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Anyone even been to a tour event?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I'm going to Wentworth in 2 weeks to watch BMW championship. There's some top names in the entry list (Mcilroy, Els, Stenson, Garcia etc) so really excited a1_smile.gif

Can anyone tell me whether you are free to roam around the course or casually follow your favourite player? Or is it more controlled than this? With designated areas?

Is it possible to get up close to the action, or will I be constantly competing with the crowd?

I know competitions and clubs are all different, but would love to hear from anyone who's been to a pro tournament.

Cheers everyone.
post #2 of 11
the big names will have the biggest followings. If you want to get close, check the pairing sheets and see who is where on the course. Get to a tee box a couple of holes ahead and you should be right up front or near it when they arrive.

Most tournaments will let you roam wherever you want "OUTSIDE THE ROPES". Other than VIP areas, Broadcast villages, and the like. You can choose to follow "your guy" or sit at one hole and watch a few pairs go by. Check the sponsor list for any "upgraded experiences" they might offer if you are a customer. Mastercard has had it's "Priceless" promotion going on at a few tournaments- just showing your Mastercard got you into a special viewing area, maybe some free swag, and chances to win merchandise or a meet and greet with one of their players.

Bring comfy shoes if you want to follow along.
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks. That's great advice!

I'm going to check to see if there are any upgrades or privileges available.

Just praying for nice weather now.
post #4 of 11

I've never been, but I'm going to the PGA Championship at Valhalla this year so I'm pretty excited about that!

post #5 of 11

Might wish to even consider going to the Wednesday practice round.  The players are much more accessible, sign lots of autographs and are in really great spots for photographs if you like to take a camera.

 

That's what I do at the Bridgestone/Firestone tournament each year.  Lots of really great pics to be had!

 

dave

post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitch360 View Post

I'm going to Wentworth in 2 weeks to watch BMW championship. There's some top names in the entry list (Mcilroy, Els, Stenson, Garcia etc) so really excited a1_smile.gif

Can anyone tell me whether you are free to roam around the course or casually follow your favourite player? Or is it more controlled than this? With designated areas?

Is it possible to get up close to the action, or will I be constantly competing with the crowd?

I know competitions and clubs are all different, but would love to hear from anyone who's been to a pro tournament.

Cheers everyone.

There are a lot of guys here that have been to more events than me that can give you better advice, but here's my take:

 

Yes, you are free to roam around the entire course (obviously outside the ropes) except all of the seating areas around the final few holes are going to be ticketed areas that you won't be allowed in to.  (Surprisingly enough, the only tournament I've been to where this was not the case was the US Open.  All seating areas, just like all other areas, were simply first-come, first serve.  No special ticket required.)

 

When you are trying to follow marquee guys, you will have a little tougher time getting close to them, like Rory, Phil or Tiger.  But if you just jump ahead a hole or two, watch a couple of groups come through, then you'll have a good spot staked out for when Rory comes through.  Then you can repeat the process all throughout the course and catch them on several holes.

 

There are two other "styles" of watching that I've tried, and they are both good as well, depending.  One is to just pick one hole, or even better, one spot where you can see a couple of holes, if that's possible, and just watch from there all day and see everybody come through.

 

The other is good if you're going multiple days ... and that is to pick a group with somebody you like, but not somebody who's going to have a mob following him around (perhaps, ZJ, Kuchar, Stricker type guy) and just walk the entire course with them, 1 through 18.

 

Or a combination of the three.  My first tournament was Pebble Beach in, I think, 1995, and on Sunday my dad and I walked the course with Fuzzy Zoellers group all the way from the first tee to the 12th green.  Then we just waited there and watch all of the rest of the groups come through until the leaders passed, and then we backtracked through the front nine watching the groups that started on the back as we made our way to the shuttle busses.  (Didn't have much desire to try and fight our way through the crowd on the last few holes)

 

Whatever you do, it should be fun!!

post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
That's a good point as it's cheaper on Wednesday and it's less than 1 hour drive away.

Be great to see all the golfers I've spent so much time watching on TV. Can't wait.
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks Golfingdad, I'll prob just see how it goes on the day. Just pleased to hear it's quite relaxed and we can walk around.

Thanks for your responses
post #9 of 11

I've been to the Phoenix Open a few times. The best days to go if you want to interact is a practice day or wednesday when the have the pro am. It is pretty cool to see the celebrates hack it around. The pros are also more approachable if you want to try and get an autograph or two. Other then that @Golfingdad  summed it up pretty week. 

 

Have fun!

post #10 of 11

My advice is to get there early and roam the course. The last one I went to was the Saturday round of The Barclays at Bethpage Black a few years ago and we got there early and followed Lee Westwood for a while. He was in a great mood chatted with the fans and there wasn't a big following. Followed him for a bit then sat down on the 5th green in the early afternoon when there wasn't yet a crowd and watched everyone come through, including Tiger. While everyone who was following him couldn't get close to the green, I was right on the ropes and only a few feet away from him. 

post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by dave s View Post
 

Might wish to even consider going to the Wednesday practice round.  The players are much more accessible, sign lots of autographs and are in really great spots for photographs if you like to take a camera.

 

That's what I do at the Bridgestone/Firestone tournament each year.  Lots of really great pics to be had!

 

dave

I agree......

 

I used to attend the Memorial when I lived in the Columbus area, and there is a strong argument to be made that it's more fun watching the practice rounds because you can interact with the players.  I've been there for both practice rounds and tourney play.......both have their plusses and minuses. 

 

Knowing the course helps..... knowing the good spots to hang out will enhance the experience.  

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