Golf Fans Arrive for U.S. Open at Torrey Pines

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Torrey Pines Mesa

US Open Webcast: You can watch the US Open Live Online. Just select “Watch Live” below the 2008 US Open image.  The broadcast is simultaneous with what I’m seeing on ESPN. The announcers continue to provide analysis online when the TV broadcast breaks for advertisements.

6/12 Update: If you want to see Phil Mickelson & Tiger Woods tee off at 8:06 this morning, you can catch early-bird coverage on both ESPN and the Golf Channel. If you are looking to watch the Golf Digest Sweepstakes winner, John Atkinson, play the US Open Course with Matt Lauer, Justin Timberlake, and Tony Romo, you can catch them on NBC at 11AM PDT on Sunday, just before the start of the final round of US Open coverage. Yesterday, Canadian Mike Weir’s caddy called San Diego one of his favorite places in the US. Read more in his Caddy Report.

6/11 Update #2: If you get today’s Wall Street Journal, you’ll see a nice four page review of “The Toughest U.S. Open” including a preview of the cliff side fourth hole, the three toughest driving holes, and the three toughest putting holes.

6/11 Update: U.S. Open Preview Video from NBC + a video tour of all 18 holes. I also recommend getting today’s San Diego Union Tribune. They have a full 2 page layout of the course you may want to have on hand while watching the U.S. Open. In addition to the restaurants I recommended in a previous post for sports fans at Qualcomm Stadium, site of U.S. Open parking, today’s paper has an in-depth review of the restaurant at Torrey Pines, which appears to still have available dinner reservations at (858) 777-6635.

6/10 Update: I’ve added a collection of links to interesting articles on the U.S. Open in San Diego.
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The world of golf will be focused on our very own, Torrey Pines Golf Course, for the next seven days as it hosts the 2008 U.S. Open. Whether you are a visitor or a resident, I’ll give you a heads up on what to expect, what to do, and what to avoid. I’ll also keep you updated during the week with any interesting stories and information. If you have anything to share, please do so in the comments below.

First, one of the best seats will be in front of your TV. TV coverage for the U.S. Open starts Thursday (6/12) and will include an unprecedented 6 hours of prime time coverage both Saturday and Sunday on NBC. See the full schedule below.

Visitors:

Welcome to San Diego. Here are a few things to keep in mind when attending the U.S. Open:

  • Don’t bring anything more than the clothes on your back, your keys and your wallet. Pretty much everything else is banned. Not even cell phones are allowed. Cameras, with out cases, are allowed during the practice rounds only from Monday through Wednesday.
  • All Parking is at Qualcomm Stadium. Parking is free and shuttle buses will run continuously between Qualcomm Stadium and the Torrey Pines Golf Course. Although it normally takes about 20 minutes to drive between the two locations, I’d plan an extra 20 minutes if you want to arrive at the course at a specific time. I’m sure there will be a number of numnuts trying to get parking near Torrey Pines. Torrey Pines is home to a number of research institutes and the University of California, San Diego, which will be in the middle of final exams. All will have parking attendants on hand during the U.S. Open to whisk away unwanted visitors. Also, if you think you can be sneaky and park at Torrey Pines State Reserve. Too bad. They too have signs saying to take a hike.
  • Avoid the I-5 Highway. Traffic is usually at a standstill on the I-5 near Torrey Pines on Friday nights. Everyone from L.A. is heading to Mexico for the weekend and vice versa. It usually doesn’t get much better over the weekend and it definitely will not this weekend as the San Diego County Fair gets started in Del Mar (the next community north of Torrey Pines). Just as the U.S. Open crowns its 2008 champion on Sunday, you’ll have to compete with traffic heading to the camel races. You see, I’m not kidding. They start at 6 p.m. So, what’s the alternative? When you reclaim your cell phone at the Qualcomm parking lot, check out the real time San Diego traffic map from CALTRANS or call 511. Your best bet will be to take the I-15 north. It runs along the east side of the stadium and can be accessed if you take a right onto Friars Road when leaving the stadium. Get in the left lane on Friars Road but don’t get on the first highway ramp for the I-8 unless you want to head towards Arizona. You’ll make a left after you cross over the I-15. I’d then take that all the way up to SR-78 before cutting west back over to the I-5, in order to avoid the San Diego Fair traffic.
  • Directions to Qualcomm Stadium from Google Maps. Additional information about parking and trolley access at Qualcomm Stadium.
  • Restaurants near Qualcomm Stadium – I wrote a few recommendations for sports fans in a previous post when Argentina played Mexico at Qualcomm Stadium.
  • The Official Site of the U.S. Open has all of the spectator information you need to enjoy your experience at the Torrey Pines Golf Course including start times, hole-by-hole action, and course overview.
  • Torrey Pines Golf Course information – Learn more about one of the world’s most beautiful golf courses owned by the citizens of San Diego.

Residents

  • All roads will be open in the Torrey Pines area with the exception of Torrey Pines Scenic Drive, which goes out to the Gliderport. I’d still plan to make a lot of extra time for driving in the area.
  • Avoid the I-5 from Friday Evening through Sunday.
  • Avoid the Qualcomm Stadium area. It will be busy there throughout the week, but especially so Thursday morning, Friday around lunch time, and late Saturday and Sunday afternoon.
  • Watch out Thursday Morning. The World’s #1 Golf Player, Tiger Woods and the World’s #2 Golf Player and Hometown Favorite, Phil Mickelson, will be teeing off at 8:06 a.m. Although all golf fans are supposed to take the shuttle to Torrey Pines, there may be others who try to sneak a peak on their way to work that morning.
  • On the bright side, watch all of the international media coverage as they broadcast our beautiful Torrey Pines to friends and family around the world. Six months from now, you can call your family and friends, as they bundle up and sit around the furnace, to let them know you are playing on the beach in Torrey Pines!

U.S. Open – Articles of Interest

  • San Diego Union Tribune – The local paper has a great U.S. Open home page providing in-depth articles on the History of the U.S. Open, the Layout of the Torrey Pines Course, and Player Backgrounds. Did you know four San Diegans have won a U.S. Open?
  • Fox Sports – Cool article summed up by this final quote: “San Diego takes golf to another level. This week, the nation will see for itself.”
  • The Canadian Press – I always find it fun to see what those in other countries are writing about San Diego.

U.S. Open TV coverage from the USGA web site.

Thursday & Friday
10 a.m. – Noon PDT (1 – 3 p.m. EDT) on ESPN
Noon – 2 p.m. PDT (3 – 5 p.m. EDT) on NBC
2 p.m. – 7 p.m. PDT (5 – 10 p.m. EDT) on ESPN

Saturday
1 – 7 p.m. PDT (4 – 10 p.m. EDT) on NBC

Sunday
NOON – 6 p.m. PDT (3 – 9 p.m. EDT) on NBC

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