By Matt Hombach
The 150 best female golfers in the world are in the Baltimore area this weekend to battle it out at the McDonald's LPGA Championship at Havre de Grace's Bulle Rock Golf Club.
If you are a hardcore golfer, enjoy watching golf or are just a sports fan in general, you owe it to yourself to make a trip up I-95 to check out this event. Even those who think golf is a snooze on TV will be pleasantly surprised at how much fun it is to experience a professional golf event in person.
Wie shot a 69 in the final round of the 2005 LPGA Championship at Bulle Rock to finish second.
Male recreational golfers can see how they measure up when they watch how far the ladies can hit the golf ball. Driving distance leaders on the LPGA routinely knock it 290 yards and longer.
For as long and straight as they hit the ball tee to green, their short game is most impressive. From 15 feet and in, these ladies make almost every shot. Also, the rough at Bulle Rock is notoriously tough, especially around the greens. The LPGA pros will definitely need all their short game creativity and execution to make some much-needed up-and-downs to stay in the hunt this weekend.
Some Spectating Tips
Whether you've been to a professional golf tournament before or the LPGA will be your first event, there are a few things to keep in mind to maximize your time there.
First off, be sure to wear good walking shoes and sunscreen. This will hopefully keep you comfortable throughout the day. While you don't have to dress up, it's recommended to dress just as you would if you were playing at an upscale public course.
Sorenstam is shooting for her fourth straight LPGA Championship.
Once on the course, there are two ways to view a professional golf tournament. The most preferred method is following one specific group for a few holes or for the duration of the round. This is a great option if you are interested in watching the big-name players.
Annika Sorenstam and Michelle Wie will attract sizable galleries, so it might be tough to get close to watch them on every shot. A good tip is to skip one or two holes ahead of the group you want to watch, then stake out a nice vantage point on a tee box or green and wait for them to come to you.
Another popular way to spend time with the pros is to stay in one spot for an extended period of time. Ample bleacher seating will be available or you can find a spot that will afford views of several different holes at one time. The advantage of this method is it allows you to see lots of different golfers play and it's less physically taxing.
If you are in couch-potato mode or if you just can't make it to the tournament this weekend, remember there is live coverage on the Golf Channel Thursday through Sunday at 4 p.m.
Matt Hombach works for Nevins & Associates, a marketing and public relations firm that handles several clients in the golfing industry.
Constellation Energy Classic Father's Day Package
If you're still in the market for a great deal on a terrific Dad's Day gift, the Constellation Energy Classic has upgraded its Father's Day Gift Package for 2006.
This year's package offers Dad a round of golf at one of the following top public courses in the area -- Greystone, Compass Pointe, Eisenhower or Hunter's Oak. In addition, he'll get one week-long grounds pass to the 2006 Constellation Energy Classic (September 11-17) at Hayfields, where Arnold Palmer will be teeing it up this fall. The package also includes $50 worth of gift certificates to McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurant.
The price of the package is $65 and its retail value is over $150.
Orders must be placed by June 16 by calling 410-223-3085 or long on to www.ceclassic.com.
Issue 1.7: June 8, 2006