Over the decades, whenever a new golf course opened in Loudoun County the designer held out hope, however slim, that it would one day be considered for a PGA tournament. Greg Norman said it at Lansdowne. Johnny Miller said it at Beacon Hill. Jack Nicklaus said it at Creighton Farms.
Today, their vision plays out as 156 pros tee off at the Trump National Golf Course in Lowes Island as part of the Senior PGA Championship. Tom Watson, John Daly, Vijay Singh, two-time winner Jay Hass, and four-time winner Hale Irwin are among the familiar faces spectators can follow along the scenic Potomac River course.
As many as 50,000 visitors are expected to attend the tournament over the next four days. The local economic impact of the event is projected at $25 to $35 million.
For those hoping for an up-close experience, here’s some important details:
- Ticket prices range from $40 to $350.
- Don’t even think about parking at the golf club or anywhere else in Lowes Island. You need to leave your car in the Purple Lot at Dulles Airport and take the free shuttle to the course. Think you can sneak in to a neighborhood parking spot? The Sheriff’s Office and State Police will be on the lookout for you.
- There is a long list of items to leave at home including backpacks and drawstring bags; electronics such as computers, laptops or tablets; drones, hoverboards, laser pointers, and selfie sticks; weapons; banners, posters, or signs; and outside food and beverages.
- Gates open at 6:15 a.m. Thursday and Friday, 6 a.m. Saturday, and 6:45 a.m. for Sunday’s final round.
Not going to the course? You can watch the action from your couch. The Golf Channel will televise the qualifying rounds on Thursday and Friday from 1 to 4 p.m. NBC picks up the action Saturday (1-4 p.m.) and Sunday (3-6 p.m.).
Founded in 1937, the Senior PGA Championship is the oldest and most prestigious major championship in senior golf. Other past winners include Arnold Palmer, Nicklaus, Gene Sarazen, Lee Trevino and Gary Player. Sam Snead won the title a record six times.
It was first played at Augusta National Golf Club. Over the years, the tournament has been staged at such prominent venues as PGA National, Firestone Country Club, Ridgewood Country Club, Aronimink Golf Club, Valhalla Golf Club, Oak Tree Golf Club, Canterbury Golf Club, Bellerive Country Club and the Kiawah Island Resort. This is the first year the event has been held in the Washington, DC, region.
Will the course owner make an appearance? President Donald J. Trump is scheduled to wrap up his eight-day foreign trip on Saturday, after meeting with troops at Naval Air Station Sigonella in Sicily. So he will be back in town for the final round on Sunday.
For more information on the event, go to pga.com/seniorpga/2017.