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Help please in planning US Golf Open trip to San Francisco

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Jul 14th, 2011, 08:20 AM
  #1
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Help please in planning US Golf Open trip to San Francisco

I would like to attend the next US Open golf tournament in San Francisco but having never before attended a US Open I am seeking advice from those who have. I posted a similar question on the Lounge forum but am hoping others here will be able to help.

I have been to SF before and love it. For a trip involving the US Open, where should we stay? We would like to do things other than the tournament, such as before and after and at nights -- should we stay near the golf course, or is it easy to stay downtown and commute to the tournament?

As for the tournament, can I simply buy tickets (or like the Masters are they very hard to get) and then walk around and see golfers, plant chairs by a hole of my preference and wait there, have access to any bleachers, etc.? Are there some areas or holes that are blocked off for corporate sponsors? I see on the website that tickets for the "1895 Club", "Trophy Club" and grounds are possibilities...is it better to pay for one of the clubs than just get grounds tickets? If I get grounds tickets only, is that a good way to see the US Open?

I am not experienced in going to golf tournaments, but my spouse would like such a trip and I would like to arrange it. I would really appreciate advice from those who have been to other US Opens.

Thank you!
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Jul 14th, 2011, 08:38 AM
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Start here, in regard to accommodations:

http://www.fodors.com/community/unit...-francisco.cfm
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Jul 14th, 2011, 09:20 AM
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and here for tickets/info http://www.usga.org/Ticket_Switchboard/US_Open_Tickets/
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Jul 14th, 2011, 10:27 AM
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Thanks sf7307 - so my takeaway from that thread is not to stay in Daly City but anywhere in SF near Bart will be fine?

And janisj, I did see that website, but my problem is I don't know much about the options -- 1895 Club, Tropy Club, grounds tickets -- ?? I went to the Master's (practice) once and had only what I guess are "gounds" tickets and those were perfect. We were able to plant chairs in the morning by a hole we liked, then walk around all day, follow different golfers, sit in bleachers awhile by a hole, end up in our seats we had planted earlier -- no need at all to go to a club. Is that what the US Open experience is like? So I could buy "grounds" tickets, or is there a reason I'd want to get "trophy" or "1859" tickets?

Thanks for all input.
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Jul 14th, 2011, 11:07 AM
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<<>>

Absolutely.
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Jul 14th, 2011, 11:11 AM
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"I went to the Master's (practice) once and had only what I guess are "gounds" tickets and those were perfect."

There is a WHOLE lot of difference between a practice day and tournament days. As the website says >>The U.S. Open has sold out for over 25 consecutive years. The 2012 Championship promises to be no exception.<< It will be very crowded.

The descriptions on the USGA website pretty clearly describe the options. The major difference between the Grounds tickets and the Trophy Club is having access to the club pavilion and easier access to food/drinks. The 1895 Club tix are the posher, high end option.
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Jul 14th, 2011, 12:01 PM
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Please forgive my ignorance but I want to make sure I understand. I do know the difference between practice days and tournament days - the only reason I was able to get Master's access was because it WAS a practice day, and even that wasn't all that easy to get. With the US Open, it looks like you just place an order and get tickets? It looked too easy, compared with the Master's, so I was trying to figure out if "grounds" tickets and the other ticket options were something different from tickets like I had to the Masters, that let me walk around and watch the golf.

I am interested in watching the golf, not in staying in a pavilion and watching the golf on TV. But if the club and trophy tickets let you do BOTH, walk around the grounds plus have a place to get food that's convenient, maybe I'd do that. I'm just looking for any more input beyond what I get from the official website, which is why I posted on Fodors. Actual experiences of the great people here are what is most helpful.

Thanks!
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Jul 14th, 2011, 03:45 PM
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I surprised my husband with PGA tickets in Minnesota a couple years ago. I was very happy to have bought the lower level pavilion tickets as it was air conditioned. Also a nice place to relax and get energized as it was a very long/hot day. We were up at 5 and at the grounds at 7.30 with quite a crowd ahead of us.

The main draw for me was the AC, and there were still lines for food, but it was out of the sun and plenty of big round tables to sit at.

Along the course we had no chairs, but used an occasional bleacher and stood most of the time.

With our AMEX card we also had access ONCE a day to their "lounge".. which in the end was not so special.
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Jul 14th, 2011, 04:07 PM
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It's different than Masters Tickets where they have the long time subscribers that have them locked up. Just put your order in now and you don't have to order any upgrades for clubhouse passes etc. Personally I like going to the Thursday and Friday days better because not all of your favorite golfers will make the cut, and the pairings make more sense for following the marquee groups efficiently.

Personally I think traffic will be a frickin nightmare and if seeing golf is your main reason for the visit I would stay somewhere near the course. Maybe Ocean Park Motel just near the zoo wouldn't be too bad, that is a pretty easy drive north into the city.

Now I need to tell my brother to reserve the guest room for me!
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Jul 14th, 2011, 04:10 PM
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"The main draw for me was the AC,"

A/c shouldn't be an issue next year

SF and next to the coast and all -- and in June no less (the foggy/cool season in SF)
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Jul 14th, 2011, 04:15 PM
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A/C? you mean to turn the heat on?

I wore a light jacket to work, a sweater was not enough this morning.
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Jul 14th, 2011, 04:48 PM
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<<>>

If you're worried about traffic (or even if not), do as janis and I suggested, stay somewhere else near BART, take BART to Daly City and the shuttle to the golf course. Best of both worlds (there's absolutely no good reason to stay out near the ocean EXCEPT for the golf tournament -- it's far from the other things you'll want to do in the city, and the weather stinks!)
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Jul 14th, 2011, 05:34 PM
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Yes if you don't want to have a car you can stay near a Bart Station.

I travel up from Bgame when I visit and always take Skyline into the city.

Actually pretty convenient to Golden Gate Park and the museums there, as well as continuing on to Marin County.
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Jul 14th, 2011, 05:50 PM
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"Yes if you don't want to have a car you can stay near a Bart Station."

IMO -- Even if one does have a car, I'd stay near a BART station. I plan on driving down from Sacramento but NOT driving to the Olympic Club. If I didn't need my car later on - I'd take Amtrak to the Ferry Bldg and not touch a car at all. I wouldn't stay anywhere I needed to drive to the tournament.
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Jul 14th, 2011, 08:03 PM
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I had the same thought as others that you probably won't be seeking A/C in San Fran in June. It might be nice to get tickets that will allow you to go someplace dry and warm if it is cool and foggy.

Before you go to the tournament, check the fan info to see what you are allowed to bring in. At some tournaments, backpacks, chairbags, etc aren't allowed.

When you first arrive, find a pairing sheet. This will tell you when and where players are teeing off and in what order. It will help you find players on the course. Sometimes they'll color code the caddies and the pairing sheet will list the colors.

There may also be a fan info area with volunteers that can answer questions about viewing areas on the course, where the closest porta potties are, etc.

As the chairman of fan info at a professional tournament, I used to tell fans that there are a few ways to watch a tournament. You can pick a favorite player and follow them around the course, you can walk the course, or you can pick a spot or a bleacher seat and watch the players come through. I don't think I'd dare to plant seats in a prime spot during regulation play and wander around during most of the day.

I'm jealous that you were able to go to a Masters practice round. From what I've heard. those tix are almost impossible to get. I think practice rounds are fun to watch. The players are more at ease and you can usually bring a camera.

There will be electronic leader boards located around the course that will give you an idea of whose doing well. If a player is burning up the course I like to find them and watch for awhile.

If I'm attending on a weekend, I like to get to the course early and follow the first pairing around the course. It's probably going to be the smallest gallery of the day, they're going to play quickly, and it's a nice way to see the course without the crowds.

I'm jealous that you were able to attend a Masters practice round. From what I've heard those tix are almost impossible to get. I like practice rounds. The players are more at ease, the crowds are smaller, and you can usually bring a camera.
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Jul 14th, 2011, 09:47 PM
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Birdie, you're not kidding - probably want a hot chocolate more than a cold beer!
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Jul 14th, 2011, 11:56 PM
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I assumed you don't need AC for this part of the country ( but I am no USA weather expert).. Those club houses , if not with AC, I imagine they would then have heat if it were necessary. In any case, they will be comfortable.

Only having been to one session, it was also a practice round and the interaction with the golfers and distance one could get to them was very rewarding.

Sounds like a fun outing. I would gladly repeat the experience and I would definitely buy some type of club space. At least you have a place to take cover if it starts to rain or gets excessively uncomfortable.
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Jul 15th, 2011, 07:44 AM
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I like practice rounds so much I had to write about them twice.
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