Heading to the BMW at Medinah? Here's what you need to know
So you've got a pair of comfortable shoes, your sunscreen and maybe even a periscope if the galleries get really thick at this week's BMW Championship at Medinah.
But you're a little fuzzy on the parking plans and other pointers for spectators at the FedExCup playoff event that will attract 70 of the best golfers in the world.
Here's our guide for making the most of tournament week, starting with practice rounds Tuesday.
Q. Can I bring my cellphone?
A. Here's a novel concept: Live in the moment and don't look at a screen. But if you must get a fuzzy picture of a Brooks Koepka shot -- not during his downswing for the love of Ben Hogan -- know that phones must be kept on silent at all times. The PGA Tour also prohibits livestreaming.
Q. Where can kids get autographs?
A. You've got a Sharpie and a golf flag. The only thing missing is Lefty's signature. Head to a designated "Kids Autograph Zone" near Medinah's clubhouse for autographs from players.
Q. I'm feeling nostalgic about Sergio Garcia's memorable shot from behind a tree and his ensuing scissor kick at Medinah's 16th during the 1999 PGA Championship. Is Sergio's tree still there?
A. Sadly, it was removed. But a plaque on the right side of the fairway marks the spot. Garcia, by the way, missed the cut at the Northern Trust, the first leg of the playoffs, and won't advance to the BMW with the top 70. But at least we have the memories of his tree.
Q. Where's the driving range? Where can I get BMW swag?
A. The pros will hit practice shots at a range between Medinah's domed main entrance and Gate 2. And the merchandise tent is set up near the majestic, 120,000-square-foot clubhouse and practice green.
Q. When is the pro-am round, and what celebrities will be there?
A. Wednesday's pro-am and tournament proceeds will support the Evans Scholars Foundation. Chicago White Sox great and Heisman Trophy winner Bo Jackson will hit the course, as will former Yankees pitcher and two-time World Series champion Roger Clemens.
Q. Where's a good spot to watch the action?
A. The 8th green is a prime location, close enough to see players at the 9th tee, the 11th green, 12th tee and 15th tee. The gorgeous 17th hole, lakeside, also is a perennial crowd favorite.
Q. Where can I park?
A. There's a limited number of parking passes still available for the spectator lot at Stratford Square Mall in Bloomingdale. To access the lot, you must pay the $20 fee in advance, either with your ticket purchase or separately at ticketmaster.com. The parking fee for practice rounds is $10.
Shuttles from the Stratford lot to Medinah will run continuously, starting 30 minutes before gates open and ending one hour after play concludes.
Q. Where do I get dropped off if I'm taking a ride-share?
A. Uber, Lyft and taxi rides will drop off and pick up passengers at Lake Park High School's East Campus at 600 Medinah Road. From there, spectators will walk half a mile to enter Medinah at Gate 2, just north of the club's main entrance.
And heed these instructions from organizers: "Stopping or standing on surrounding roadways is not permitted. There is no parking or staging for vehicles at this location, so please coordinate pickup times accordingly."
Q. How do I get to Medinah if I'm walking or biking?
A. Follow the posted signs along Medinah Road to Gate 2. Bicyclists can park their two-wheelers at the Lake Park High School East Campus.
Q. What roads will be closed?
A. Medinah Road will be shut down to spectator car traffic from Lake Street to the south and Acacia Lane to the north. It will have restricted access for residents and issued hang tags.
Q. Following players around 18 holes has left me famished. What are my food options?
A. In a nod to the German heritage of the title sponsor, a Bavarian-themed biergarten sits between the 1st tee and the finishing hole. German beer and pretzels are on the menu. And the seating is picnic tables, within view of a large video screen showing live BMW coverage.
Q. I'm a procrastinator. Are tickets still available?
A. Yes, at Bmwchampionship.com. Adult, grounds-access tickets for the tournament rounds cost $65 online.
Q. Where can I watch the BMW on TV?
A. The third round will air live on NBC from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday. NBC will broadcast the final round from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. The Golf Channel also will provide coverage.