Registration for Ryder Cup tickets is big news in Michigan

By Jason Scott Deegan, Senior Staff Writer

BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. -- It's hard to place into context for metro Detroiters how big the demand for the 2004 Ryder Cup tickets will be.

Not since the Detroit Tigers won a World Series in 1984 and the upcoming Super Bowl at Ford Field in 2006 has a ticket to a sporting event in Detroit been so hot.

But it doesn't take big bucks to land one. It takes a little luck to see all the action at the famed Oakland Hills Country Club in Bloomfield Hills on Sept. 14-19, 2004.

A random lottery will decide who gets in. Interested fans can register to purchase tickets at the, from now through August 15. Tournament director Andy Odenbach anticipates a "couple hundred thousand" people will register and roughly one-quarter of those will get tickets. The gallery will be limited to 38,000 people per day.

"We started in 1999 with a random drawing because in 1995, people lined up at the post office (to get tickets) and things got crazy," he said. "We decided, let's take a step back and figure out how we can administrate tickets in a fair process."

For the first time, daily tickets will be available, so more people will be able to soak in golf's biggest show. A maximum of two weekly tickets, or, four daily tickets per person may be purchased. Applicants will be charged on October 1 only if they are selected in the drawing. Everyone who registers will be notified by mail whether they're winners, or losers.

Odenbach estimated there are approximately 20,000 tickets each day available to the general public -- 10,000 for weekly passes and 10,000 for daily tickets. He added that based on past numbers, 5,000-6,000 international fans will invade Michigan to root for the underdog European team.

Those numbers don't leave many for the locals, so many people are rounding up their friends to register as well to increase their odds. There are three ticket options:

* The International Pavilion Pass ($425) allows access to all six days of the Ryder Cup Matches, the opening ceremonies and the International Pavilion. At this exclusive, on-site facility, there will be elaborate d├ęcor, big screen televisions, upscale food and beverage, an outdoor patio and climate control.

* A Season Pass ($275) allows access to all six days of the Ryder Cup Matches and the opening ceremonies.

* Daily tickets are available for Tuesday and Wednesday's practice rounds ($40), Thursday ($75), Friday ($85), Saturday ($85) and Sunday ($100).

What a foursome: The Tylenol Par-3 Shootout at Gaylord's Treetops Resort, set for June 30-July 1, is getting bigger and better every year. Although it will be tough to top the last two years when Lee Trevino hit a $1 million hole-in-one in 2001 and Fred Couples flashed his typical brilliance by winning in 2002, this year's field includes Couples, Trevino, headliner and fan favorite Phil Mickelson and Fuzzy Zoeller, a two-time major championship winner and an all-around character. The foursome will try to solve the Threetops course, a Rick Smith design generally considered one of the best par-3 courses in the country. For further information, visit

Hole in one book: Speaking of Trevino's hole in one, there's a new book, called "Hole in One!" that features the feat, along with other amazing historical facts and stories about golf's luckiest shot. The book, written by Chris Rodell, also tells several other Michigan tales, like the earliest hole-in-one, which dropped in at 6:30 a.m. at Gull Lake View in 1977, and Eddie Randolph's hole-in-one on his first day of retirement at Plum Hollow Golf Club in Southfield.

Golf-a-holics: Only true golf fanatics will love the great deal the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa near Traverse City has set up for June 19 -- "Golf Your Daylights Out." Starting at approximately 6:30 a.m., players can golf all day at any, or all, of the resort's three courses -- The Wolverine, The Bear or Spruce Run -- for just $95. How many holes can you play for 16 hours straight? That's the challenge. For reservations, call 800-748-0303.

Hebert shoots for record: Scott Hebert has already proved he's one of Michigan's best golfers as a five-time champion of the Detroit Newspapers Michigan Open, but now he's shooting for a record. By winning his sixth title at this year's event, scheduled for June 23-26 on The Bear at Grand Traverse, he can tie Michigan Golf Hall of Fame Member Al Watrous for most titles. The purse for the most prestigious non-PGA Tour event in Michigan is $110,000.

And not to be overlooked, the Fifth Third Bank Michigan Women's Open moves to Crystal Mountain for the first time on July 11-16. Crystal Mountain is a perfect spot for the event, being named one of the "Top Women-Friendly Courses in the Nation (No. 24)" by Golf for Women Magazine. The purse of $40,000 will no doubt help attract some of the best female pros in the entire Midwest.

True North gathers honored status: The True North Golf Club of Harbor Springs recently became the first course in Michigan to be admitted as a member of the Audubon International's prestigious Silver Signature program. This program recognizes a club's efforts in environmental planning and resource management. When completed, the private club, founded by Jeff Brown and Brad McGinnis, will feature a Jim Engh design that will have limited options for public play, along with 72 homes.

Short game woes?: For those who need help with their short game, Dave Pelz will take sessions of his "Scoring Game School" around the state this summer. The Homestead in Glen Arbor will host three-day schools and one-day clinics from June through September along the shores of Lake Michigan, starting with June 19-21 session. The clinics will also visit The Meadows, the home course for Grand Valley State University, from June 18-22, and Cherry Creek Golf Club in Macomb Township from June 25-July 6. For more of the schedule, visit or call (800) 735-9868.

Jason Scott DeeganJason Scott Deegan, Senior Staff Writer

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed more than 700 courses and golf destinations for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Twitter at @WorldGolfer.

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