The galleries were large following Jack of course but nothing compared to Tiger now. When the tournament changed to the AT&T it just was never the same but we would still make the trip every couple years, Anyway first time I saw Nicklaus on the course he was playing #5 at pebble back when it went up the hill away from the beach, was standing just a few feet back and witnessed just how much more power and accuracy he had over the field he stuck it 6' away, the next day in the local paper there was a picture of Jack holding his finish on that shot looking back from the green and guess who's standing in the background?:dance:My claim to fame. The one really great thing about this game on the Tour level is there still is that interaction between players and the fans that has been there forever, I can't even remember the player but at 2012 open at Olympic during a practice round  I was watching some players teeing off at 15 and while they are waiting to hit one of the players walked over next to me where a small boy was there with his dad and said " I don't think you got everyones autograph yet and took his flag souvenier over to the tee and had all the others in the group sign it, in fact Westwood was one of them, you don't see that in other sports.

post #7 of 20

Lol.  Society losing its morals?  If general drunken carousing is a sign of "society losing its morals", then we've been losing our morals for nigh on 5 millennia  Must have started with a shit ton of morals...

 

I was there yesterday as well, second tourney i've been to.   Thought it was a great time all around.  I actually find it way more interesting how well behaved everyone is, even whilst being completely shit faced.  No one's talking during shots, no one is trying to run onto fairways, etc. Go to an NFL game or a tailgate party at a USC or UCLA game...now that is drunkenness in its purest form.  

 

Of course, I'll admit I'm a bit biased.  I made quite a few stops to the MaCallan club tent.  

post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoundandFury View Post
 

Lol.  Society losing its morals?  If general drunken carousing is a sign of "society losing its morals", then we've been losing our morals for nigh on 5 millennia  Must have started with a shit ton of morals...

 

I was there yesterday as well, second tourney i've been to.   Thought it was a great time all around.  I actually find it way more interesting how well behaved everyone is, even whilst being completely shit faced.  No one's talking during shots, no one is trying to run onto fairways, etc. Go to an NFL game or a tailgate party at a USC or UCLA game...now that is drunkenness in its purest form.

 

Of course, I'll admit I'm a bit biased.  I made quite a few stops to the MaCallan club tent.

LOL I knew that would get a reaction, honestly I don't care if people want get sloshed at sporting events just don't spill your beer on me when you trip over that blade of grass. Been to Raider games doesn't get any worse than that and were not just talking vitamin A either.

post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by flopster View Post

 

1982 Bing Crosby Pro AM

 

The really cool thing about this besides seeing Nicklaus still in his prime IMO was that my dad (I was 15 at the time) worked for Oldsmobile and they were one of the sponsors so we got to stay in the lodge during the event. Seeing all the celebrities at breakfast sitting a few feet away from us was cool as well, my dad struck up a good conversation with Telly Sevallis (spelling) while he was eating his frosted wheats. LOL. The galleries were large following Jack of course but nothing compared to Tiger now. When the tournament changed to the AT&T it just was never the same but we would still make the trip every couple years, Anyway first time I saw Nicklaus on the course he was playing #5 at pebble back when it went up the hill away from the beach, was standing just a few feet back and witnessed just how much more power and accuracy he had over the field he stuck it 6' away, the next day in the local paper there was a picture of Jack holding his finish on that shot looking back from the green and guess who's standing in the background?:dance:My claim to fame. The one really great thing about this game on the Tour level is there still is that interaction between players and the fans that has been there forever, I can't even remember the player but at 2012 open at Olympic during a practice round  I was watching some players teeing off at 15 and while they are waiting to hit one of the players walked over next to me where a small boy was there with his dad and said " I don't think you got everyones autograph yet and took his flag souvenier over to the tee and had all the others in the group sign it, in fact Westwood was one of them, you don't see that in other sports.

Awesome story, thanks for sharing.  I would have loved to see Jack play life at ant point in his career.  Your comment about the boy made me realize that one of the thing that separates watching live golf to other sports is truly how close you can get to these guys, to the point where you can actually say "nice shot" and have them hear it.  

post #10 of 20

My favorite strategy for watching something like this is pick one hole on the front nine and one hole early in the back nine that you want to watch from either the tee or the green (shorter par 3's work best for both I've found). Get there before all the big names do and set up a camp to watch as the players pass. When the first hole gets crowded, move onto your back nine hole and watch the people pass until it gets crowded again. Finally, head over to the 18th green or tee (personally I prefer to be at the green) to watch as everyone comes in. Going there before the large rush of people who come to watch Tiger and the other big guys really helps you get a seat or spot near the green (depending on whether you have to be in a grandstand or not) that lets you at least see what is going on.

My only problem using this technique came on the last day of the Solheim Cup just recently, as only one match made it to the 18th hole before I left during the lightning delay! All the rest were closed out on the 16th or 17th holes. Watching from the 11th green there, right next to the ropes to the next tee, was a great experience just because you got to see all the players on what was my favorite hole on the course, then watch them as they continued to the next tee. The most interesting part there is watching the varied levels of intensity. I felt terrible for Paula Creamer though since she was near tears as she walked by.

post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoundandFury View Post
 

Lol.  Society losing its morals?  If general drunken carousing is a sign of "society losing its morals", then we've been losing our morals for nigh on 5 millennia  Must have started with a shit ton of morals...

 

I was there yesterday as well, second tourney i've been to.   Thought it was a great time all around.  I actually find it way more interesting how well behaved everyone is, even whilst being completely shit faced.  No one's talking during shots, no one is trying to run onto fairways, etc. Go to an NFL game or a tailgate party at a USC or UCLA game...now that is drunkenness in its purest form.  

 

Of course, I'll admit I'm a bit biased.  I made quite a few stops to the MaCallan club tent.  

Glad you had a good time!  It's true that everybody was more or less behaved.  I did see two guys, one in one of the boxes and someone at the back of the 18th green, sort of get into a shouting match before the guy on the green turned around and flipped him off for a good while.  Not cool since there were a lot of kids around.  I also saw a guy take the Graeme McDowell cardboard cut out and walk out with it which was pretty hilarious.  

 

What is your guys' M.O for these events?  Do you post it at one hole or do you follow a group around the course?  

post #12 of 20

My first actual event was the 1974 Western Open held at Butler National in Oak Brook, IL.

 

(A few years ago, the Western became the BMW Classic. Until the 1970s, the Western was considered the fifth major by many.)

 

Western was at Butler in mid-June, the week my Marine Corps enlistment expired. I was stationed at old Naval Air Station Glenview near Chicago at the time, and I had gotten to know the pro who ran the Glenview base golf course. On Friday evening, I went out to the far end of the course with him to retrieve a golf cart which had broken down. When we got back to the clubhouse, he gave me two day passes to the Western as a farewell gift.

 

On Saturday I walked 18 holes with Lee Trevino's group. Lee was having a wild day - shot an 84 - but he was in a good mood. On the tee of one hole with an OB right, he took the bull horn from the course marshall and warned the crowd to watch out for a "Baha bullet" if his driver malfunctioned.

 

Circa 1970 I had caddied in the St. Louis Open (regional pro event) and in US Open District Qualifying rounds, but the Western was the first "big event" I ever attended.

 

If you want an event that's not a hassle, try the John Deere Classic in July. Moline, IL area really turns out to support the event, and you get a lot of friendly, every-day people. Also, the area has lots of motel rooms (four large, spread-out cities in a two-county area). Despite the event, plenty of decent motel rooms under $100 a night were available.

post #13 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by WUTiger View Post

 

If you want an event that's not a hassle, try the John Deere Classic in July. Moline, IL area really turns out to support the event, and you get a lot of friendly, every-day people. Also, the area has lots of motel rooms (four large, spread-out cities in a two-county area). Despite the event, plenty of decent motel rooms under $100 a night were available.

Would definitely get to see Zach Johnson play again at the John Deere!  It would have been great to go this year to watch Jordan Spieth's first win as well.  Thanks for the tip.

post #14 of 20
I was at the Deere this year for my first pga event. It was awesome. We got to see Jordan's win. Its a nice course a lot of shade if its hot. I hope to go again next year. I also got this my little brother got the signatures.
post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jakester23 View Post

I was at the Deere this year for my first pga event. It was awesome. We got to see Jordan's win. Its a nice course a lot of shade if its hot. I hope to go again next year. I also got this my little brother got the signatures.

Does anyone know who's autograph that is third from the left, it's at the top of the "E" next to the red one

post #16 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by flopster View Post

Does anyone know who's autograph that is third from the left, it's at the top of the "E" next to the red one

Looks like it starts with a J. Maybe JJ Henry?
post #17 of 20
Thread Starter 
Jakester that is awesome. Did you have a good vantage point for Jordans bunker shot? I was wondering what the proper etiquette for asking for autographs is...I felt like Id be bothering those guys while they were on the practice green or walking to the next tee
post #18 of 20
Yeah I was on the corner of the green kinda. My brother got all the signatures as the players walked off 18. The thing that stuck out for me was Zach Johnson choking on 18.
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