WASHINGTON — With Tiger Woods joining the field at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland this week, there will be massive traffic jams in the area.
The main events at the Quicken Loans National run from Thursday through Sunday.
The best bet for most fans driving to the tournament is to take a shuttle from the Montgomery County Fairgrounds ($7 per day) or the Rock Springs Parking Lot ($15 per day or $55 for the week).
The Fairgrounds lot will only be open on Thursday and Friday.
Many homeowners near Congressional also turn their lawns into parking lots for the week, and there is VIP parking across from the main entrance to the course.
Montgomery County officials say shuttles will run every 15 minutes or so to and from each lot, with security checks before boarding.
The first shuttles are scheduled to leave the parking lots at 6 a.m. on weekdays, and 7 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The final shuttles are scheduled to leave the course at 6:45 p.m. each day.
The T2 bus between the Friendship Heights and Rockville Metro stations is also an option for golf fans looking to avoid traffic. The bus has a stop at River Road and Bradley Boulevard that will connect fans who prefer not to walk to a shuttle to the course. Fans can take RideOn’s 36 bus on weekdays.
In the past, cabs weren’t allowed to get too close to the entrance, with specific areas close to the course designated as pick up or drop off points.
The Quicken Loans National Tournament Director Michael Antolini tells WTOP that in the first day after Woods announced he would return from injury to play in the tournament, they sold three times as many tickets as would normally be sold in the days leading up to a tournament.
That means people whose commutes take them past Congressional or one of the parking lots may want to consider alternate routes this week to avoid all of the extra traffic.
Woods is the host of the tournament, through the Tiger Woods Foundation.
What you can and can’t bring
In a relatively recent change for the PGA, fans are now allowed to bring cell phones and tablets onto the course, as long as the devices are completely silent.
Fans are not allowed to take any video or photographs during the tournament, and can only make cell phone calls in designated zones.
Fans will not be allowed to bring in any signs, coolers, drinks, or any bag larger than a small purse (defined as 6 inches by 6 inches by 6 inches). The tournament says the restrictions also apply to diaper bags.
Lawn chairs, ladders and weapons are also prohibited, but strollers and portable folding stools and chairs without bags are allowed.
Point-and-shoot cameras are allowed only on Tuesday and Wednesday during the practice rounds, but “professional-looking cameras” are not permitted.
Never been to a golf tournament before?
The tournament goes out of its way to remind fans of the often unwritten rules of golf etiquette.
Among the most important, you must stand still and stay quiet when a player is about to take a shot. Never touch a ball that finds its way near the gallery, and never cross fairways outside of designated areas.
Want the family to see you on TV?
The tournament will be on the Golf Channel for parts of the day Thursday through Sunday. The third and fourth rounds will air on CBS Saturday and Sunday afternoons.
The tournament is being played on Congressional’s Blue Course, which has hosted three U.S. Opens (1964, 1997, 2011), the 1976 PGA Championship, and several other top tournaments.
The golfers will be competing for a share of a $6.5 million purse.