California has a great rotation of PGA, LPGA, USGA, and Korn Ferry Tour events that patrons are able to enjoy each year.
Each February, the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am is hosted a little over two hours away from the 209 and just a short 8-minute drive from Carmel Beach. Throughout the years this gorgeous seaside venue has also been home to one PGA Championship, two US Women’s Amateurs, three US Amateurs, and six US Opens with the most recent being in 2019.
I have been lucky enough to attend both the Pebble Beach Pro Am in 2016 and the US Open in 2019. Now I know a large population of sport fans find golf impossible to watch on television, calling the sport slow or boring, but nothing beats watching the professionals put on a stripe show in person.
If you have ever picked up a golf club and tried to hit a golf ball, you know how difficult the sport can be to play. It is one of the most heartbreaking sports where you feel on top of the world one second after crushing a drive 280 yards down the fairway, straight to utter defeat after duffing a chip or blading it 40 yards passed the green.
For anyone who has never attended a professional golf event I highly recommend looking into upcoming events and planning a trip. You don’t have to be a great player or major fan of the sport to go enjoy the stunning views of these courses and appreciate the talent of these athletes.
However, watching golf in person is unlike watching any other professional sporting event. Most sporting events you are assigned a seat where you sit down for a few hours, cheer on your team and enjoy the game unfold in front of you.
Golf courses span across thousands of yards and it’s not a team sport so it can be tricky to navigate as a fan. For any first-time goers, I have a few tips that can help you enjoy the most out of your trip.
My first tip for any novice patron would be to get to the course early. Show up an or two before the event begins and get familiar with the course layout. Many courses have holes that intersect with one another, so positioning yourself between two or three holes can be very advantageous.
At Pebble Beach for example, one of my favorite spots to hang out is between holes three, four and 17 because you can see many different groups of golfers and witness all their different drives, approach shots and putts.
My next piece of advice is to find your favorite golfer and follow them for a few holes. Show your support by cheering for great shots and giving encouragement for any missed opportunities.
If you go to any golf event you have to be sure to check out the merchandise as well. Professional golf events are notorious for offering some awesome swag that you can wear at your next tee time. Not only will you look fresh out on the course, it can be a great conversation starter when someone notices the event you went to. Just make sure you get your souvenirs early because it tends to sell out fast.
If you plan on going to a tournament, make sure to wear comfortable shoes and dress to the weather. There is lots of walking involved so make sure you’re ready and stay hydrated. Golf tournaments last several hours with sometimes the first tee time starting at 8 a.m. and the last tee time going off as late as 2 p.m. and finishing around 6 p.m.
My last piece of advice would be to have fun and enjoy the moment. I’ve had so many great experiences watching these tournaments in person. From getting to stand three feet away from Tiger Woods while he warmed up and drove the ball 280 yards down the pipe in a major tournament, to getting to sing happy birthday to Phil Mickelson while he walked down the 18th fairway at Pebble Beach. They are memories I will keep for a lifetime and I want everyone to experience that kind of joy as well.
If you have questions about any upcoming events feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Until next time, hit it hard.