If you’re one of the 250,000 fans heading to Gleneagles for the Ryder Cup this week, then here’s a small taste of what to expect, with tips on where to go and when.
1 First tee grandstand
This is the view you’ll have from the grandstand behind the first tee. If you want to grab a seat for Friday morning, you’ll need to be early. Very early. The first tee time is 7.35am, and the stand is expected to be full by 6.45am. 250,000 fans are expected to attend this week, coming from 96 different countries.
2 First tee (standing)
If you don’t make it in time to grab a seat behind the tee, the closest you can get to the first tee is right here. There’s plenty of space front left of the tee box, adjacent to the practice putting green.
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3 18th grandstand
The huge grandstand on the 18th gives you an awesome view of the first tee and is a photographer’s dream. Remember, though, it’s matchplay, so there might not be much point in bagging a seat here unless you know the game you’re following is going to go to the wire. There are 19 grandstands on the golf course, totalling 14,278 seats.
4 18th fairway
From the top of the 18th grandstand, this is your view down the 18th fairway. The new green, should it come into play this week, will provide plenty of drama thanks to its new run-off areas and general quirks.
5 Practice putting green
Probably the place you can get closest to the players – and backroom team. This is where Sam Torrance, Des Smyth, Ray Floyd and Co. will probably do most of their work. Paul McGinley has said that as soon as his players are out on the course, he’ll likely leave them alone to get on with it.
6 Spectator village
Expect this to be one of the busiest corners of the golf course. This is where you can get lessons, look at picking up a new car (see BMW below), check out the latest golf gadgets… and drink.
7 BMW cars
Serious eye candy for all the petrolheads. Nice.
8 The bar
Quite possibly one of the most important places you need to know about at Gleneagles this week. Prices? We didn’t venture far enough to get to the bar (honest), but the prices for food are what you’d expect at a top sports event these days.
It’s not cheap, let’s be honest – but how often do you get to eat a Jamie Oliver burger at the Ryder Cup in Scotland? Not very often. We’ll be trying a couple of these during the week (on expenses, of course). Fans are expected to munch their way through 1,200 chicken burgers, 10,000 fish and chips and 18,000 beef burgers. To help clean up, there are 300 cleaning staff on-site.
10 Media centre
In case you’re interested, this is our home for the week, and the other 944 media who are accredited. There is also a staff of 900 TV personnel on the grounds, sending pictures to almost 600million homes worldwide. Remember to follow us on Twitter (@BunkeredOnline) and Facebook (facebook.com/bunkeredmagazine) for the latest news and updates live from Gleneagles the entire week. If that’s not enough for you, check out our lively forum at bunkered.co.uk/forums and get involved.