NORTH PLAINS, Ore. – ESPN announcers took a long look at clover fields turned into parking lots and announced that total attendance for the LPGA Safeway Classic exceeded 100,000.
Tournament officials took a more conservative approach, coming up with 87,800 spectators for the week.
“Portland,” said Tom Maletis, president of the non-profit Tournament Golf Foundation, which runs the event, “is a golf town.”
So much for understatements. Other impressive figures for the week: 450 players in the Safeway Classic pro-am, held on both courses at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club, and 180 participants in the junior golf clinic.
Here’s how spectators got their tickets: $25 for a season pass, $10 for a daily ticket, two daily tickets with a $35 receipt from a Safeway store, or free admission for anyone 17 or younger. In addition, several tournament sponsors were distributing free tickets.
The tournament is supported primarily by sponsorships and pro-am fees, not by ticket sales.
Pumpkin Ridge is a perfect location for the tournament. Not only does it boast two golf courses, but it also has extra room for tents and trailers. And there is all that farmland for parking.
It’s like stepping back in time – a golf facility truly located in the country, with a friendly, relaxed atmosphere and no houses around it.
This was a fabulous golf tournament.