Sports Tourism – PGA Tour BMW Championship

Lately I’ve been getting invited to some events from friends with free tickets, which has allowed me to go to see things I never would have paid for on my own. Earlier this summer I went to a NASCAR event at Gateway speedway in Illinois. That was a lot of fun and was well worth the time and energy of driving there and sitting and watching it. I highly recommend the experience and under the right circumstances I’d even pay to go see another race. It is loud, energetic, and there is always something going on while the cars are in motion.

On Friday I had another opportunity to see another sporting event which I never would have dreamed I’d see – the PGA tour! The event was hosted at the Bellerive Country Club in Ladue, Missouri.

First, the good news is that the event itself was pretty cool. We walked a portion of the course and saw a lot of the bigger names in golf today (no Tiger Woods, alas he was injured). It was pretty interesting to watch them play through a hole, see the crowd react to their shots, and generally see first hand all the oddities which you normally see on TV as you pass the Golf channel on the remote (I don’t watch golf, and haven’t played the game for 15 years). It is amazing to see a crowd of hundreds huddled around the green, all becoming perfectly quiet while these guys make their putts. The game of golf, as a sport, would hardly entertain someone who isn’t interested in golf as our day was mostly spent walking from hole to hole and if you didn’t watch carefully you wouldn’t even know who the big names were (they were however usually surrounded by the most people). On that score, golf is a hard sport to actually watch for the uninitiated.

The day itself was a bit of a downer though as the course parking lot was washed out which forced everyone to park at Riverport (miles away) and my friend and I literally spent 4-5 hours of our day either waiting in line for the shuttle bus, walking to or from the bus stops, or sitting on the bus. It was totally and utterly crazy to expect that many people to ride shuttles to the event (the bus ride was almost 30 minutes!). Imagine a line of people a quarter mile long and about 10 people wide! Bad form!

If I had free tickets again I might be pursuaded to go to another PGA tour event (we even had the high dollar tickets for free lunch, snacks, beer, etc which still didn’t help much) but I would never pay to go see another event. That said, if it did have one positive side effect I actually do feel the urge to get my clubs out, clean off the 15 years of dust, and go to the driving range. Golf is just one of those sports which is fun to play, but is a struggle to watch from the sidelines.


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One Comment

  1. You play Golf? I had no idea! I caddied once for my (first) Stepfather. Actually, it was twice, but I try not to think about the second time, because I was driving a golf buggy and I nearly ran him over and put the thing into a ditch. What larks!

    Dr. S.

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