PGA Championship: Preview is free, but bring green to Valhalla a - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

PGA Championship: Preview is free, but bring green to Valhalla anyway

Valhalla Golf Club (Source: Air 3, WAVE 3 News) Valhalla Golf Club (Source: Air 3, WAVE 3 News)
Dorothy Abernethy (Source: Michael Williams, WAVE 3 News) Dorothy Abernethy (Source: Michael Williams, WAVE 3 News)
Mike Quirk (Source: Michael Williams, WAVE 3 News) Mike Quirk (Source: Michael Williams, WAVE 3 News)
Brett Sterba (Source: Michael Williams, WAVE 3 News) Brett Sterba (Source: Michael Williams, WAVE 3 News)
The scoreboard stands ready for play to begin (Source: Air 3, WAVE 3 News) The scoreboard stands ready for play to begin (Source: Air 3, WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - During the coming week the world again will know Valhalla as more than the majestic resting place for warriors in Norse mythology. For the second time ever, and the first in 14 years, Valhalla Golf Club will host the PGA Championships.

Tickets are sold out for all but the opening round of play on Thursday, August 7. However, passes are still available for practice rounds Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and this weekend’s preview is free.

[RELATED STORY: UPDATED: Traffic, parking and safety plan for PGA Championship at Valhalla]

“I thought it’d be a fun job,” said Dorothy Abernethy, a Pewee Valley mother of two and grandmother of four. who’s part of the cleaning crew in what likely will be your first and last stop: the Championship Shop.

“We have a 38,000 square foot tent here, which is the size of a football field,” said Mike Quirk, PGA senior merchandising manager. “We've got product for the golfer 10 times over but we also have product for the people who don't golf.”

Abernethy had her eye on t-shirts priced at $26. The shop offers ball caps, cuff links, key chains and posters galore.

“I know people who play golf, but I don't,” said Abernethy. “But I definitely wouldn’t mind meeting Tiger Woods!”

Abernethy, or you, could be clad like Tiger too. Each day’s color-coordinated Nike attire is for sale. But next Sunday’s final-round shirt alone, will set you back $90.

Parking’s free this weekend. You'll be in Lot X, also known as Beckley Street Park, directly across from Valhalla on Shelbyville Road. Starting Monday through the championship round next Sunday, you’ll park at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium or Churchill Downs and be shuttled over to the course.

Passes to Monday through Wednesday’s practice rounds run $30 to $40 per person. But each pass, any day of the championship, allows the bearer to bring along four juniors - children younger than 18 years old. Admission also is free for members of the armed forces, provided they produce their military ID cards at the “Will Call” window adjoining volunteer headquarters.

“I don’t know of any major sporting event that offers you a deal like that,” said Brett Sterba, PGA Championship Director. “And practice days, it’s a lot easier to engage the players. They’re more approachable, before it gets serious and they start playing for $10 million.”

The event will be so social-media friendly that a downloadable app will allow spectators to watch every hole in play. Course managers will allow texting and tweeting in the galleries. Also, spectators will be able to make and receive phone calls in designated areas. But photos are forbidden once play begins.

“We’ll have a watchdog committee looking for just that,” Sterba said. “They’ll get one polite, but firm warning. If it happens again it'll be confiscated and brought to the main entrance where they can pick it up at the end of the day.”

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