WASHINGTON — The Quicken Loans National golf tournament draws crowds to Bethesda this week that could add to traffic in the area, and slow fans heading to see the PGA Tour event at TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm.
Since 2012, the Tiger Woods Foundation tournament has been played at Congressional Country Club, so the traffic impact is expected to be different this year (the tournament was also played at Congressional from 2007 to 2009).
Heavy fan traffic, especially if many fans get dropped off near the tournament entrance, could add to traffic on River Road, Bradley Boulevard, McArthur Boulevard and Persimmon Tree Road. Democracy Boulevard may be an alternative for some drivers trying to avoid the area immediately surrounding the course.
This is the first full PGA Tour event at TPC Potomac since 2006. The course used to be known as TPC Avenel until a major overhaul of the course and clubhouse after that 2006 tournament.
Official parking for this year’s tournament is at the Rock Spring Business Park near Walter Johnson High School and Montgomery Mall.
Parking at the Rock Spring Parking Lot at 6720 Rockledge Drive in Bethesda costs $20, which must be paid in cash. Free tournament shuttles run from the parking lot to the TPC Potomac entrance Tuesday through Sunday.
Fans who do not park at the lot or who do not yet have a ticket can still take those free shuttles to the course. There are some Ride On bus options to reach the lot from Bethesda, Medical Center, Grosvenor-Strathmore and White Flint Metro stations.
To take a regular bus directly closer to the course, fans would need to be willing to walk about 1 mile along Bradley Boulevard/Oaklyn Drive, so it may not be the best option. Ride On Route 36 runs every 30 minutes from the Bethesda Metro Station along Bradley Boulevard to the front of the Connelly School of the Holy Child on between River Road and Persimmon Tree Road.
When the tournament has been played at the nearby Congressional, many fans (and entrepreneurial homeowners) have taken advantage of spacious lawns as paid parking closer to the course, which could happen in some spots again this year. Most of those homes that have offered parking in the past are more than 1 mile from the entrance to this year’s course.
Fans getting dropped off or picked up by a friend, a cab, Uber or Lyft should be dropped off or picked up near Avenel Local Park, tournament organizers said.
The address for requesting a ride or getting to the tournament is 10051 Oaklyn Drive in Potomac.
The tournament will direct fans on how to walk into the course from there and back out at the end of the day.
Players tee off for practice rounds on Tuesday, but the course is only open to VIPs.
Wednesday, gates open at 6:30 a.m. for the Pro-Am tournament, which gets underway around 6:40 a.m.
Thursday and Friday, gates open at 7 a.m. for the first two rounds of the Quicken Loans National. The first tee times are scheduled around 7:15 a.m., with players expected to be on the course until early evening.
On Saturday and Sunday, gates are scheduled to open at 7:30 a.m. with the first tee times around 8 a.m. Play is due to wrap up around 7 p.m. or so each day.
What not to bring
Fans attending the tournament are not allowed to bring any bags larger than 6”x6”x6”, including no backpacks, camera bags or chair bags. Collapsible chairs are allowed.
Cellphones, smartphones and tablets are allowed, but must remain in silent mode. There are also restrictions on when and where photographs are allowed. Still cameras with small lenses are only allowed Tuesday and Wednesday, before the official tournament begins Thursday morning.
Umbrellas without sleeves are allowed.
Fans are not permitted to bring in any cups or drink containers except for those needed for medical reasons or infant care. Coolers are not allowed.
Signs, posters and banners are also banned.