As we head towards the end of May, one of my favorite times of the year is approaching. The Principal Charity Classic. The annual event featuring the best players on the PGA Tour Champions is just around the corner and here is your quick guide to getting the most out of the tournament.
First things first, the important stuff.
-When: June 5th -10th, with the actual tournament rounds being the 8th-10th.
-Where: Wakonda Club on Des Moines' south side.
-Who: PGA Tour Champions, the top professional golf tour for people ages 50+.
This year's player field is full of talent with four of the top six players in the current Schwab Cup standings, past winners of all four majors (Masters, US Open, PGA Championship & The Open Championship) and six former Principal Charity Classic Champions. The list of players may change, the updated player list can be found here.
Before you go
A must before you plan on going to the tournament, check out the Spectator Info on the PCC website. Everything from parking to a course map to concessions and much more is detailed out there. Tee Times will be posted on the PCC website before each round, however those won't be known until close to that day. So best to look first thing in the morning the day you plan to attend to make sure you catch any specific golfer you want to.
If you want to see the Pros in a laid back environment, make sure to attend on a Pro-Am day. While the Pros are preparing for the tournament they are also having a good time and many are very interactive. You are able to stand/sit pretty much anywhere you want and have plenty of opportunities to get up close. These are great days to take kids and get those autographs. Additionally on Thursday there is a free Junior Golf Clinic from 4-5:30, more information can be found on the PCC website under spectator info.
At the course
At a golf tournament you have a few different ways to follow the action. Stay in one spot and watch all the golfers pass through. Pick a specific group to follow and walk with them all the way through the round. Or a blend of the two which involves watching a few groups on each hole before moving to a new spot. I recommend doing all three to get the best experience.
If you are looking to stay in one spot, you can't beat the Green Canyon. The Green Canyon is where the 16th green, 17th hole and 18th tee box all meet.
Here you are able to catch a lot of different shots being played without having to leave your spot. This area has a lot of seating with roofs to keep you out of the sun as well.
If you are wanting to do a lot of walking around the course, keep in mind that Wakonda has a lot of hills. Steep hills. Make sure you stock up on water.
Looking to have a good time while enjoying the PCC? Then you need to check out the 312 Party Deck where beer is sold at a discount anytime a player makes a birdie on the Par 3 14th hole.
Looking for a more subdued experience where you can easily listen in on the players and caddies discussing the next shot from a few feet away? Then head over to the 2nd, 3rd and 4th holes. These holes are far from the Main Entrance and tend to have minimal fans watching the action.
Whether a golf fanatic or non-golfer, young or old, there is plenty of entertainment to take in at the PCC. All while helping kids in Central Iowa through the money raised for Iowa charities. And don't forget to take your social media selfie posts with #PCC18 to have a chance at winning money for your favorite charity.