While most people will see the PGA Championship in Charlotte this week as one of the premiere sporting events of the year, some see it as a major social event not to be missed. Tickets to the tournament that’s being held at Quail Hollow Country Club sold out in record time and more than 200,000 people from around the world are expected there this week. It’s a big deal. And even if you can’t name a single golfer, and you don’t know what the Wanamaker is (we’ve got you covered), bets are, you’ll be there – because everyone else will be. So here’s what you need to know before you go.
What the heck is the Wanamaker?
It’s the name of the trophy presented to the winner of the PGA Championship. But it’s also the name of one of the VIP viewing sections on the course. (It’s AIR CONDITIONED!!! And there are specialty drinks for sale here.) Tickets are sold-out but if you’re still on the hunt – these are the best to get.
Can I still get tickets?
Yes and no. Tickets for Thursday through Sunday have been sold out for weeks, but there have been lots of tickets for sale on Facebook mom pages. The only PGA sanctioned re-sale site is prime sports.
Who should I be rooting for?
At just 24, cutie pie Jordan Spieth is going for the grand slam. He won the three other major tournaments this year, and if he wins this one, he’ll be a part of golf history. Rory McIlroy is another hot (literally) contender. He’s won the tournament twice before and always talks about hoe he loves playing in Charlotte.
Other big names to look for?
Half the fun of a tournament of this level is the celebrity spotting (beyond the golfers.) Justin Bieber got everyone believing on Tuesday as he followed Bubba Watson for a bit during practice rounds. Steph Curry and MJ are a good bet. Panthers players Luke Kuechly and Greg Olsen have been spotted in years past
What to wear?
You’ll see a lot of Lily Pulitzer dresses and Tory Burch Miller sandals. It’s going to be hot, so a romper or an off-the-shoulder (casual) dress is your best bet. Pair that with flats because you’ll be doing a lot of walking. (Fun SB TIP: Wear your Fitbit to see just how many steps you get in!)
What should I bring (and NOT bring)?
Much like NFL games, there is a restriction on how big your purse can be. You’re allowed a bag that’s up to 10-by-10-by-10. Umbrellas are allowed (and there’s a chance of rain every day, so you’ll probably want one). Cell phones are allowed but they ask that you have them on “silent” mode and pay attention during play — at certain times course officials will ask that all phones be down.
Where should I park?
Parking is a pain. You can go on the PGA website and buy a parking pass, but you still have to go to one of the specified lots and then take a shuttle to the course. Keep in mind, the shuttles typically take 30-45 minutes, so leave yourself some extra time. You can jump on the Light Rail and get off at the Sharon Road West stop. Or you can Uber there. (If you do, give the driver this address: 8801 Park Road.)
Tell me about the parties.
There are lots of “Tee” parties this week. (That’s literally what they’re called.) Tuesday night was the kick-off VIP event and a lot of NASCAR drivers were there. Wednesday Darius Rucker (of Hootie and the Blowfish fame) headlined a ticketed event at Phillips Place, and last night, J Sam’s hosted their annual get together in Piedmont Row. Friday thousands will flock to Piedmont Row as they close off traffic to the shopping center and bands play in between Del Friscos and George’s.
Give me the stats.
Let’s look at the numbers: 1,000 credentialed media; 200,000 fans expected, 570 million people worldwide watching on TV.
Have a great weekend at the PGA!
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