GOLF: Plans for Open moving full speed ahead

A Rosewood resort, CordeValle will be the site of the Silicon

SAN MARTIN – Plans for the first PGA Tour event in Silicon
Valley continue to move steadily forward.
SAN MARTIN – Plans for the first PGA Tour event in Silicon Valley continue to move steadily forward. Open officials have finalized parking arrangements, traffic routes and partnership deals for the Oct. 14-17 tournament at CordeValle. Despite a tough economy, they have had little trouble brokering agreements with past sponsors of the event, which was previously held in Scottsdale, Ariz., and demand has been heavy for hospitality packages ranging from $5,000 to $25,000.

Tickets for the Oct. 13 pro-am at CordeValle have sold out.

“Everybody’s businesses are a little bit stretched, but … I think we’re happy with where we’re at,” event director Ian Knight said Tuesday at Fry’s Electronics headquarters in San Jose. “That being said, we’re respectful. We do know it’s a hard time for businesses right now.”

That respect has been extended to fans. Parking for the event will be free at a 20-acre lot located near the intersection of Watsonville Road and Hummingbird Lane. From there, fans will have shuttle service — also free — to the tournament entrance at Clos LaChance Winery. The price for daily tickets is $35. All-week badges sell for $125.

Those willing to spend more can reserve a hospitality package; one of which costs $7,500 and includes 20 tickets per day, plus free food and beverage and a table that can seat 10.

Four elevated-viewing areas are available for VIP guests. Those overlook the first and 13th holes, Nos. 15 and 16, and the ninth and 17th greens (the normal front nine and back nine will be switched for the tournament). The latter elevated-viewing area will be a treat, Knight said.

“(The 17th) is a fun hole. It’s a driveable par 4 and plays about 320 (yards),” he said. “So, those guys, if they can knock it on depending on the wind, will have a lot of birdies, maybe some eagles or double eagles. It could be an ace.”

To the left of No. 17, a birdies-for-beer program will be open to everyone. If a player birdies that hole, Budweiser products will be offered at a discounted price for 10 minutes.

An open-air cafe, sponsored by Michelob, will be located next to the pro shop. On No. 18, Anheuser-Busch will host a watering hole on wheels: a half semitruck stocked with a bar and big-screen TVs.

“Part of the reason for this is it’s October; it’s football season,” Knight said.

Because of open-space restrictions imposed by Santa Clara County, the number of spectators each day is limited to 15,000, a stark contrast to last month’s U.S. Open (45,000) at Pebble Beach Golf Links and the 2009 President’s Cup (28,000) at Harding Park in San Francisco. Knight and his staff see that as a plus.

“We want the spectators to be able to see the golf, get close to greatness,” Knight said.

Tickets can be purchased in advance by visiting the tournament’s website,, or calling (408) 487-4652. The event is on track to sell out.

Though a traffic plan is in place, Knight does not expect a large increase in local congestion. Fans will be directed toward Watsonville Road by exiting Highway 101 at Tennant or San Martin avenues.

“One of the nice things about a PGA Tour event is, it doesn’t have a specific start time, so we’ll have people milling in during the tournament week,” Knight said. “We think it’s going to be a steady flow of traffic throughout the week. … You aren’t going to have one big surge. The biggest traffic will come on the weekend when there’s not as much of a business commute. Hopefully, lots of people will be watching a big win for someone.”

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