Playing Through: Senior PGA Championship at Trump National Golf Club

Editor’s Note: This is a straightforward, politics-free preview of the Senior PGA Championship at Trump National Golf Club this week. For a deeper look at the complicated reality of hosting such an event at a Trump-owned property under present circumstances, click here.

The Playing Through series is designed to help acquaint golfers with local courses that they haven’t had a chance to play, to hopefully get players out of their comfort zones and off their usual tracts. Of course, unless you know a member (or are one) at Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia, you’ll have a hard time actually playing there. But with the Senior PGA Championship taking place this week, we wanted to preview the course and show you the best places to check out and watch all the action, if you’re considering attending, much like we did at last year’s Quicken Loans National at Congressional Country Club.

Those familiar with the old Lowes Island course will be impressed with the work that (the groundskeeper) has done, opening up the tree line to the river and bringing the course up to PGA Championship level specifications. The clubhouse is perched well above the river, as the holes slope away down the hillside to the banks of the Potomac. A 75-foot waterfall has been built into the course above what normally serves as the 18th green, but will be the #1 green for this championship, as the entire course has been shifted back one hole.

“The views here are unbelievable,” said PGA Director of Tournaments Bryan Karns. “You look out and it’s really something to behold. I think spectators are going to be blown away by that.”

In addition to the site lines, there will be several promotions on the course. Title sponsor KitchenAid will have an elaborate activation with a cooking demo area, including celebrity chefs. And major tour sponsor Mercedes-Benz will have a hole-in-one setup where fans can take a shot at winning a new car.

With a long history of golf events in the area, Karns anticipates fans that largely know what to expect from this level of tournament experience.

“People have seen a US Open in this market,” he said. “They’ve seen the Tiger Woods event at Quicken Loans. So we know the bar is set extremely high.”

Jake’s Take

Trump National is a good place to see a golf tournament. It’s a wide open course and the sight lines are good. A great spot is on the waterfall deck overlooking the first green, where you can watch the players putt from above. Another good spot is between holes 14 and 15. You can watch the players putt on 14 and then watch them tee off on the par 3 15th. When I go to a tournament, I like watching the players at the driving range, however it’s a hike from the range to the first tee.  If you want to watch the players work on their putting, the practice green is close to holes 1 and 2.  Like any golf tournament, you’re going to do some walking but it’s flat for the most part, so you don’t have to worry about a lot of inclines. One last tip — there isn’t a lot of shade, so if the forecast is going to be sunny and warm, don’t forget the hat and sunscreen.

Click through the gallery below for a hole-by-hole tour, and check below that for ticket and parking information.

Tickets

There are a variety of ticket options, ranging from as low as $15 for a Tuesday grounds ticket up to $350 for a Wednesday-Sunday clubhouse ticket.

One-day flex grounds ticket (good for any one day): $40

Weekly grounds ticket: $120

Daily clubhouse ticket (Wed-Sun): $105

Weekly clubhouse ticket (Wed-Sun): $350

Daily grounds ticket prices:

Tue: $15

Wed: $20

Thu-Sun: $35

Complete ticket information can be found here.

Specials

Juniors 17 and under get free admission when accompanied by a ticketed adult.

Active Duty, Retired, Active Reserve, Veteran and National Guard receive free admission plus an additional complimentary ticket for accompanying spouse.

Top Pairings

Colin Montgomerie, David Toms and Tom Lehman (Thursday 7:50 a.m. | Friday 1:10 p.m.)

Miguel Angel Jimenez, John Daly and Rocco Mediate (Thursday 1:30 p.m. | Friday 8:10 a.m.)

Prohibited Items

Cameras are only allowed on the course Tuesday and Wednesday. No photos or video on cellphones are permitted during the competition itself.

No bags larger than 10” x 10” x 10” are allowed. No laptops/tablets, weapons, outside food or alcohol.

Fans are allowed one unopened, sealed bottle of water. Small, folding canvas chairs are allowed.

Parking

The course is located in a residential area around Lowes Island and there will be no public parking on site or in the immediate vicinity. Instead, parking will be available at the Dulles International Airport Purple Economy Parking Lot, with shuttles running back and forth to the course. The shuttles will run on the following daily schedules:

Tue: 6:45 a.m. — 7:30 p.m.

Wed: 6:45 a.m. — 7:30 p.m.

Thu.: 6:15 a.m. — 8 p.m.

Fri: 6:15 a.m. — 8 p.m.

Sat: 6 a.m. — 6 p.m.

Sun: 6:45 a.m. — 7:30 p.m.

Copyright © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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