Kemper Lakes ready to host world's best golfers for KPMG Women's PGA Championship
Jackie Endsley may be making her debut as a championship director at the KPMG Women's PGA Championship, which runs from June 26 to July 1 at Kemper Lakes in Kildeer, but she's no stranger to big-time golf.
She grew up in Kohler, Wisconsin -- the home of frequent tournament venues Whistling Straits and Blackwolf Run -- and she was the tournament manager at the last two tournaments she has worked on.
Among her previous tournament operation projects were two U.S. Women's Opens -- in 2012 at Blackwolf Run and 2015 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The Blackwolf tournament was noted for being extremely hot -- 105 degrees at one point -- and the Lancaster event set tournament attendance records.
Now, as championship director of another of the five major tournaments for the top players in the world, she faces a new challenge. Though the KPMG Women's PGA Championship was played in the Chicago suburbs last year (at Olympia Fields Country Club), Kemper Lakes hasn't hosted an event this big in 29 years.
"Olympia Fields was so different," she said. "I wasn't a part of it, but that championship had a fantastic following. And, we've got a good following at Kemper Lakes. We have about 1,200 volunteers signed up, even some from Olympia Fields, and the members have been very excited and very supportive."
With the tournament closing in, Endsley outlined the course setup as it will relate to the thousands of spectators expected.
"The uniqueness of Kemper Lakes is that the front nine and back nine are separated," she said. "We built the site plan around that. We're constructing eight large structures" focused around the Fan Zone close to 18 green and the practice areas.
Most of the construction is along the 18th hole, a spectacular backdrop for the tournament action. The Fan Zone is also in that area and merchandise is available in the nearby Championship Shop.
Before fans get to those locations, however, they should be aware of other tournament particulars.
General parking will be free at the Lake County Fairgrounds in Grayslake. A paved lot there can accommodate up to 4,000 cars. Complimentary shuttles will take spectators to the course.
There is no drop-off area at the course and walk-ins and bicycles will not be permitted. All spectators arriving by taxi, limousine or car service should plan to be dropped off and picked up at the Lake County Fairgrounds.
Unlike many of the big golf championships, tickets will be available on site.
"About 50 percent are walk-ups for this championship," said Endsley. She said those wanting to buy tickets should park at the Lake County Fairgrounds and take the shuttle to the main admission gates, which are at the back of the practice range near the Kemper Lakes Business Center. Tickets will be sold there.
In an effort to grow the game, up to four complimentary junior admissions will be available with every paid adult ticket. Junior admissions apply to youth age 17 and under.
Cameras are allowed only during the practice rounds Tuesday and Wednesday, June 26-27. Autographs may be requested and given at the contestants' convenience at the practice range and putting green during the practice rounds only.
For more information, visit the KPMG Women's PGA Championship at www.KPMGWomensPGA.com.
If you goWhat: KPMG Women's PGA Championship, one of the LPGA Tour's five majors
When: Practice rounds June 26-27; championship rounds June 28-July 1.
Where: Kemper Lakes Golf Club, Kildeer. No walkins allowed; go to fairgrounds to catch a shuttle.
Course: 6,741 yards, Par 72.
Purse: $3.65 million
2017 champ: Danielle Kang
TV: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (CST) June 28 and June 29 on Golf Channel; 2-5 p.m. (CST) June 30-July 1 on NBC.
Free parking: Lake County Fairgrounds, 1060 E. Peterson Road, Grayslake; free shuttles will take attendees to the championship. Metra lines also at fairgrounds. ADA accessible parking at Lake Zurich High School, 300 Church St.; call (877) 472-7275 to get parking credential.
Tickets: $15-35 per day, depending on day; $69 per day for a family with two adults and two junior tickets (includes 4 concession meal vouchers); for more details, visit kpmgwomenspgachampionship.com or PGA sales office at Kemper Lakes.
Military admission: Active duty, active reserve, retirees, National Guard, Veterans and one guest may receive free admission; present military ID at admissions office.
Don't bring: Backpacks, any bag larger than 10-by-10-by-10 inches, laptops, tablets, beverages (one unopened water bottle permitted), signs, coolers.