As first-timers to any golfing event, Edie Adelstein and I were unsure what to expect from the U.S. Women's Open, which kicked off Monday with practice rounds and autograph signings at The Broadmoor's greens, so we present this little primer for folks in similar situations; old hands at this golf stuff may benefit, too. (Click to enlarge all images.)
• First, getting there: You won't be able to drive up to The B, but there are buses running from parking lots. Don't expect to see well-marked parking lot signs, because there aren't any. Sure there's signs — or, "sign" — but it's your average two-by-three, blue, highway-looking sign that's easy to miss. So when you take the exit for Lake Avenue, whether you're headed for permit or public parking, look for the small sign and follow it to the next tiny marker. If you're in public (which you likely are) you'll soon arrive at the Barren Wasteland of Parking lot.
• Continuing the general lack of given direction, once you park in the pounded dirt lot imported straight from west Texas and finish wandering around, head up the hill until a giant pod of yellow Douglas County school buses become visible. This part's a little easier — just head for the white tents and load up. It's a 20-minute-or-so ride to the golf course, so bring a snack and some light entertainment; mine was enjoying the double camera system, filming the driver and the bus' passengers, that was sure to make any 11-year-old feel at home.
• Once you've winded past a bunch of blocked-off streets and parking areas you're likely not cool enough to qualify for, you'll arrive at the fabled Broadmoor Golf Club, now wearing the full regalia of the United States Golf Association. It's probable that no one will direct you where to go once you arrive, so head up the paved path — unless you need your tickets: grab those — and be prepared to not bring your camera-laden cell phone, food/beverage and ladder (really), among other things.
• Congratulations — against all odds and lack of clear signage/direction, you've arrived at the preeminent event in women's golf. Hopefully you like golf, and walking; if you don't, you'll be mildly amused by the Lexus tent — where you can pose with (a likely replica of) the Open trophy, and ogle a sexy, high-horsepower, yellow something — but you'll probably get bored soon and should go home and watch Happy Gilmore. If you do like golf, then keep going, folks: the greens are but two minutes away (the time brought to you by Rolex).
• You can technically bring your camera until the competition officially starts on Thursday. From then on, the only images you'll be capturing will be screenshots from the Open's coverage on ESPN2 and NBC.
• It's hot and sweaty out there — try to wear as little as possible while still maintaining that certain ... I-don't-know-what aesthetic about golf clothes.
• A Blue Moon beer costs $7-plus: plan accordingly.