We are talking golfers here. The 156 best in the world—based on winnings on the LPGA Tour and victory in qualifying tournaments—will compete at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster in the U.S. Women’s Open, the oldest and most prestigious of the five major women’s pro tournaments. Its $5 million purse is also the largest of the majors. The four rounds of play, July 13 to 16, will be telecast in more than 100 countries, with the two final rounds on Fox.
The women drive the ball 260 to 280 yards—not quite as far as the men, but they land their drives in the fairway more often. On the Trump club’s Old Course, “You must be in the right position to attack the green,” says tournament director Matt Sawicki of the USGA, based in Far Hills. “The hazards guarding the greens are tricky, especially the 18th. You have to land it in the right place on that green or you face a very difficult putt. It could make for an exciting finish.”
The top women players relish such challenges. “People are shocked at how good they are,” Sawicki says. “They’re also shocked at how accessible and approachable they are compared to other pro athletes. They take time to sign autographs and really interact with fans.”
With an adult ticket ($25 Monday-Wednesday, $45 Thursday-Sunday), kids are free. Wednesday, July 12, is Junior Day, “with programs for anyone under 17, whether they play or not,” Sawicki says.
As for politics, “We announced Trump Bedminster as the host in 2012,” he says. “Nobody could have anticipated what has happened since. We’ve got a great public-safety plan, from local to federal, but our emphasis is on the fan experience, their enjoyment.”—Eric Levin