Thursday, August 13, 2009

Things learned about the PGA Championship

Monday afternoon, on the first day of the PGA Chanpionship in Chaska, MN, I made the mistake of driving from my south of the river office to Excelsior on the south side of Lake Minnetonka. I remembered the fact that the PGA Championship was in Chaska as I sat among a line of yellow FIrst Student school busses navigating my way through the Hwy. 101/Old 212 snarl along the Minnesota River. I quickly decided to avoid Chaska entirely and chose the travesty known as Hwy. 101.

Coming back home to the south was another story. After my photographic journey to Lake Minnetonka and my large cup of soda in hand, I headed down Hwy. 41 through Chaska. I looked ahead at one of the stoplights and saw little to no traffic. I was pleasantly surprised and still reminded that the PGA Championship was almost across the highway from where I currently was. A hotel/conference center even had a courtesy lemonade stand set up at their entrance for golf fans using their parking lot.

I saw the almost desserted Kohl's store (which seems entirely unnecessary in its location - I give it two years before it's closed) and as I approached the stoplight near the Target store that's when my worst fears were realized.

I despise stopped traffic and when cars turning couldn't even get in to the line of stopped cars, I got a bit mad. The Minnesota Highway Patrol cars parked on the side of the highway may have been in a primo spot to manage traffic earlier in the day but now they were about a mile too far north. Using my laser eyes, I tried to communicate with them (via intense staring) that they needed to take their maroon and golds on down the road a mile and direct traffic there - closer to Highway 212). The few folks crossing the highway at this particular intersection could manage just fine and the mostly respectable Minnesota drivers would rarely, if ever, run down a pedestrian (although bikers are apparently a different story).

However, I dialed back my anger and realized that these people were spending buckets of coin in Chaska - the 20th most livable community in America. Or were they?

So tens of thousands of golf fans park 15 miles away at the paved oasis known as Canterbury Park only to ride a school bus to a golf course where they can't even leave the labels on their water bottles. I'm all for tourism but maybe the host town of a huge event like this could become a little more involved than just hanging some banners on their street lights.

Will there be PGA photos on MinnPics? You'll have to check it out to know...


Stephanie Faris said...

My boyfriend told me the secret to getting in. He said on the last day, most of the people are heading home and they don't stay for the final round (or whatever it's called). So he and a friend showed up and waited for someone to leave, then asked to have their tickets. He got in to see the final whatever it's called for free.

spleeness said...

Oh man. I hate traffic!