BEDMINSTER – About 8,000 people a day are expected to attend the professional LIV Golf tournament at Trump National Golf Club during the last week of July.
Announced in March, the LIV Golf Invitational Series, based in Saudi Arabia, has become a controversial alternative to the existing professional golf tours in the United States and Europe.
Backed by a $ 2 billion infusion to support its launch, LIV has been touting exorbitant purses totaling $ 255 million and guaranteed money to lure players to enter its events.
But many of the top professionals on the PGA Tour, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas, have said they will not join the LIV series.
Unlike most professional tournaments, the LIV tournaments will have only three rounds (54 holes) and 48 players in 12 four-man teams over three days. The typical professional golf tournament is four rounds (72 holes) with 150 players, no teams, over four days.
The LIV tournament will be a shotgun start, meaning the groups will start on different holes instead of all on the first tee.
John Dolan, the event director, told the Bedminster Township Committee that a shotgun start allows for a “more compact” time frame for the play.
Dolan, who was the championship director for the US Women’s Open at Trump National in 2017, said that event attracted 20,000 over its tournament week.
Last year, after the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol, the United States Professional Golfers Association decided to move its championship, one of golf’s four major championships, from Trump National to Tulsa.
READ:Trump, PGA settle dispute over cancellation of golf tournament
Attendance at the tournament was expected to reach 30,000 to 40,000 a day.
Dolan said the tournament will be cooperating with the township, county and state in the operation of the tournament. He said the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office would establish a command center for security at the Lamington Road club.
Parking, he said, would be at Red Tail Farm, just off Interstate 78 at Rattlesnake Bridge Road, he said. Spectators would then walk to the golf course.
He said Cowperthwaite Road, which runs through the club, would be closed to the public from July 5 to Aug. 5.
Ticket packages ranging from $ 75 to $ 10,965 are available for the tournament.
Daily grounds tickets for each of the tournament’s three rounds are $ 75. Discounts of 25% are available for youths, students, teachers, medical personnel and first responders. Military personnel and one guest will be admitted for free.
At the high end of the ticket options is the Club 54 Premium Package for $ 10,695. Hotel accommodations at Delta Hotels Basking Ridge can be added for $ 885.
The Club 54 Premium Package includes a front row seat at the trophy presentation, a question-and-answer session with LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman, a question-and-answer session with one of the 48 players, reserved seating at three different greens on the 18-hole course, access to a “gifting suite,” access to Club 54, a venue with dining and an open bar, permission to walk inside the ropes for nine holes and a concierge to escort you from the club entrance to Club 54 .
The LIV series will kick off in London on June 9-11, then move to Portland before coming to New Jersey. The tour will then go to Boston, Chicago, Bangkok and Saudi Arabia before ending at Trump National Doral in Miami.
Contributing: Adam Woodland of Golfweek
Mike Deak is a reporter for mycentraljersey.com. To get unlimited access to his articles by him on Somerset and Hunterdon counties, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.