Spectator Q & A:
The Rockford ProAm might seem like an intimidating event for fans who have never attended one. To help new fans feel comfortable, tournament director Judi Sheley has answered some of the most frequently asked questions.
QUESTION: Where do I park?
ANSWER: Complimentary parking and a ride to the course in an air conditioned RMTD shuttle are available on the half hour from the Boylan High School parking lot, 1400 St. Francis Drive.
Q: What time should I arrive?
A: The gates open at 7:30 a.m., and the Paper Recovery Services “Best Shot” starts at 8:15 a.m. The shotgun start begins at 10:15 a.m. Arriving 20 minutes before the start is plenty of time for fans to park, buy their tickets and venture out on the course.
Q: If it’s raining, is there a phone number to call to see if the event has been canceled?
A: Fans may call 815-262-3898, but the event has never been canceled due to rain since it started in 1977.
Q: What should I wear?
A: Comfortable walking shoes and appropriate golf course clothing.
Cutoff shorts or bikinis are not appropriate. But it may be wise to wear light-colored clothing, use sunscreen and bring an umbrella if it’s a sunny and/or warm day.
Q: Do I need a ticket in advance?
A: No. Tickets are $10 each and may be purchased at the front gate.
Q: How long will the PRO/AM last?
A: The tourney is usually over by 4:00 p.m.
Q: Do I need to bring a lawn-chair?
A: There are plenty of bleachers available around the ninth hole, 10th tee and 18th green, but fans who want to sit in the shade in other parts of the course during the day are allowed to bring their own chairs. It’s probably not a good idea to bring a chair if you think you’ll be walking around the course most of the day.
Q: Can I bring my cell phone?
A: Yes, but the sound must be turned off.
Q: Can I bring children?
A: Children are encouraged to attend the event. “We like to have children there, not only to introduce them to golf, but also because the pros are very nice to them,” Sheley said.
Q: How much money should I bring for food, drink and souvenirs?
A large soft drink will cost about $3.00 each, and sandwiches are available for $3-$5 each, so $10-$15 is generally enough for lunch for one person. T-shirts cost between $10-$15, and hats are about $20 each.
Q: What kind of food is available and where do I find it?
A: There are several kinds of foods available, including pork chop sandwiches, bratwurst and hot dogs. There are also chips, ice cream and candy bars available. Pop, water and beer are the available drinks. There is a large concession area located near the entrance and two more concession areas are located on the golf course.
Q: Can I bring my own food and drink?
Q: Where are the restrooms?
A: There are several portable restrooms located throughout the golf course.
Q: Are there first-aid stations in the event of an emergency?
A: There is an ambulance located in the parking lot near tournament headquarters behind the No. 9 green. There is also a medical assistant who rides his bike through the golf course.
Any of the volunteers with radios located throughout the course can also be of assistance.
Q: Is there a lost and found?
A: Yes. It’s located at tournament headquarters behind the No. 9 green.
Q: Can I walk with the pros or ask them for autographs?
A: Yes. The best time to talk to the pros is when they’re walking down the fairways or when they’re walking off the greens.
Q: What are some of the main golf etiquette rules I should know?
A: Sheley said the biggest thing is to observe the marshals who hold the quiet paddles and don’t talk while they’re holding them up. Also, look before crossing the fairways to make sure you’re not crossing in front of a player.
Q: How do I find my way around the golf course?
A: Maps will be available at the course.