A few feet away from the main fountain at Oakbrook Center, just across from Macy's, lies a relatively nondescript storefront.
Inside however, it's anything but, as golf history -- more specifically Ryder Cup history -- is spread out before you in the first exhibit to chronicle the storied event, with the 2012 edition coming to Medinah Country Club in late September.
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Officially dubbed "The Ryder Cup Exhibit ... Where Legends are Forged and Legacies are Made," the 4,000-square-foot display is a lot less lumbering than its name, as relics from Ryder Cups of yore are spread out in an easy-to-peruse fashion.
Included among the golfing treasures are items donated from Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer's museums, more donated items from 2012 captains Jose Maria Olazabal and Davis Love III, golf bags used in competition, signed dinner menus, a beautiful lithograph of all the U.S. captains ... you name it and it's here. Even some of the questionable wardrobe choices of the past decades are on display.
"This is the first time we've ever done this Ryder Cup exhibit; it's very exciting because this will give people a taste of what's coming," said Michael Belot, director of the 2012 Ryder Cup. "Obviously the event itself is sold out and you can't get tickets, so this is a way for someone to come in for free, check out the exhibits, spend a little time here in Oakbrook Center and check out the history of an event that has been around since 1927."
If Friday's grand opening was any indication, it looks like the exhibit will be a winner. And the beginning of a new tradition for the folks who run the Ryder Cup.
"I would think this is something we certainly will continue now that this looks so great and everyone is so excited," Belot said.
Included among those getting a first peek Friday were two Chicago legends with Hall of Fame credentials -- Scottie Pippen of the Bulls and Stan Mikita of the Blackhawks.
Mikita, for one, can't wait for the competition to commence.
"I want to see them all play," said Mikita, a pretty good golfer in his own right who was a club pro at Kemper Lakes the first seven years of his retirement. "I like to focus in on the smaller things like where do they place their tee shot? Do they use a hybrid off the tee? It's going to be interesting."
And if, if this year's Cup were to come down to a Sunday singles match between Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy?
"Oh man, it would be the match of the century," said Mikita said, who has been a member at Medinah for 36 years. "The match of the millennium."
With that enticing possibility still a month away, the Oakbrook Center exhibit is the next best thing to cure any and all cases of Ryder Cup fever.
Exhibit hours are noon to 7 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays. There is no charge.