I had the pleasure of attending the Memorial Golf Tournament for the very first time this year. Which if you know my husband (he runs an account @drainingputts) he lives, breathes, eats and pretty much doesn’t stop talking about golf so it’s pretty shocking I’ve never been. Last year I won an auction package at the Easterseals Central and Southeast Ohio’s annual event Romancing the Grape which includes passes for all days and a house on the 18th green and still didn’t go. So I jumped at the chance when the Dublin Visitors Bureau invited me and Kevin to spend the day experiencing the Memorial Tournament through their eyes.
1. Memorial Tournament Buzz
Dublin, Ohio the home of the Memorial Tournament is abuzz all things golf in the weeks leading up to the Memorial Tournament. The Memorial Tournament first held in 1976 is an official PGA TOUR presented by Nationwide that was founded by Jack Nicklaus. Each year the Tournament is held at Muirfield Village Golf Club which is situated on 220 acres including an 11-acre driving range. The Memorial Tournament is competed by the world’s best golfers on one of the most challenging courses in the world. The 18 hole course has been selected by Golf Digest as number 17 on America’s 100 Greatest Courses. Tens of thousands of spectators come from all over the world to cheer on their favorite players.
2. Charitable Benefits
Since the first Tournament, the Memorial has made $32.7 million in donations to central Ohio charities, with more than $20.5 million going to the Tournament’s primary beneficiary of 42 years, Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Last year the Tournament raised a total of $2,500,000 for charitable organizations in central Ohio, including a record-setting $2,020,000 for Nationwide Children’s Hospital in alliance with the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation. In honor of the Memorial’s support, Nationwide Children’s Hospital dedicated its main campus Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) as the Memorial Tournament NICU. As America’s largest neonatal network, Nationwide Children’s Neonatal Intensive and Special Care Units provide the highest level of care for more than 3,000 babies each year.
3. Bridge Park Dublin
Our morning began at Crawford Hoying Offices at Bridge Park which has had a partnership with the Memorial Tournament for the last two years. We were treated to mimosas from Fado Pub and Kitchen and pastries from Sweetwaters Coffee & Tea. One of the biggest benefits of starting your day at Bridge Park (as if drinking and sweets weren’t enough) is parking. If you’ve attended in the past, you know what a struggle parking is but with the addition of Bridge Park, now you have an easy place to park and take the shuttle over to the Memorial Tournament.
4. Golden Bear Club
We experienced a real treat as we were granted access to one of the most coveted spots at the Memorial Tournament. Patron Village & the Golden Bear Club are located between Hole No. 10 fairway and No. 14 green. The Golden Bear Club Badge gives you access to the Gold Bear Club which is located in Patron Village. With these badges, you are allowed not only air conditioning (and shelter for rain) but food for purchase catered by Cameron Mitchell Premier Events, a cash bar, television viewing, private restrooms, simulator golf games, corn hole and more. There is also open seating both outside on picnic tables which are open to the public.
Leaving the Memorial Tournament doesn’t mean the fun has to end. We took the shuttle back to Bridge Park to enjoy a cocktail and some appetizers at VASO before heading downstairs for live music at the official after-party. As people funnel back from the Memorial Tournament, the party really picks up and you can enjoy Fore!Fest which includes shopping at my favorite local vendors like Shelly Lou’s Lids, Ridiculously Good Salsa, and The Cheesecake Girl, more delicious eats and drinks during this fun music festival. It’s free and open to the public, so don’t hesitate to head their next year whether or not you’re going to watch golf. It’s a party for everyone.
Huge Congrats to 2019 Winner Patrick Cantlay! Have a favorite Memorial Tournament memory? Have a favorite part of the Memorial Tournament I didn’t mention? Leave it in the comments so I can add it to my list.