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Tee Times Magazine | Minneapolis/St. Paul

Breezy Point

Local Golf
July 22, 2017

The Ryder Cup Shop - Free And Open To The Public
Team USA Ryder Cup Uniforms
+ click to enlarge
Team USA Ryder Cup Uniforms
Team USA Ryder Cup Uniforms
+ click to enlarge
Team USA Ryder Cup Uniforms
By R.J. Smiley

Beginning Friday, September 22nd through Monday, September 25th the general public will have the opportunity to purchase truly unique merchandise for their holiday gift list. Over 90% of all merchandise sold at the Ryder Cup Shop is unique. It cannot be purchased online or at other retail outlets and during these 4 days there is no ticket necessary to get onto the grounds of Hazeltine National and check it out.

Ryder Cup Merchandise
If you are unable to get out to Hazeltine's Ryder Cup Shop, area golf retailers and golf course pro shops have the usual items, hats and shirts. To find the best supply of Ryder Cup merchandise outside the Ryder Cup Shop at Hazeltine, shop the PGA TOUR Superstore on I394.

In addition to the Ryder Cup Shop, there is a Merchandise Express Walk-Up located between the 1st and 18th holes.

The Ryder Cup Shop was planned, designed and constructed to be utilized for only ten days, during the Ryder Cup festivities. "For those ten days the Ryder Cup Store will look like Black Friday on steroids," stated Michael Quirk, Senior Director Merchandising and Licensing for the PGA of America. The PGA directs the U.S. version of the Ryder Cup every four years.

Quirk should know; he has been managing merchandise tents at major golf events for 14 years. He spent 10 years with the USGA managing merchandise sales at their championships. Four years ago he made the move to the PGA. He is doing basically the same job for fewer tournaments. And, of course he can now put the Ryder Cup on his resume. As we strolled through the 49,000 sq. ft. building, a platoon of PGA interns and an army of continuously moving contract labors scrambled around us. Scattered outside are carefully marked containers which are used to transport fixtures and displays. Already at the docking ports are dozens of trailers filled with yet to be unloaded merchandise.

The Ryder Cup Shop building is much more than a tent and is larger than a football field. The next time you view the field at the new Viking stadium, imagine that whole area being one big golf pro shop selling only Ryder Cup merchandise. The building, a tent only because it has a cloth top, was built with stable flooring and comes complete with air conditioning and hard wired state of the art point of sale electronics. Each of the numerous vendors has a merchandise areas designed especially for them. Those vendors have divided their space into men, women and children's sections.

Quirk explained that everything is planned to the smallest detail with the shopper in mind. Experience has taught these merchandising professionals that the spectators come to the event to watch golf. They enter the Shop to make a purchase and get back to the golf course. "Throughout the Shop we have fifteen 75" TVs. We have a never-miss-a-shot attitude," said Quirk. The Shop will look and feel like brand new even though some of the carpeting, fixtures, displays and mannequins were recently used in the Merchandise Shop for the PGA Championship at Baltusrol in New Jersey. A smaller version of the Shop appeared at the Senior PGA Championship.

1,200 volunteers who will each work four separate four-hour shifts during the event will staff the Shop. There are 12 different job descriptions for the Shop volunteers. When asked when the staff will be trained for their job, Quirk replied, "They will be trained during their first shift. Each job requires a simple task that can be easily learned and duplicated."

Because of the huge demand for tickets to the event, the PGA has added the four additional days (September 23, 24, 25 & 26) that the Ryder Cup shop will be open to the public. During these days (from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM) the public will have the opportunity to experience the city of white tent looking structures that has been created for the Ryder Cup. But more importantly the shopping public will have a chance to browse at their leisure to find that gold nugget gift for that special person.

Parking for the public will be in a lot across from Chaska High School on Pioneer Trail. The lot is a comfortable walking distance from the Ryder Cup Shop.

For The First Time
For the very first time the general public will be able to purchase the exact uniform that the Team USA Ryder Cup players will wear during the Matches. Any piece of clothing (except shoes) that is worn by the players can be purchased at the Shop. Ralph Lauren, the apparel company, is the designer and manufacturer of the 2016 Ryder Cup uniforms. "Most fans do not realize that there are two logos for Ryder Cup clothing. The teams representing USA and Europe wear clothing with only the Ryder Cup logo on it. All other merchandise sold to the public has the location logo. Meaning that Hazeltine appears under the Ryder Cup logo.

There are other firsts for 2016 Ryder Cup souvenirs. For the first time and maybe the last time Ryder Cup fans from Minnesota can purchase a red, white and blue hockey sweater with a Ryder Cup logo. There is a limited supply of these unique Minnesota only items. Don't wait until the last day. Going along with the hockey theme, the Ryder Cup merchandise people have also added hockey pucks with the Ryder Cup logo and hockey sticks with the logo.

Another truly unique Ryder Cup souvenir of the 2016 Ryder Cup is the Walking Man sculpture. The Walking Man has been Hazeltine's logo since the club's inception. In 2010 Hazeltine commissioned Bill Mack, the famous Minnesotan artist, to create a statue depicting a walking golfer. The walking man statue was designed after a long-time Hazeltine member, but it represents all golfers. "Our logo represents our membership's love of golf in its purest form; simple, competitive and enduring. Walking Man is a large part of the golf experience at Hazeltine and so it's fitting the logo reflects that," said Tim Rainey, Club President.

The commemorative piece by Bill Mack is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity to obtain a custom made Ryder Cup keepsake. The Ryder Cup memory is of the Walking Man on a globe that is inscribed with the Ryder Cup logo. Each of these custom made sculptors is done individually and will be ordered and drop shipped to the purchaser. Of all the Ryder Cup memorabilia, Quirk feels that the Mack sculpture might be the most desirable. There are also three commemorative posters by local artists available in the Ryder Cup Shop.

For golf fans that want to create their own memories through selfies, photographs and autographs the Ryder Cup Shop is the place.

Friday - RThe Ryder Cup Trophy will be on display and fans will have the opportunity to have a picture taken with this most precious of trophies.
Saturday - Team USA Captain, Davis Love, will be available for photos and autographs.
Sunday - Golf carts that will be used by Team USA will be available for pictures and inspection.
Celebrity Athletes - Athletes from various sports will be available for photos and autographs.

As they say, "Seeing is believing." I saw the Ryder Cup Shop as the finishing touches were being completed. The Ryder Cup is a happening like no other event in the world. 600 million people worldwide will watch the Ryder Cup. 50,000 spectators will attend daily. These spectators have purchased an expensive ticket or a corporate tent.

For four days you as a member of the general public can become a part of the biggest golf event in the world - FREE!

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