I am planning on going to the Memorial in Dublin Ohio this year,my first one ever. Tips on attending golf tournies wanted. Thanks.
Will you have seats, or will you be going general admission? If the latter, in my experience, get there early and stake out a spot where you’ll see some action: bring binoculars.
I attended the Presidents Cup (general admission) in Montreal a few years back and quite liked it, but there will be stretches of boredom in between players approaching, leaving and then waiting for the next foursome.
Can we follow a grouping around the course?
Sure. You might not see anything though since all the prime viewing spots will already be taken.
Are you 7 feet tall?
I attended one day (Friday) of the Memorial 9 or 10 years ago. You can definitely follow a group around the course. You will have to find a place to stand at each hole, because there will be tons of people already there who have adopted some form of “stay in one spot for a while” strategy. At most greens, there were crowds, but it was fairly easy to find a spot from which to watch the approach shots and putting. During the 5 hours or so that I spent there, I think I stood at at least 8 of the greens. It was fun to watch the approach shots come in amd then watch how the putting went.
One fun thing happened by accident. I was walking along a fairway toward my next vantage point, and a tee shot landed among the folks walking the path. My friend and I decided to see what the golfer would do with his second shot, which was in a really bad spot. We ended up staying there for several groups, because it was interesting to watch the approach shots from that area. Several more golfers sliced into the same area.
Another thing I have to mention is that my first vantage point was between a tee and a green. We would watch the putting and occasionally turn around to watch whoever was on the tee behind us. At one point, Tiger Woods was putting in front of us, and Jack Nicklaus came up to tee off behind us. Which way to turn?!?
To address what** Leaffan** said, many of the greens have hills around them, so you will usually be able to see what’s going on. If you can’t see, move up the hill. Not as close as you might prefer, but better than TV.
I have been to the Memorial for a practice round and for the actual tournament.
Do not go to a practice round. It was extremely boring.
As for the tournament, you can follow certain players, skip from hole to hole, or set up camp at one particular location. There are a few areas with bleachers, but they’ll fill up early with the people who want to camp at that green all day. If Tiger is in the tournament this year you can bet there will be a million people following him all day. Avoid that mess unless you absolutely must see Tiger.
It’s been awhile since I’ve been to a PGA event. I’m not sure if the venue bans cell phones, but if they don’t, you really need to make sure that yours is off or on vibrate only. Other than that, just keep in mind good golf etiquette and you should be good to go. The time I went, I just camped out in one spot and watched all of the golfers go by. Keep in mind that there may be an additional fee to get into the grandstands or view the 18th hole.
Also, watch out that you don’t get hit by an errant ball (not that big of a worry at a normal event, but it’s a big concern at Pro-Ams) or that you aren’t in the way of a shot. The last happened to me once, when the Pro cleverly hit his ball way to the right of the fairway. I tried to get out of his way, and ended up making things worse. He was pretty cool about it, all things considered.
Sounds like fun.
Adding on, the greens have hills around them because this course was designed for tournament play. It is setup so that spectators can get good views at almost any hole. You may not be right next to the rope at the tee box or something like that, but you can find good places. I spent an entire final day at the 18th green one year. You can bring chairs, but nothing with arms.
Watch the weather, this applies to almost any tournament. You can sunburn very easily during a day at the tournament. Stay hydrated. If thunderstorms are a possibility, have an escape plan. All sheltered venues will fill up rapidly and you may have a long walk to your car in the rain, at the least.
If you can try and find somebody who will give a pass to one of the hospitality houses along the course. Those make for a good spot to cool off.
If you plan on following a player rather than staying put, wear comfortable shoes.
Was lucky enough to get free day four tickets to the Tour Championship in 2007 at East Lake… If you’re going to follow Tiger… which we did… comfortable shoes and be quick to find a spot…
God please don’t yell 'get in the hole"… or “GO ELTIGRE!!”…
Was really surprised that they confiscated cell phones… and damn Sergio Garcia is a little dude… Calcavecchia really let loose with some FBombs… and at one point threw his driver in to the trash can!!
I don’t know the setup of the course you’re going to, but if you get the chance, spend a few minutes watching guys at the driving range. It’s amazing to see someone hit 30 balls with a five iron and have them all land within a ten foot radius.
Otherwise, the couple times I’ve gone we followed a group for a few holes til we found a cool spot, then hung out there and watched a few groups go by, then followed an interesting group for a few holes, etc. Worked out great each time. You get to see the whole course, get to follow the big names for a while (til you get sick of the crowds), then get really good seats for a while when you want a rest.