May 22, 2014

10 things to know before you go to Colonial

Visitors’ 10 most-asked questions about the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial:

Visitors’ 10 most-asked questions about the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial:

How do I watch a golf tournament in person? There are two options, basically. One, find a comfortable spot and stay there while the golfers parade past. Two, follow your favorite golfer around the course, although in some places you won’t have a front-row spot at the ropes. With both options, on-course leader boards are your friends.

What’s new to do this year outside of the golf part of Colonial? Frost Park at Colonial. It’s named for the sponsoring bank company and — trust us — not the typical Colonial week temperatures. That’s the new entrance to Colonial, and among the things to do there are interactive golf games and concerts after play is completed Thursday, Friday and Saturday. And because we consider eating as a “to do” item, it’s worth noting that celebrity Fort Worth chef Tim Love’s catering business takes over operation of all concession stands and private hospitality venues. Yes, his Love Burger is on the menu.

How do I know when my favorite golfers tee off? Other than reading the Star-Telegram, either in print, online or on your tablet/portable device? When you enter the gates, tournament workers will hand you a pairings sheet that has tee times for all golfers and a course map.

I hear Colonial referred to as a “traditional” golf course. What does that mean? Traditional refers to older-style golf courses. Those courses tend to be a little shorter, with tighter, bending fairways and small greens that require more precise shots than mere gripping and ripping. Newer courses tend to have more stadium-styled seating, with hills built around greens for spectators. Traditional courses tend to have more shade trees.

Can I get autographs from players? Yes, before and after golfers complete their rounds. There is an autograph area behind the 18th green that is along the players’ path to the locker room. Hanging out near the upper practice green (near the first tee and up the hill from the 10th tee) is a good spot. Players have more time for signing during practice rounds and pro-ams early in the week.

What can I bring onto the course? The list of prohibited items is long, but some of the more notable no-no’s are backpacks, large purses, packages or bags larger than 6 inches by 6 inches by 6 inches; firearms; cameras/video cameras (Thursday through Saturday); alcohol; lawn chairs or over-sized chairs; seat cushions; and signs or banners. Folding chairs are permitted without the chair bags. PGA Tour policies allow spectators to carry cell phones onto the course. However, to prevent having your phone confiscated, keep it on silent mode, do not use it to take pictures or video beginning Thursday, and make and receive calls only in designated cell phone areas.

Who are some of the big names playing this year? Defending champion Boo Weekley was among the players who had committed at press time. Among the returning champions are two-time winners Zach Johnson and Corey Pavin; David Toms, Tom Lehman, Tim Herron, Steve Flesch and Rory Sabbatini. Also in the field are J.J. Henry, Louis Oosthuizen, Lucas Glover, Jim Furyk, Jason Dufner, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, Davis Love III, Hunter Mahan, K.J. Choi, Matt Kuchar and Jimmy Walker.

Where can I go to avoid the heat and/or rain? The first place of refuge is the Crowne Plaza Lounge, near the 10th fairway. The extremely popular frozen margarita machines are located there. The second is the clubhouse, behind the 18th green and 17th tee.

How do I get to the party hole? That would be hole No. 13. Option 1: After entering the public entrances near the second hole, walk through the Crowne Plaza lobby and up the sidewalk. At the fork in the sidewalk, stay to the left so that you’re walking upstream alongside the first fairway. Behind the sixth green, take the sidewalk to the right and walk the length of the ninth hole. At the ninth tee, turn left and walk alongside the 12th hole until you reach No. 13. Option 2: After entering the public entrances near the second hole, ask anyone, “How do I get to 13?”

I have more than 10 questions. What should I do? Visit for more information.

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