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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.