Watching a Major On TV

I should not be surprised by the response to my question a couple of days ago. Most respondents prefer to watch a golf Major from the comfort of their own home. I cannot say I blame them because I would fall in the same category. However, it is unfair for me to actually make that call since I have never experienced being at any professional golf tournament live. But, I guess I can only imagine that being home offers a better opportunity to see all the action.

Over the years I have talked to friends who have ventured onto the course during a professional tournament. They said it is something I should experience at least once in my life. I keep talking about it and this year might be the year.

The Hamilton Golf & Country Club in Hamilton, Ontario, is hosting the RBC Canadian Open from June 3-9, 2019. This would be the perfect opportunity to attend at least one day since I have relatives that are only minutes away from the links. It really boils down to how I am feeling. I should be good to go, but it is too early to make that commitment.

I would really like to watch Brooke Henderson defend her CP Women’s Open title at the Magna Golf Club in Aurora, Ontario on August 19-25. I think the women’s game is more akin to mine and I would learn more. Regardless, this would be a great opportunity as well to watch my first professional golf tournament live.

From what my friends tell me there are three possible ways to watch a professional golf tournament. The size of the crowd does dictate how an event is experienced, but the three ways seem fairly standard. They are:

  • Find a spot and stay there. Usually a par 3 is location of choice. By staying put, there is an opportunity to watch all the players cycle through and the short hole provides plenty of action.
  • Follow a group. Find your favorite players and follow them around the course. This option offers less action, but gives you the opportunity to cheer a specific player. My friend Rick did this as he followed Adam Hadwin during an event in California.
  • Hop Around. There are usually a few holes that are close together and offer an opportunity to see many players on a few different holes. This means plenty of moving and jostling in the crowds and offers the most action in a short period of time.

I am not sure what method I would use, I guess it depends on the course and the field. Regardless of what I choose, I think experiencing a professional golf tournament live would be fun. After that I could make a fair judgement of whether I would prefer to watch a Major live or from the comfort of my home.

What do you prefer? Have you been to a professional event? If so, what method did you use to watch the action.

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

5 thoughts on “Watching a Major On TV

  1. Since I have one that’s local, I’ve been quite a few times over the years. Last year I made sure to go because Tiger decided to play. You are right about the course making a difference. I’ve tried all the options you mentioned in the past. This last one, I picked a spot that allowed me to watch a par 5 and a par 3 by moving just 60 yards or so. It was I think the best way on that course. I was assured to be front row on both holes. Something that is much harder when following someone.

    On the par 5, 2nd shots that went for the green went right over my head. Those who laid up did so to a spot right below me. I didn’t really plan to stick it out there, I chose the spot initially because it’s my favorite hole on the course. One I’ve birdied myself. In fact, I stood about where I made the approach shot from that day. In the rough right above the flower bed that spells out the course name.

    As it turned out, the spot I chose had only one entry point so it kept the bulk of the crowds out and that increased the ease with which I could view the players. And made it easy to jump back and forth between the two holes.

    Finding a spot like that would be difficult to plan out in advance though. Even knowing the course because it depends just as much on how they set up the crowd guides as anything else.

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  2. Jim, I’ve had the good fortune to live close to Congressional C.C. and TPC at Avenel Farm and have attended dozens of tournaments since the early 1980s including two majors (2010 Senior Players and 2011 U.S. Open). The closest LPGA events were up in Baltimore and I have not attended.
    I prefer the combo of Hop Around and Find a Spot and it usually depends on the size of the crowd and player pairings. Interestingly, the U.S. Open was fun but not as good of an in-person experience as the PGA Tour events. At the Open, the crowds were about double the size and my wife felt a little jostled and overwhelmed at times. And all the scoreboards are hand updated. It’s like going back a couple of decades in time. The PGA Tour events present great electronic scoreboards all over the course and you feel well informed. They present so many more tournaments than the USGA and provide a great fan experience.
    At the end of the day, my favorite strategy is to devote about an hour in the morning to grab a front row seat on the driving range behind some of my favorite players. It’s incredible to watch these guys hit a full basket of balls and never miss a shot (like you or I would).
    Good luck when you attend!
    Brian

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  3. We usually go on a day when we can follow someone we know early in the morning. After that, we walk the course backward. You can see a lot more players that way. Finally, we find a good place to sit to watch the remaining groups. Definitely easier to see the action at LPGA and Champions events. Ryder Cup is the worst. Huge crowds and only a few groups of players.

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