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Tee Times Magazine | Minneapolis/St. Paul

Breezy Point

Local Golf
July 22, 2017

RJ Smiley

The reach of this event goes much deeper than the average golf fan would realize.

If you are a golf fan, you have tried in one of several ways to secure tickets to the Ryder Cup Matches. I have talked to several people who have been to RyderCup.com and registered to win the vacation package including airfare, lodging, food and tickets to the Matches. Fans were allowed to register once per day for several months prior to the drawing in late April. Another ticket lottery was held for fans wanting to purchase tickets. Thousands of golf fans entered the lottery hoping to have their name drawn as a winner. Winners did not receive their tickets for free, but were allowed the privilege of purchasing a week's worth of Ryder Cup tickets. Those lucky enough to get tickets suddenly became the best friend of their neighbors and relatives. Those new best friends were all hoping to get a one day Ryder Cup experience using their friend's or relative's tickets. I have heard several conversations where people ask, "Do you have tickets to the Ryder Cup?" "No, but a guy down the street has tickets." People want a reason to connect to the Matches.

Hundreds of construction workers have connected to the Ryder Cup through their employer. Many of these construction workers have learned another skill, the ability to build a temporary shelter made of tent materials with wooden floors. In addition to those who are building millions of square feet of tents for corporate hospitality, another group of workers have been busy constructing a new entryway road into Hazeltine. The wages earned and the taxes paid by these workers trickle down to almost all citizens of Minnesota.

"I rented my home for Ryder Cup week and used that $14,000 to purchase a car for my daughter who is off to college this fall. My wife and I are going up to our cabin for the week to watch the Ryder Cup on the new big screen TV we bought with some of the rent money. I love the Ryder Cup." Who would believe that homeowners are getting $1,500 to $2,500 per night for their homes. These homeowners have connected with the Ryder Cup.

Toro, the Minnesota company that makes lawn care and golf course maintenance equipment has seen a business bonanza directly related to the Ryder Cup. Pictures of those red machines manicuring the Ryder Cup turf will be bounced around the world via satellite as TV viewers marvel at the perfect conditions. The additional profits earned by the Toro Company will be distributed to shareholders and many pension plans of Minnesota companies. That small uptick to your 401k is a result of the Ryder Cup. Golf courses in the upper Midwest will also benefit by purchasing the maintenance equipment only used for the Ryder Cup, that is virtually new for the price of used equipment.

Who would believe that school kids in Chaska and Chanhassen would be directly affected by the Ryder Cup? City officials know that traffic will be unbelievable during the Matches. So school has been suspended during the Ryder Cup. An additional benefit to these communities is the rental income earned by utilizing their schoolbuses as transportation to and from Canterbury Park, the primary fan parking lot.

Imaging getting the contract to furnish the temporary toilets for the 50,000 golf fans each day. I don't know this as a fact, but I would believe that the weekly rental will almost pay for the new potties purchased for the event.

During the Ryder Cup the maintenance crew at Hazeltine will grow from 50 to 150. The additional 100 laborers are area golf course superintendents and their assistances. Those who have come up through the ranks, mowing grass and raking bunkers, will be doing this job again for someone in the golf maintenance business, what a paragraph to have on a resumé.

Golf writers generally see a fluctuation in work as the golf season comes and goes in Minnesota. That has not been true during Ryder Cup year. The increase in workload directly affects income levels for golf writers. New golf clubs and another winter golf trip become a reality. Thanks to the Ryder Cup.

Printing presses in Minnesota have been over heating during the year of the Ryder Cup. The additional stories that bring the variety of Ryder Cup stories to the public have created additional printed pages. More paper, more ink, more graphic design and more hours for those who labor behind the scenes creating these papers and magazines. In addition, those who drive the delivery trucks distributing those magazines and papers will purchase more gasoline and work more hours.

The majority of CVBs in the seven county metro area and many around the state have staffed up for the Ryder Cup. The additional staffing has allowed many seasoned veterans to earn more in supervisory capacity. When the final curtain falls on the Ryder Cup late that September Sunday evening, those individuals involved in the marketing of all facets of this sports happening will be better equipped for major league events in the future.

The pressure to attract the cash fat Ryder Cup visitors has caused an influx of chefs and hospitality workers. We, who make Minnesota our home, will enjoy fine dining for years to come as a result of the Matches.

In the troubled world in which we live, being safe is more important than ever. We are continually bombarded with shootings, bombings and police officers being murdered. Security for the Ryder Cup will be unmatched in the history of sporting events. A combined effort involving state and local law enforcement, Homeland Security and the FBI have trained local police to be more diligent and experienced. This fact will keep all in Minnesota safer in the future, thanks to the Ryder Cup.

The PGA store, located in the MSP Airport, serves as a reminder of the Ryder Cup to those who, will on an impulse or whim, purchase a Ryder Cup souvenir. When these items are gifted or worn, the public will hear the story of the Minnesota Ryder Cup at Hazeltine in 2016.

As a reader you will think of the other 9,990 ways that the Ryder Cup has connected to you and other Minnesota natives. Don't forget about the realtors and moving companies who will help the temporary citizens travelling to the next major PGA event. How about the cleaning company employees? It goes on and on and on. THANK YOU RYDER CUP!!

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