Watching a Pro Event

I have never been to watch a PGA event. I am very lucky this year and got tix to the US Open for one day. Any suggestions on how to get the most out of the one day? Really looking forward to it. Thanks for any tips!


Bring your CC, Bring a small folding stool, water in a large container. Look at the course layout and find a spot that will give you a view of multiple tees or greens. I don’t suggest for most fun, stay away from fairways per se… I’ve been to several events including US Open and Masters


I’ve been lucky enough to attend the Waste Management open in Phoenix twice (but it’s been at least 10 years ago). I had the opportunity to watch multiple days…so there were 2 different approaches I took, and both were tons of fun.

  1. Pick a group you really like and follow them for the day.
  2. Pick a hole you like and get there early…then watch all the groups.

I actually preferred approach 1…I like to walk and see different shots…it also allowed us to jump around groups we were following a bit. Approach 2 was also fun (especially on the famous stadium hole)…but not as appealing to me overall.

Agree, but check first to see if they’ll let you. Or if only empty containers that you can refill from a fountain inside the gates, etc… Concession prices are likely to be obscene. Golf Magazine was going on today about $19 Michelob Ultras, $6 Aquafinas, etc…

Find a corner where several holes intersect, and hang out. The 3 green/4 & 17 tee area at Pebble is pretty neat to watch.

Or follow a favorite golfer, whatever. Just be careful to stay out of the way. I got disoriented with where the green was and where the golfer was aiming, and had John Adams shoot an 8 iron over our heads…In my defense, he’d blocked his drive way to the right, about 65-70 yards from where he should’ve been. Easy to get lost on a golf course.

Bring sunscreen. You’d be surprised at the lack of shade. And I reiterate, bring water. See if you can shmooze into one of the corporate chalets. They were nice 25-30 years ago; have to imagine they’ve improved since then.

I’ve been to the Traveler’s Championship a bunch of times and a few other regular events, but only 1 major which was the PGA at Bethpage. I agree with earlier replies that you can follow one group the whole way or at least a while or camp out in a spot or rotate through a few spots.

The Traveler’s has a few spots where you can watch multiple holes which is nice, but then you’re not all that close to the action. I still like this though as you can see a lot of players and the most action. I know the course though so it’s easy to figure out where to go.

At the PGA we followed Tiger for about 7 holes. This is tough because even though Bethpage is a huge course EVERYONE was following Tiger. It worked best when we stayed ahead of the group (and the mob). To be honest I think it’s more enjoyable to follow a much less popular group, but we figured that was likely our only chance to see Tiger play in person. After a while we got sick of battling the mob and roamed around to see different holes and players which I actually enjoyed more.

Either way I’m sure you will enjoy yourself!

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One other thing. Depending on where u are coming from. Hotel, event parking, shuttles, that’s a mess. Make sure u have a plan. BTW, I was able to get into the sponsors tent once, everything is free, but long lines and crowded. Got into the Scott’s tent at the NEC @ Firestone in 1990. Couldn’t sniff a sponsor’s tent after that at any other event. My last event was 1992 Masters. So their food was cheap. $18 for a beer at PGA? I’ll pass! Call ahead and get parameters make a general plan to get in and out!

If it’s me and I’m only there for one day, I want to see the whole course, or at least most of it. I’ve been to the US Open at Oakmont a couple times. If you don’t mind walking (and it’s not oppressively hot), find an interesting group and follow them around for a handful of holes. Don’t try to follow Tiger or some superstar pairing - too many people and you won’t see as much.
Check out a course map ahead of time and scout out a location where you can see 2 or 3 holes from one spot. On your way around you can stop and rest at that spot for a while. Then pick up a different group and follow them home. Then of course hit the souvenir shop.


And definitely check out the practice range for a little while. It is ridiculously impressive to watch these guys hit balls.


I’ve been to two grand slammers. We had good luck starting off initially hanging out at the first par three for a couple of groups. Always fun to see how good these guys are getting up and down.
Walked around to see a couple different holes,especially at a tee box.
Make sure you see your favorite guy in person. Will make for some good memories.
We ended the day following a hall of famer. Another great memory for the future.

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Plan ahead. The information available from the sponsor is never adequate.
Traffic will always be your first and the last concern, Getting there and getting out will be tough as the locals deal with the extra traffic.
If you only have day-pass for one day, best to plan to be at the site all day. Get there before the traffic and leave when most are gone.
Don’t believe any of the event allows carried in personal food and beverage. Empty plastic bottle for water might be okay. Wear something suitable for the climate and always bring a light windbreaker for change of climate conditions.
As they mentioned, sun-block and headwear/sun glasses. You won’t believe the UV ray you could get from being outdoors for a whole day.
Even under an overcast weather. Wife even had SPF50 long sleeve on in August.
I remember the major issue going to such event will be the traffic, the basic need for food and water, and being outdoor for a whole day.
Most the tournament if not all of them, restrict the cell-phone use on site.
Unless you’re going to the Pro-Am days Monday-Wednesday, usually no photo taken will be allowed. Players will generally be more friendly to talk and sign autographs on those days. If you have more time, go to the driving range/bunker where the players will mingle with the crowd more.
Best to stay in one spot instead of trying to follow one group. You will never be able to follow the group you like for the entirety. The crowd will stop you from moving along with the group you have targeted. Imagine 40-60,000 crowded on one golf course.
I enjoy going on the Pro-Am days more than the weekend for these events.

It depends upon whether you want to see the course and the players or just the players. If just particular players, you can follow their foursome. I’ve been a course marshal at the US Open, the Seniors Open, and the Women’s PGA, among others. As noted in the earlier posts, following Tiger or any of the other favorites will be a hassle. If, however, you want to get the whole tournament experience, get there early and watch warm-ups: watch players hit on the driving range, watch them chip and putt. If you can get close enough, you can hear the players, caddies and coaches discussing their approach to playing that day. If you want to see the course, walk as much of the course as you are comfortable doing. Then you can pick a strategic location to watch holes being played. I think it is more fun to be near a tee or a green where you can both see and hear the tournament. Hope these suggestions help.


Get there early to watch warmups. A great way yo see the whole course and many players is to walk the course backward. Start at the 18 green, watch some approaches and putts. Move to the landing area for 18, back to the tee box. Sometimes you can find a hidden gem of a spot that is less crowded, but highly entertaining to spend much of your day at.


Old post, but I’m bringing it up to point out (HT to Lou Stagner) that the Thunderbirds really need to do something about that stupid stampede to the seats at 16, before someone gets really hurt. And sues the s$%%t out of the organization.


You are correct in this. Personally, I’m still struggling with the built up of stadium type of structure on a golf course, even for just one tournament and one hole only. I would not be seated in that colosseum because it’s so un-golf like.
Plus, how does one sit there for half a day without to need to stretch one’s legs and get hydrated or a relieve from over hydration? Do they save the spot for the guy who might return? I doubt it.
The only way to control the crowd is to start selling fee only seating with security monitoring the crowd, then that will also be against the spirit of game.
Mob scene on the golf course is not uncommon with the top names in a major tournament. Bobby Jones, Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger woods all attracted thousands to follow them on the golf course even when running with the mob like wave of crowd.

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Yes, but it can easily be argued (in a wrongful death or maiming lawsuit, God forbid), that this organization purposefully fostered this obviously dangerous situation, with reckless disregard for the dangers, all so publicity of this would skyrocket and improve their profitability.

The supposed insurance people in that Lou Stagner tweet chain, were really hitting the potential issues on the head, IMHO.

This could be bad if they don’t fix it.

Media is responsible for marking this hole as the exceptional one. The ignorant will follow whatever was put in front of them. The host should not encourage it by building up the seating area without proper supervision/security. The fans should behave a little more civilized.
But, this is the time we’re in. Cutting in line is granted as getting ahead. Everyone is in a rush to get to somewhere.
They missed the meaning of the journey. Golf is not jump in and out of a racing golf cart to swing a golf clubs at a small sphere. Witnessing a golf tournament is not camping out high up on the bleacher. The media is first at fault being responsible if an accident happens and the hosting site being the secondary.
The fans will also be involved so. Avoid that spot if one could.

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