Tournament expands opportunities

Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:42 pm

By Andrew Weiland, of SBT

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f your business has a customer, or perspective customer, whom you want to impress, the U.S. Bank Championship may offer the ultimate corporate hospitality perk in Milwaukee.

The U.S. Bank Championship, a PGA Tour event to be held July 19-22 at Brown Deer Park, has two pro-am events during the week of the tournament.

It costs $3,000 per person ($12,000 per foursome) to play in the Aurora Health Care Pro-Am on July 18 and $1,750 per person ($7,000 per foursome) to play in the July 16 U.S. Bank Championship Pro-Am.

Each foursome of amateurs plays with a PGA Tour professional.

“It’s a great opportunity to feel what it’s like to be inside the ropes,” said Bill Hattendorf, marketing director for the U.S. Bank Championship.

Some businesses use the pro-am to wow clients and close deals.

“That’s really the highest-end customer entertainment package we have, and it’s unique to golf,” said tournament director Dan Croak.

The U.S. Bank Championship will start a new competition this year, in an attempt to get more women involved in the pro-am events. A corporate challenge will be held at Brown Deer Park a few weeks before the tournament. For a fee of $1,200, a company can enter a foursome into the corporate challenge. Each foursome must have at least one woman. The best foursomes will win a free entry into the U.S. Bank Championship pro-am events.

The U.S. Bank Championship has several other options for entertaining corporate clients.

“No matter the number of people you want to entertain or your budget we have something that will work for you,” said tournament director Dan Croak.

The U.S. Bank Championship offers corporate tents, which cost $24,000 for the entire week, $14,000 for two days and $8,000 for a single day. The tents include 150 tickets per day and a dedicated bleacher section. Last year, the tournament had 11 corporate tents. They are placed along one side of the 18th fairway. Food and beverages for the tents must be arranged through the tournament’s caterer.

The tournament also offers chalets around the 18th green. Typically, each chalet is shared by four companies, each paying $30,000 for the whole week or $8,000 for a single day. For that price, businesses in the chalets get 40 tickets per day. The chalets have TV monitors plus an air conditioned hospitality area and an open-air seating area. The chalet price includes food and beverage service. A daily package of four chalet tickets is available for $750, and a single-day chalet ticket costs $200.

The tournament also has a party deck, which includes a lunch buffet area, a bar and a television. Fans in the party deck have a reserved seating area that they can use when they want to leave the party deck and watch the action. Tickets for the party deck cost $100 a day.

Another hospitality area, called the crow’s nest, is located in the clubhouse in an air conditioned room that overlooks the ninth hole and has a bar. Tickets for the crow’s nest cost $750 for the week.

In contrast to some sports, golf tournaments are all-day events, and the pace of the action accommodates business conversation, Croak said.

“It’s different than a game,” Croak said. “It isn’t as critical that they be watching golf for any period of time. It lends itself more to the interaction between a prospect and a company. This is sort of an all-day affair.”

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