CHASKA, Minn. (WCCO) — Let’s face it, we can’t play like the PGA professional headed to Hazeltine. But inside the Ryder Cup merchandise tent adjacent to the main entrance, spectators can at least dress like one.
“This is, like, the first time we’ve ever sold exactly what the players are wearing,” PGA Merchandising Manager Michael Quirk said.
Quirk says that beginning this Friday, golf fans can choose from six different Ralph Lauren designed team outfits — both practice and competition uniforms.
“Hopefully, Team USA wins and at the post events you can say, ‘I’m wearing the Saturday shirt from when they won the Ryder Cup in 2016,'” Quirk said.
Those official polos and sweaters are just a small taste of the many racks of golf apparel inside the 49,000 square foot merchandise tent. It’s believed to be the largest retail space ever designed for one of golf’s major tournaments. Clothing and merchandise priced to appeal to all tastes and needs.
“Our golf shirts range from $42 up to $95 for the official team shirts,” Quirk said.
It’s a literal department store under a fabric roof, stocked with items for all interests. There are the expected nylon Ryder Cup logo pin flags to golf periscopes, official posters, hats and even some houseware items.
Of course being the Ryder Cup there are the golf tees and sleeves of balls. But don’t be surprised to find Ryder Cup hockey sticks, pucks and official jerseys. The PGA’s merchandisers want to appeal to the culture of the host community. Minnesota being the state-of-hockey will mean a lot of the spectators swing golf clubs by summer, but hockey sticks in the winter.
“Not only in navy but jerseys comes in white too — these retail for $265,” Quirk said. “These are about as limited as it gets, so we’ll see how long they last.”
For European fans there’s even “Beat USA” T-shirts in stock. But of course the same design sporting a “Beat Europe” theme will likely be the bigger seller.
Shoppers are assured that taking time off the course to browse and buy doesn’t mean missing out on the action – because there are some 15 big screen televisions hanging from the merchandise tent walls.
“So even when you’re in here you’ll never miss a golf shot,” Quirk said.
And just to make sure the lines keep moving, there are some 60 registers to handle all those transactions.
The store is open to the general public beginning on Friday, September 23 through Monday, September 26th.
Tickets to the Ryder Cup will not be needed to enter the store those four days, which will be open between 10 am and 6 pm.
There are more than 1,500 items in the store. Click here for more information.
Check out an in-depth Facebook Live tour of the massive shop below.