SHEBOYGAN – If you don’t have tickets to the Ryder Cup tournament at Whistling Straits Golf Course, you can still take home a souvenir from the 60,000-square-foot merchandise pavilion open to the public this weekend.
Are you looking for a Team USA golf club bag with your name engraved on it? Not a problem, but it’ll cost you around $ 700. A windbreaker for children? $ 62. A logo t-shirt, $ 40; a fancy leather belt, $ 58; a stuffed bear with a Ryder Cup shirt, $ 24. And on the tournament website, you can get a fancy shaving kit bag for $ 104.
The pavilion, called the Ryder Cup Shops, is the size of a soccer field. As the de facto Mall of America for golfers, it will have 1,300 logo items from coffee mugs to Ralph Lauren golf apparel.
Friday to Monday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., the pavilion is open free of charge to ticket holders who want a souvenir of the tournament.
Items will be labeled “Ryder Cup 2020” as the tournament should be played at that time until canceled due to concerns about COVID-19.
“So this is the 2020 Ryder Cup, which will be played in 2021,” said Michael Quirk Jr., Senior Director of Merchandising and Licensing for the Professional Golfers Association of America.
Nike, Adidas, Under Armor, FootJoy, Peter Millar and Vineyard Vines are some of the clothing brands that will be available in the Ryder Cup shops. Only about 10% of the tournament’s logo items will be available online, so for the most part, the pavilion will be an exclusive place to shop.
“Anything dated is a collector’s item. When the event is over, that is it, ”said Quirk. “Whatever you buy this weekend or next week is going away.”
Also exclusive and free of charge is the opportunity to be photographed with the current Ryder Cup trophy in the pavilion on Fridays and Saturdays.
“You rarely get that close to the trophy. I think it’s one of the most unique things about this weekend, ”said Quirk.
Two other free activities: Have your photo taken in the US Ryder Cup team’s golf cart Friday through Monday and a photo on Sunday with the National Basketball Association’s Larry O’Brien trophy, won by the Milwaukee Bucks this year.
An army of 1,200 volunteers takes care of the sale of goods. The point-of-sale area extends over an area of 30 meters with 60 checkout points, but transactions are cashless. Cash is not accepted and face masks are required indoors.
The pavilion has 16 jumbo video screens so when the game of golf starts, you can see the action while shopping.
But even if you’re not a tournament ticket holder, the free weekend at the pavilion gives you the right to brag about being at the 43rd Ryder Cup and the chance to pick up some tournament memorabilia.
“This is the only opportunity for anyone without a ticket to experience the event,” said Quirk. “And this is the best time for ticket holders to get out and focus on shopping. Save yourself the golf for next week.”
The training rounds start on Tuesday. The opening ceremony is next Thursday, and the three-day competition will take place September 24-26. Around 45,000 people will travel from around the world to watch golfers from the US and Europe compete in a continental game of grudge that has featured the best of men’s golf since 1927.
Whistling Straits has hosted major golf events in the past, including three PGA championships. But the Ryder Cup is bigger than anything it’s ever seen.
The temporary infrastructure for the tournament is around 1.3 million square feet, roughly double the square footage of the structure for the 2015 PGA tournament.
The 2020 merchandise “is a way to honor the 2020 Ryder Cup that was always planned,” Quirk said.
The Ryder Cup Shops event, Monday through Friday, does not require any tickets or credentials of any kind. Parking is also free and is located in the General Parking South (GP-S) car park south of the Whistling Straits main entrance on Lakeshore Road.