SAN DIEGO — After a 13-year absence, the U.S. Open will return to Torrey Pines in what many in the sport believe to be golf’s most demanding test.
“We planned about five opens,” said John Bodenhamer, the U.S. Open Senior Managing Director. “We learned a lot last year in conducting what we believe to be the safest championships in golf and how we maintain that safety and all the protocols.”
In 2008, the Torrey Pines welcomed a record 295,000 fans and despite the state of California fully reopening 2 days before the tournament, access inside is still very fluid.
“You’ll see an old-fashioned U.S. Open where you’ll not have fans in grandstands but up along the rope line” continued Bodenhamer. “I think what you’ll also see and they’ll experience is some really wonderful viewing.”
Open officials wouldn’t give an exact number of attendance allowed inside the venue.
“It’s finding that sweet spot of accessibility and safety and that’s where we’ll land,” said Craig Annis, USGA Chief Brand Officer. “We don’t know what that number is but we’re excited to have fans.”
“There’s a downside in not having 40,000 at Torrey Pines but the several thousand that we’ll have will have a great experience because they can get up closer to the action” explained Bodenhamer.
General admission, which includes parking and shuttle remains $160 per person but tickets for the U.S. Open will not be sold on-site but made available in incremental stages.
“There’s an interesting thing that a lot of people don’t realize is that we’re not a stadium,” said Annis, “We don’t have designated seats so at some point even if we have thousands and thousands of fans, they’ll be a set number that we think we’ll be able to accommodate safely which will be important to us.”
The U.S. Open will tee off at Torrey Pines from June 17-20th.