The PGA Tour event hosted by Tigers Woods is back with a new title sponsor next week at Congressional Country Club — and it’s virtually certain Tiger won’t play.
Woods is recovering from back surgery with no timetable for a return, though reports suggest he’s trying to make it back for the British Open in July. That would put Woods out of the event for the second straight year.
It’s likely to mean a smaller crowd around Congressional (8500 River Rd.). But with no on-site parking, it’s still important to plan where you’re going and what’s allowed.
The tournament runs from June 23-June 29, with exhibitions and practice rounds leading up to the first round of the tournament on Thursday, June 26. Here are the important things to know, courtesy of the tournament and Montgomery County:
Where Do I Park?
Those driving to the event and daring enough can seek out private parking on the front lawns of nearby homeowners (that will typically run you $10-$20). Or, you can play it safe and use one of the official tournament parking and shuttle lots, which are unchanged from last year:
Rock Spring Lot, 6720 Rockledge Dr., Bethesda (seven miles from Congressional at I-270 and Democracy Blvd.) This is the best location for those coming from Virginia and other areas south of Congressional Country Club. Operating: Tuesday, June 24-Friday, June 27, 6 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, June 28-Sunday, June 29, 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Single-day and weekly passes available.
Montgomery County Fairgrounds, 16 Chestnut St, Gaithersburg. Operating: Thursday and Friday only, from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. A single-day pass (Thursday or Friday only) is $7. Cost includes one-day parking and shuttle pass from the Fairgrounds to Congressional Country Club (less than 15 miles). Get single-day pass for Fairgrounds.
VIP Preferred Parking Lot F, 7727 Persimmon Tree La., adjacent to tournament main entrance, providing walking access to tournament. Operating: Tuesday, June 24-Friday, June 27: 6 a.m.-7 p.m. Single-day passes are available for specific days, ranging from $30 to $50, depending on the day of the week.
Shuttles will take off from the Rock Spring and Fairgrounds lots about every 15 minutes.
What Can I Bring In?
Security checks will be conducted on all passengers prior to boarding shuttles from the designated public parking lots. No bags larger than 6″x 6″x 6″ will be allowed.
You can bring cellphones into PGA Tour events, just make sure to turn those off or risk the ire of a nearby course marshall.
Here’s what you cannot bring in:
• NO cameras nor video cameras (nor other devices capable of taking a photograph) permitted after Wednesday.
• NO radios (XM portable radios ARE allowed), TVs, signs or banners.
• NO coolers nor beverages.
• NO alcoholic beverages may enter or leave the tournament grounds.
• NO large camera-carrying cases, chair carry bags, backpacks, packages and other carry items larger than a small purse (6″ x 6″ x 6″). Any of these will be confiscated, so please leave them in your car. This includes diaper/baby bags.
• NO firearms nor weapons of any kind.
• NO lawn chairs (no matter what height). Portable folding stools and chairs with OUT bags are allowed.
• NO ladders.
• NO periscopes.
Strollers are allowed all days. Point-and-shoot style cameras are allowed only for the practice rounds on Tuesday, June 24 and Wednesday, June 25. If you want to bring in “professional-looking” long-range lenses, tripods and other equipment, you better have a media credential.
Where Is The Entrance?
It’s not on River Road. The regular main entrance to Congressional at 8500 River Rd. is closed off to spectators, even those on foot. You’ll have to enter through the main entrance on Persimmon Tree Lane, which could require some serious walking.
Where Is The Exit?
Same place. The only authorized exit from the tournament grounds is the main entrance on Persimmon Tree Lane. Montgomery County is also advising pedestrians around the perimeter of the course to cross only at marked crosswalks.
There are close bus stops, but catching a main entrance shuttle at Bradley Boulevard after your bus ride may make it easier:
T2 bus from Friendship Heights and Rockville (operated by Metro on weekdays and by Ride On on weekends). On Saturday, June 28 and Sunday, June 29 – as a convenience for spectators using public transit – route T2 Ride On buses will operate every 15 minutes from 4 to 8 p.m.between the Friendship Heights and Rockville Metro Stations. The service operates every 30 minutes between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. The additional service will be operated as regular T2 service and will be open to all passengers. Regular Ride On fares will apply. The last scheduled trip in the evening in the direction of Rockville Station will pass through the intersection of River Rd. and Bradley Blvd. at 8:04 p.m.; the last trip passing through that intersection in the direction of Friendship Heights Station will be at 8:10 p.m. Bus operators working the additional T2 service will be provided a schedule. Passengers should use stops on River Rd. just west of Bradley Blvd.
Ride On bus 36 from Bethesda (no Saturday or Sunday service). Use the stops at the end of the route on Bradley Blvd. at the Connelly School.
After departing the bus, walk south on Bradley Blvd. and follow signs and directions to the shuttle that will drop off passengers at the tournament’s main entrance. Attendees who prefer to walk should go south on Bradley, then left on Persimmon Tree Rd. and proceed to Persimmon Tree La. and the tournament’s main walk-in entrance.
Taxi/Limo/Private Vehicle Drop-off and Pick-Up
Public drop-offs or pick-ups are not allowed in or around the main entrance of Congressional Country Club on River Road. You must use the designated taxi, limousine or private vehicle drop-off services, located near the Tournament Main Entrance on Persimmon Tree Lane. No parking or standing is allowed, so attendees are asked to coordinate their pick-up times accordingly.
Can I Get Player Autographs?
Yes, there are autograph areas next to the No. 9 and No. 18 hole — in the general area of the Congressional clubhouse. Players won’t sign autographs until they’ve completed their rounds and they may not come through the autograph at all. The best bet is to attend during the Tuesday or Wednesday practice rounds when players are typically more willing to stop by.
Is This My Last Chance To See This Tournament In Bethesda?
No. The idea of the tournament at Congressional on a yearly basis is out. But the club’s members did vote to allow the Tiger Woods Foundation to host the event at their facility in 2016, 2018 and 2020. Next year, the tournament will move to Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Gainesville, Va. A course location for 2017 and 2019 hasn’t been determined, but don’t rule out the TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm — basically across the street from Congressional.