THE PLAYERS 2018: What you need to know

Jacksonville, FL — One of the most well-known weeks in Northeast Florida is here: THE PLAYERS.

Reigning champion Si Woo Kim will try to defend his title, with a $10.5 million purse at stake.

The tournament is about more than just golf, with tens of thousands of people coming out every year, and an estimated $151 million economic impact on the region. THE PLAYERS also directly contributes millions of dollars to local charities each year.

WOKV has put together everything you need to know if you plan to attend the event.

Transportation and Parking 

There will be no parking passes sold at the tournament, instead, you have to purchase a pass in advance through THE PLAYERS website. If you are going to travel with four or more people in your vehicle, you can download a free parking pass on that website- but you must have at least four people in your vehicle when you show up at the tournament in order to use the voucher, and you must print a new voucher each day you intend to use this deal.

Parking is free in the general lot Tuesday and Wednesday. Parking passes cost $30 Thursday and Sunday, and $35 Friday and Saturday.

Ride sharing to THE PLAYERS is encouraged, and the tournament has partnered with Uber to try to make that process easier. There is a designated pick-up/drop-off area at the Ponte Vedra shopping center at 880 A1A North. From there, fans can take a shuttle to and from the Couples Entry. To do this, type “THE PLAYERS Championship” as the destination in the Uber app.

The Downtown Jacksonville shuttles will also run again. Passes are available at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront, Lexington Hotel, and DoubleTree Riverfront front desks for $10, and all of these locations are shuttle stops. You can also buy a pass at the Omni, with pickup for that location on the Hogan Street side of the Jacksonville Landing.

Additionally, THE PLAYERS has complimentary bike parking through the tournament.

Tickets and tournament schedule 

Tickets are on sale on THE PLAYERS website and at select Publix locations. Tuesday passes are $25, Wednesday is $20, Thursday and Sunday are $60, Friday are $65, and Saturday are $70. A week long Stadium Pass for Tuesday through Sunday is $225.

A ticketed adult can bring in an unlimited number of children under 18-years-old for free. A Family Plan is also available, which includes two adult Stadium Passes, unlimited youth admission, and two $10 concession vouchers. That option is priced at $120 for Thursday and Sunday, $130 for Friday, and $140 for Saturday. The Family Plan is available on THE PLAYERS website and at select Daily’s convenience stores.

Active duty and reserve military members, as well as military retirees and dependents get complimentary admission.To redeem this, you must get a voucher online and bring that- with a photo ID- to the Military Ticket s trailers on site. Non-career military veterans are able to get discounted admission online.

Tuesday and Wednesday are practice days, with the gates opening at 7:30AM. The first round of competition is Thursday around 7:30AM, with gates opening at 6:15AM. The same times hold for Friday as well. Saturday and Sunday’s competition starts at approximately 8:30AM, with gates opening at 7:30AM.

THE PLAYERS organizers say they’re taking over the PGA TOUR app during the tournament. The app will provide updates on what’s happening during play, live maps for concessions and other course features, and other information to help fans get the best experience possible.

Fan safety and etiquette 

Only certain bags can be brought in to the tournament: opaque bags that are 6x6x6 or smaller, clear bags that are 12x6x12 or smaller, a gallon-sized plastic freezer bag, medically necessary bags, or diaper bags. Clear THE PLAYERS bags will also be sold at certain Daily’s locations for $5, which is donated to The First Tee of Northeast Florida.

Infant and medical supplies will be allowed, following an inspection. The gallon bag can contain food that fans bring in, if the food is in clear wrap. Outside water bottles or beverages are not allowed in to the tournament, but there are stations throughout the course where you can refill an empty water bottle or cup that you get on site.

Fans can be expelled or lose ticket privileges for violations of the code of conduct. Making rude or vulgar comments or gestures, verbally or physically harassing anyone, distracting players, disrupting play, acting unruly or unsafe, or failing to follow instruction from officials all qualify as violations.

Fans can report on-site issues to THE PLAYERS by texting 69050.

Attractions and food 

One of the new attractions this year is a Bier Garden presented by Hoptinger, which will be adjacent to the Couples Gate. It will feature a variety of craft beers.

If you want to try taking your shot at the 17 hole, there’s a replica at Stadium Village, behind 18 green. Your first two shots are free, with an additional chance available for a $5 donation to The First Tee of North Florida. The Stadium Village is open to anyone with a stadium pass, and also features air-conditioning, a bar, open seating, and other interactive experiences.

The PGA Fan Shop has been expanded to more than 21,000 sq. ft. It will feature new and exclusive merchandise, as well as a Golden Man statue designed by a local artist.

A new fan area has been created near 9 green, 18 green, and the practice area, known as Palm Valley Village. There are several other specialty fan areas- some ticketed and some open to anyone- including The Benefactor behind 17 tee, The Turn overlooking 9 green, The Oasis overlooking 9 tee, and The Patio between 10 tee and 18 green/16 tee.

Baptist Health is presenting a Family Care Suite, which is a climate controlled area for nursing, changing, getting first aid, and other needs for your young children. The McKenzie Noelle Wilson Foundation Kid Zone also provide air-conditioned fun for families, with adult supervision required.

Wine & Dine on 9, Trucks on 10, Tacos on 12, and Taste of JAX all return. Some of the restaurants and food trucks that will be featured include TacoLu, Hawkers Asian Street Fare, Mojos Kitchen, Zoe’s Kitchen, Bono’s BBQ, Brucci’s, M Shack, Tropical Smoothie Café, Firehouse Subs, Mama’s Food, Up in Smoke BBQ, Southern Soul BBQ, Tikiz Shaved Ice, and 4Rivers BBQ.

Some of these areas will see expansion and more seating. The lower clubhouse lawn has been expanded to better accommodate trophy pictures. PGA Tour players have been asked to spend time in two designated autograph zones- the main player practice grounds/driving range and the scoring area behind 18 green- since fans are not allowed to solicit autographs on the course itself.

There are improvements for fans on the course itself as well, including expanded fan bleachers of the holes on 12 and 13, and the removal off the 1 tee bleachers to give better access and views of the tee, fairway, and 2 hole. The Grove behind 17 tee and 16 green has been leveled and turfed, to provide more shaded outdoor seating and video boards broadcasting what’s happening on the course.

Charity of the Day 

THE PLAYERS Championship will once again feature a different charity each day of the tournament, to help raise the profile of each organization. Members or the charities will be at the main entry gates to speak with fans and distribute giveaways.

On Tuesday, the Jim & Tabitha Furyk Foundation will be featured. This is a Jacksonville-based non-profit that partners with children’s charities across the region to provide project specific funding and programs.

On Wednesday, Junior Achievement of North Florida will be highlighted. This organization reached almost 59,000 young children this school year, with volunteers teaching financial literacy, workforce readiness, and entrepreneurship programs.

Thursday’s charity is Wolfson Children’s Hospital, which receives support directly from THE PLAYERS in order to provide top health services for children.

Nemours Children’s Health System is featured Friday. The health system is based in Jacksonville and is dedicated to caring solely for children.

Saturday spotlights the St. Vincent’s Healthcare Foundation, which provides funding for community healthcare outreach programs across the region.

Capping the tournament Sunday, The DONNA Foundation will be featured. The organization puts on a marathon to raise funds to end breast cancer by funding research at Mayo Clinic and meeting financial needs of those with breast cancer. Sunday, the course will also “PINK OUT” in honor of Mother’s Day and in support of The DONNA Foundation, meaning players and fans alike are encouraged to wear pink, there will be pink floral displays and flags, and special pink merchandise and a cocktail will be sold.

Military Appreciation 

On Saturday, May 5th, from 10AM to 1PM, there is a Military Job Fair at the Birdies for the Brave Patriots’ Outpost adjacent to 16 tee. Active duty, reserve, retired military, veterans, and military spouses can come out to this free event to meet with more than 50 companies that will be there with open hiring opportunities.

Operation Shower is another annual event that continues this year. On Sunday, May 6th, THE PLAYERS and Birdies for the Brave will host a baby shower for 40 military moms-to-be- some of who are active duty and some have deployed spouses. This takes place from 11AM to 1PM.

In addition to free or reduced price admission to the tournament, military servicemembers and veterans have access to the Birdies for the Brave Patriots’ Outpost hospitality tent near the tee at No. 16. This includes complimentary food and beverage. It opens for the tournament on Military Appreciation Day, Tuesday May 8th, at 11AM.

Military Appreciation Day also includes a ceremony at 5:30PM, featuring a flyover by the 125th Fighter Wing and a concert by country artist Luke Combs.

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