CHICAGO -- The PGA of America will enhance a fan-friendly theme to the season's final major, during practice rounds at the 88th PGA Championship at Medinah Country Club.
Free tickets and giveaway-prizes will highlight the practice round portion of the Championship, Monday-Wednesday, Aug. 14-16, in advance of tournament rounds set for Thursday-Sunday, Aug. 17-20.
In celebration of defending champion Phil Mickelson, Tuesday, Aug. 13, Callaway Golf will give commemorative gift samples of the new HX Tour golf ball -- the ball used by Phil to win the first major championship of the year -- to the first 5,000 spectators.
That evening, Mickelson also will serve as host at the annual Champions Dinner.
"With the majority of schools not in session, this is a great opportunity for youngsters to see the best golfers in the world," said 2006 PGA Tournament Director Michael Belot. "We invite parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts and other responsible adults to introduce their young golf fans to Major Championship golf at Medinah."
Members of the public are not allowed to bring cameras or ask for autographs once the Championship begins, but cameras and autographs are encouraged during practice rounds.
"Practice rounds are a great time for fans to check out the grounds of one of the world's legendary golf courses, take photos and of the game's greatest players, get autographs, and shop for memorabilia and souvenirs in the giant PGA Golf Shop," said Belot. "It's a perfect opportunity for families interested in experiencing a major championship atmosphere to come out to Medinah at a very reasonable cost."
The following outlines the week's schedule of events:
Monday: Juniors age 17-and-under accompanied by a paid adult will be admitted free to the Medinah grounds (maximum of four juniors per adult).
Tuesday: Juniors age 17-and-under accompanied by a paid adult will be admitted free to the Medinah grounds (maximum of four juniors per adult). The first 5,000 spectators will receive HX Tour golf balls, courtesy of Callaway golf and Phil Mickelson.
Wednesday: All military, police and fire enforcement personnel will be admitted free at the main gate (must show military/organization identification card). The first 5,000 spectators will receive a free golf chair. At 12:00 p.m., fans will get to see a military "flyover" honoring veterans and those currently serving in the military.
Tickets to practice and/or tournament rounds are still available and may be purchased by visiting www.pga2006.com or by calling 1-800-PGA-GOLF.
The PGA Championship is one of four premier golf events conducted by the PGA of America. Others include the Ryder Cup, the Senior PGA Championship and the PGA Grand Slam of Golf. Since 1916, golf's best professionals have been competing for the PGA Championship's coveted Wanamaker Trophy. Past champions include Walter Hagen, Gene Sarazen, Byron Nelson, Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, Jack Nicklaus, Davis Love III, Vijay Singh, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.
The 88th PGA Championship will be conducted Aug. 14-20, at Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill. The 39th Ryder Cup is schedule to be played at Medinah in 2012.
Celebrating its 90th anniversary, The PGA of America was founded in 1916, and is a not-for-profit organization that promotes the game of golf, while continuing to enhance the standards of the profession. The Association is comprised of more than 28,000 men and women PGA Professionals who are dedicated to growing participation in the game of golf.
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