Attending a Golf Tournament

swiftaw

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Jan 31, 2009
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My wife and her sister got tickets to the PGA championship this year. Since I nor they nor anyone else we know have been to a golf tournament before I thought I would turn here for any advice that people would have about attending a golf tournament.
 

ezemerson

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Jan 19, 2013
1,027
seriously though....when i go to tournaments i usually start at the first, watch a few groups go through then follow a group i like for a few holes, then post up again a few holes later to watch more groups go through....it all depends on how long you want to stay for and if you go early or late.
 

swiftaw

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Jan 31, 2009
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I guess I should've added that they have tickets for Sunday if that makes a difference.
 

cshea

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Nov 15, 2006
21,853
306, row 14
Wear comfortable shoes, there will be a lot of walking.

If your going on Sunday, I would consider getting there early and following an early group that is out of contention. As the day wears on, pick a spot where you can post up and watch the leaders come through. I’m not too familiar with Bellerive, but try and find a spot where you can view more than one hole. The crowds following the leaders and stars will be huge (If Tiger is around, his gallery will be massive) so I think it is better to park it at good spot and wait for them to get to you.
 

MuzzyField

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Print out a copy of the pairings on Saturday night and mark the players/groups you have interest in.

Have an idea of the traffic and parking situation. Most golf courses aren't built with major tournament crowds in mind.

Wear comfortable shoes, use sunscreen often, if there's a chance of inclement weather have a severe weather/rain plan, scope out some shade and/or cooling zones and make those destinations a part of your day, hydrate, and have a great time!
 

MuzzyField

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Wear comfortable shoes, there will be a lot of walking.

If your going on Sunday, I would consider getting there early and following an early group that is out of contention. As the day wears on, pick a spot where you can post up and watch the leaders come through. I’m not too familiar with Bellerive, but try and find a spot where you can view more than one hole. The crowds following the leaders and stars will be huge (If Tiger is around, his gallery will be massive) so I think it is better to park it at good spot and wait for them to get to you.
Watching the Tiger wave approach you from a few holes away is an awesome experience.
 

Doug Beerabelli

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Know the parking plan arrangments. Likely you park off site and get shuttled in. Time and plan accordingly. It can add up to an hour to and from parking to course and back to parking.

I like picking out a set of groups you want to watch (usually they are 4-5 good ones bunched in both morning and afternoon), and stake a good spot a few groups ahead of them, and watch them all play from that spot. This is good to do if you plan on sitting in grandstands, which can get crowded, even moreso on Sunday.

As stated, there will be lots of walking, including getting to and from the course. Comfy shoes are a must. If rain in forecast, waterproof ones a bonus.

If you're hitting merchandise tent, go after Tiger has teed off 1 - that'll reduce the crowds a bit.

Check the bag rules on PGA website. Usually no bigger than rucksack, and might require see through. Bring the sunscreen and bug spray if that's potentially an issue.

Don't be ashamed to watch some of it on TV on the course, as there will be good sized crowds around such large screens taking in the action while they eat and drink. Can be a fun evironment.
 

TheRooster

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Aug 3, 2001
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Some tournaments (US Open, Masters) ban cell phones, so you should check and be prepared.
 

AMcGhie

Set Adrift on Memory Bliss
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Apr 11, 2006
2,937
Portland, OR
See if you can get a copy of the caddy book or the course map. I went to a disc golf tournament earlier this year to spectate and being able to know where I could freely move around to get places and move between areas was super helpful.
Also, sunscreen, bottles of water, snacks, sunglasses, a hat, rain gear (if the weather says its possible), and shoes you wouldn't mind walking 5 miles in. Seriously, wear the comfiest shoes you have that you'd be ok walking that far in. You probably will.
My event wasn't a major, so I'm guessing there will be very strict codes of conduct. I can't comment specifically on that, but I think Wheaton's law ("Don't be a dick") is a good thing to follow.
 

luckysox

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Apr 21, 2009
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Definitely stand on high ground and watch the “Tiger Group” wave if he makes the cut. Video it. It’s freaking awesome to behold and you can’t really fathom it until you witness it. I saw it on Sunday at the 2010 PGA Championship and I will never forget it.
 

Saints Rest

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Having been in your shoes just this past June in attending Sunday of the US Open, here are a few thoughts I would add to those already noted.
  • Security wouldn't let ANY food thru. A guy in front of me had a small bag of peanuts. Had to leave them.
  • I really enjoyed getting seats in the grandstands overlooking a shorter Par 3. You can watch the entire hole that way.
  • Check out the course map (one that shows where hospitality tents, rest-rooms, and fairway crossings are). Find a spot that might allow you to watch multiple holes at once. For example, I took up a place for awhile where I could watch 1st tee and 9th hole approach shots. Later, I found a spot where I could watch the 7th hole green (Par 3) and the 8th hole tee box simply by turning around. It's amazing how slow these guys play so it's typically about 12-15 minutes between pairings.
  • Find out what level tickets they have. My group had a pretty high-level so we could go into one of the VIP hospitality areas (but not another). These tents give you AC, WiFi, open bar food and bev, and dedicated rest--rooms. Worth the upgrade in my mind.
  • Try to find one of the little radio earpiece thingies. I think AmEx was sponsoring them at Shinnecock. They give you something to listen to while waiting between groups.
 

leftfieldlegacy

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Jul 31, 2005
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North Jersey
Parking and transportation
https://www.pga.com/events/pgachampionship/2018-pga-championship-parking-and-transportation-guide
Hole by hole tour of Bellerive
https://www.pga.com/events/pgachampionship/pga-championship-2018-hole-hole-tour-bellerive
3 key holes to watch
https://www.pga.com/events/pgachampionship/3-key-holes-watch-2018-pga-championship

If you want to keep your steps to a minimum, an overview of the course looks like you could walk tee to green on 1-8-9-10-16-17-18 and basically cut the course in half.
https://www.provisualizer.com/courses/bellerive.php

17 will be a strategic hole (606 par 5) on Sunday. Finding a spot near that green would be a great place to watch the final groups.
 

tims4wins

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Jul 15, 2005
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Hingham, MA
I assume some folks here have been to Norton? I am going to be attending Thursday of Labor Day weekend... any tips appreciated!! Tiger is scheduled to be there, I'm stoked.
 

TFP

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Dec 10, 2007
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I assume some folks here have been to Norton? I am going to be attending Thursday of Labor Day weekend... any tips appreciated!! Tiger is scheduled to be there, I'm stoked.
You're just going for the practice round?
 

cshea

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Nov 15, 2006
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306, row 14
He could certainly skip it, but I think he is generally pretty good about pro-ams. I know he has played in several this year, so you may have a chance of catching him. I assume he’ll be at the golf course in some capacity, even if it’s just on the range.
 

tims4wins

PN23's replacement
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Jul 15, 2005
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Hingham, MA
I'm invited as part of a corporate event... I saw part of the email chain, a guy at PGA HQ said Tiger is probably going to tee off at 6:50, I think we have a tent on 16 or something, he said Tiger would get there around 9:30-9:45 (I think 16 is a par 3?). So I'm not going to bank on him playing, but I do think there is a chance he does (and this chance is basically the reason I'm going).
 

cshea

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306, row 14
Yeah, 16 is a par 3. There’s general admission grandstands on the right side of the green (if you are looking at the hole from the tee), then behind the green and to the left across the hazard are 2 private/corporate tents.
 

tims4wins

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Jul 15, 2005
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Hingham, MA
Yeah, 16 is a par 3. There’s general admission grandstands on the right side of the green (if you are looking at the hole from the tee), then behind the green and to the left across the hazard are 2 private/corporate tents.
Got it, thanks, yeah I think I will be in one of the tents.
 

Ale Xander

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Oct 31, 2013
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What's the parking situation at Norton? Do they have their own free lot that fits everyone? Do you park at Great Woods (they allow you?) and walk over?
 

Zomp

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Aug 28, 2006
11,329
The Slums of Shaolin
If I were you I'd get the VIP parking pass. They offer both. Regular parking is $20, VIP is $35.

Regular you take a bus to an entry point where you have to walk about 3/4 of a mile to the course. Leaving is a nightmare because you have to wait in this huge line for the busses.

VIP drops you off in a small shuttle right at the clubhouse.
 

tims4wins

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Jul 15, 2005
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Hingham, MA
Just wanna say I went to the TPC today and it was fucking AWESOME. Saw Tiger, Rory, Phil, Kuchar, and several others within like 20 feet. As others have said Tiger is fucking captivating.