UNIVERSITY PLACE, Wash. (April 27, 2015) – The United States Golf Association (USGA) today announced plans for its 2015 “Open For All”™ Fan Programming and Community Activities, leading up to and coinciding with the 115th U.S. Open Championship, to be contested June 18-21 at Chambers Bay in University Place, Wash.
Building on the success of Open For All activities at the 2013 U.S. Open outside Philadelphia and the 2014 U.S. Open Championships in the Village of Pinehurst, N.C., this year’s fan-focused programming will expand the championship’s footprint to combine elements of local, regional and national significance.
“With the U.S. Open’s first visit to the Pacific Northwest, we see a unique opportunity to bring the excitement and tradition that surrounds our championship to a new audience,” said Diana M. Murphy, USGA vice president and Championship Committee chairman. “We will start our Open For All programming with a national tour for the U.S. Open Trophy, which will provide a drumbeat of excitement leading up to the championship. Our celebration will continue in the local market with the U.S. Open Kickoff Celebration and Open For All Fan Experience, both interactive and fan-friendly celebrations of the USGA’s community-oriented values right alongside those endemic to the region.”
The 2015 Open For All programming elements are intended to build excitement for the championship and amplify its presence in the local community.
U.S. Open Trophy Tour
Presented in partnership with Lexus, the U.S. Open Championship Trophy Tour will involve a cross-country journey from the original home of the USGA in New York City to this year’s host site at Chambers Bay. Beginning with a segment on Fox and Friends on the Fox News Channel April 29, the trophy will be transported around the country in a 2015 Lexus LX 570. While on the road, the trophy will be made available at numerous golf courses, Major League Baseball games and local Fox affiliates, allowing fans the opportunity to connect with our National Open.
Through the use of an innovative social media campaign, fans will have the opportunity to track the trophy and locate nearby venues at which they can take photos. Twitter users who employ the #usopenforall and #lexusgolf hashtags in their tweets will have an opportunity to win prizes. Photos using these hashtags will be aggregated and displayed on an Open For All microsite.
Integrating into the Community
The USGA has designed a series of interactive fan experiences that will take place at multiple iconic venues throughout the Seattle-Tacoma region before and during the U.S. Open Championship.
Learning Science through Golf / STEM Education exhibit
The USGA’s commitment to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and its connection to golf is the basis of the “Learning Science through Golf / STEM Education” exhibit, which will be on display at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle from May 4 through June 15.
The program features multiple interactive experiences that use golf as an educational platform with exhibits offering participants – young and old alike – an opportunity to see the game as a “mini-learning lab” for STEM.
•Science (Agronomy): Turf and water retention
•Technology (Aerodynamics): Flight of a golf ball
•Engineering (Friction and Spin): Motion and its effect on the distance a golf ball will travel
•Math (Volume and Displacement): Determining the volume of a golf club
Following its five-week stay at the Pacific Science Center, the exhibit will be relocated to South Lake Union Park, also in Seattle, and be part of a general Fan Experience from June 17-21.
Epic Putt Challenge
The 18th green of a U.S. Open Championship has traditionally been the site of some of the most exciting moments in golf history. To celebrate past champions and challenge everyday golfers, the USGA has designed the “Epic Putt Challenge.”™ This portable, artificial-turf putting green allows fans an opportunity to recreate some of the greatest putts in championship history.
Participants can relive dramatic moments by Payne Stewart (1999), Tiger Woods (2008) and Hale Irwin (1990) before taking on the 18th green at Chambers Bay.
Starting with the shortest putt, participants will gradually challenge themselves with longer-distance “epic” putts. Participating guests will be entered to win two tickets to the 2015 U.S. Open Championship, and – if they make the longest putts – will walk away with a special Open For All commemorative gift.
The Epic Putt Challenge will be installed at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport from May 4 through June 15, and will be available only to ticketed passengers in the Central Terminal (beyond the security checkpoint).
Following its five-week stay at the airport, the putting green will be relocated to South Lake Union Park and be part of a general Fan Experience from June 17-21.
U.S. Open Kickoff Celebration
The USGA will begin U.S. Open Championship week with a series of special events on the grounds at Chambers Bay on Sunday, June 14.
The activities, which will be open to the public, will focus on families and appreciation of the military. In honor of National Flag Day, a color guard from Joint Base Lewis-McChord will hold a special flag-raising ceremony. The day will also feature junior activities and the opportunity for guests to have their photos taken with the U.S. Open Championship Trophy.
Open For All™ Fan Experience
This year’s Open For All Fan Experience will take place in South Lake Union Park near downtown Seattle from June 17-21.
Attendees will have the opportunity to view U.S. Open action live on a large screen, participate in interactive golf exhibits and purchase official U.S. Open merchandise. Food and beverages from regional vendors will also be available for purchase. In partnership with Lexus, the U.S. Open Championship Trophy will be on-site for photo opportunities.
Admission is free and prizes will be available to all those who interact with the exhibits.
Open For All Fan Experience at South Lake Union Park
June 17 Opening Night Celebration - 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. PDT
June 18 First-Round Viewing - Noon – 7 p.m. PDT
June 19 Second-Round Viewing - Noon – 7 p.m. PDT
June 20 Third-Round Viewing - Noon – 7 p.m. PDT
June 21 Fourth-Round Viewing - Noon – 7 p.m. PDT
Bob Jones Award Ceremony
The USGA will continue a tradition it began last year with the presentation of the Bob Jones Award during U.S. Open week.
This year’s honoree, Barbara Nicklaus, will be recognized June 16 during a ceremony at the Museum of Glass in downtown Tacoma.
The special evening will feature artisanal chefs and mixologists from the region. Fans of the USGA will have the opportunity to view and follow the presentation, which will be streamed on usga.org.
The Bob Jones Award is regarded as the USGA’s highest honor, annually recognizing an individual who personifies the values of its namesake: sportsmanship, integrity and respect for the game.
Barbara Nicklaus joins an impressive list of recipients, including Francis Ouimet, Babe Didrikson Zaharias, Arnold Palmer, Payne Stewart, Ben Hogan, Nancy Lopez, Annika Sorenstam, President George H.W. Bush, Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, and her husband, Jack, who was recognized in 1975.
“The USGA’s Open For All programs are an extension of the open nature of our championships,” said Sarah Hirshland, USGA senior managing director of business affairs. “The communities in the Pacific Northwest have been so gracious in their invitation to us, and we are excited to provide unique experiences for all members of the community to share in the celebration of our national championship.”
A complete and frequently updated schedule of all Open for All community events will be made available at usopen.com/openforall.
Media Contact: Jeff Altstadter (Jaltstadter@usga.org)