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Is seeing a PGA Tour event in person worth it?

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 

I have a friend in Cromwell, CT whose birthday party I attend every year. Some years, like this one, it coincides with the Traveler's Tournament. Should I carve out some time to head over there? 

 

I am not big on seeing celebrates just to say I saw them, and I am thinking that you see a lot more on the TV than you do on the  course, and time is tight. But is there stuff you see in person that you miss on TV?

 

NHL games are better in person, in my opinion, as is baseball, but the NFL is better on TV.  

post #2 of 38

Oh yes, you should definitely go. I remember the first time I went to a tournament. It was awesome. The power these guys have coming through the ball is really put in perspective when you see it up close.

post #3 of 38

Every slightly serious golfer should do it at least once. Even the advanced tv coverage we have now does not do it justice. If you are able, walk/follow some of the groups to get different vantage points. The lines they take and their ball flight is just different from what us mere mortals do. TV also flattens the contours of the course and greens; up close you get a completely different perspective.

 

 I have been several times, some during the persimmon era and some in the modern era. Personally, it is not that I would want to do it every time the tour was close, but it is something I would do again.

post #4 of 38
yes
post #5 of 38
Absolutely.
post #6 of 38

Yep.  Once is really enough, but you've got to at least watch and hear how these guys hit a ball at least once.  Spend some time at the practice range if you can. 

 

Beyond that, like most sports, I'd rather watch it on the tube.

post #7 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post

Yep.  Once is really enough, but you've got to at least watch and hear how these guys hit a ball at least once.  Spend some time at the practice range if you can. 

Beyond that, like most sports, I'd rather watch it on the tube.

100% agree.
post #8 of 38

Nope. Too much walking. Too crowded. And heaven forbid it is hot. Everything overpriced(although I got everything free). And you can't see much unless you constantly get the best angles. I don't think it's something I would pay for and I went to Sunday of the US Open, lol. Cool to say I did it but I drank as many free beers as golf shots I saw live. 

 

I will say the practice range is probably fun to watch though I never made it there. 

post #9 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post
 

Yep.  Once is really enough, but you've got to at least watch and hear how these guys hit a ball at least once.  Spend some time at the practice range if you can. 

 

Beyond that, like most sports, I'd rather watch it on the tube.

 

I love watching the practice range. For me it's almost more fun than watching them play. You can't see practice range on the telly.

post #10 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by nevets88 View Post

I love watching the practice range. For me it's almost more fun than watching them play. You can't see practice range on the telly.

Agreed, not only to be amazed by how they hit it but also to watch their routines and their interactions with other golfers. Fascinating.

I was fortunate once to volunteer at the Colonial and my job was to manage the chipping green which entailed keeping the balls cleaned up but when picking, had to separate the various types and put back in their buckets.

Also had to keep the bunker raked. Thought I knew how to effectively rake a bunker until that day. Without exception, each player or their caddy went in and raked before they dropped balls to practice. Kinda made me feel a little incompetent. Found it interesting that for the most part, they gave themselves perfect lies. Weir's caddie even used the back of the rake to create a perfectly smooth surface. Maybe that's why he's struggled these past few years.

Anyway, yes, definitely should attend at least once.
post #11 of 38

Yes

First time I went to a tour event was in Canada when Tiger won must have been about 15 years ago, I really didnt see much as there were too many people around Tiger and I was actually disappointed cause i wasnt able to see much.

The only thing I remember was Tiger had awesome power compare to the rest of the field. 

that was the time he was hitting 6 iron 200 yards from the sand trap over water.

Now almost every player seems to be able to carry 200 yards with 6 iron.

 

I didnt see another PGA event until Jan of this year.As i got more interested  in golf in the past year.

I was vacationing in Oahu and went to see the Honda Open.

I went to practice rounds  and it was awesome as there is no ropes and can walk right there with the practice group.

Some players I was able to up close just a few feet away from myself  were John Daly, Tom Gainey, KJ Choi and eventual winner Jimmy Walker.

They all had different grips, but each control their ball flight with power and precision.

They didnt seem to swing very fast at all to my eye. Even Tommy Gainey swing didnt seem that funny looking up in person.

The ball flight is really something to see. The irons shots are very high and straight. The driver tend to curve a bit but no dramatic hook/slice that i saw.

 

I actually enjoy it when there isnt a crowd , I will go again if there's another tour event near me if there's opportunity, but not the final day.

post #12 of 38

Yes, at least to one or two, for a couple of reasons.  First, to be able to watch the pro's on the practice range and then take it to the course is to me, just amazing.  The amount of talent in one place is a treat to watch and learn from.  Second - I chose to go to two tournaments that were majors and on courses that I will never have the opportunity to play but wanted to see and judge for myself - The Masters and the PGA Championship at Baltusrol.  I never appreciated the elevation changes at Augusta and the difficulty in reaching the par 5's in two.  Great experiences - Do I need to attend another tournament?  Maybe not, depends on the course and the field.  But I would recommend that a serious golfer attend at least one.

 

And by the way, I do plan to attend at least one LPGA tour event to watch these ladies in person use almost perfect techniques to hit the ball a ton.

post #13 of 38
I usually can score box seats on hole 16 at the Phoenix Waste Management ... It's a whole different world inside the stadium of 16 ...

To attend anymore though it would depend on the event ... A majors you can count me in ...
post #14 of 38
Thread Starter 

I went. I was only able to carve out a couple of hours. But it was worth it. I don't think I will ever be able to look at golf the same. I went early, and it was not too crowded, at some holes, we were the only ones watching people tee off. The only big names we were aware of at that time were Bubba Watson, who was followed by a large gallery, and we gave up watching him pretty quickly due to that fact, though we did watch him tee off with an iron on a 450 or so par 4, and John Daley, but we didn't get to see his snowman he put up on 10.

 

What was amazing was watching these guys, the vast majority, I had never heard of, play at that level. We sat at the first green and watched people hit the most incredible approach shots, putting them down near the pin from a hundred yards out effortlessly, and you realized that the difference between winning and losing is so tiny, it is amazing that there are people who do it so much more than others. It seems like the people early in the day just were not great putters though, because the birdies we saw came from great approach shots, not long putts, like the guys you watch late Sunday afternoon seem to make.

 

The first guy I watched tee off, I think his name was Marino, I was watching the ball flight just awestruck, I was still gaping as the ball dropped when I realized that everybody had already clapped and finished clapping for a pretty good shot. I am not sure, I think people want to be the first to clap or something, Or they watch the swing. It seemed like a choice for me to watch the swing or watch the ball, not both.

 

Seeing the greens in person was a revelation too. I am used to playing greens that are either pretty flat, or the whole green is pitched in one direction. These greens looked like a still shot of ocean waves. I used to always be amazed when the announcers would call what the breaks were on what look on TV like the same flat greens I play. How could they know that? Or it must be some kind of incredible software they have with the greens mapped. In person, it became pretty obvious because because the breaks were so severe, you couldn't miss them. That doesn't mean that they were easy to putt though, quite the opposite. They announcers don't have to make the putt. It also made you appreciate how choosing hole positions affects the difficulty in a lot of ways besides trying to sucker a player into hitting into the water or something.

 

I went to the practice range, as you guys said, and watched Brendon de Jonge hit his driver, for example. I should have made it a point to keep my glasses extra clean because I would watch his drive, have a clear bead on the ball as it sailed until it just got too small to see and it disappeared. I guess if I were younger, I might have seen the whole ball flight.

 

Anyway, even though I have never indulged much aspiration for accomplishment in golf, it was humbling to watch. I will try to improve, obviously, because that is half the fun of golf, and why it is interesting, but I will also be content with my 180 to 220 yd drives, playing on a short course, 5800 yards, and maybe move up to the gold tees, because after watching these guys play, well, who am I kidding?  

post #15 of 38
Kind of puts those "I want to be a tour pro" threads into a little different context, doesn't it? a2_wink.gif
post #16 of 38
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post

Kind of puts those "I want to be a tour pro" threads into a little different context, doesn't it? a2_wink.gif

 

Somebody has to be a pro, I guess, just like somebody has to win the lottery, but it sure seems like there are a lot more lottery winners than PGA Tour golfers. I was thinking the same thing, though. It looks a lot easier on TV.

post #17 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post

Kind of puts those "I want to be a tour pro" threads into a little different context, doesn't it? a2_wink.gif

 

This, absolutely. It puts the "these guys are good" in a different dimension--"good" redefined.

post #18 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by nevets88 View Post
 

 

I love watching the practice range. For me it's almost more fun than watching them play. You can't see practice range on the telly.

 

This. I have been going to professional golf tournaments for 50 years and I always spend time at the range. Awesome display.

 

The best way to watch some golf on the course is to pick a few good spots at some good holes and watch the players come through. Following a top player is a waste of time, so if you want to see them play any golf at all, get ahead of them and pick a good spot where you can watch them come through.

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