It's a Tuesday evening, and I'm decompressing after what can best be described as an AMAZING experience at the 2016 Ryder Cup held in my home state of Minnesota at Hazeltine National Golf Course.
My heart beats a little faster, even now, as I'm thinking back on my adventure. A smile is coming across my face as I type and the experiences on the tips of my fingers are trying to find their way in this story. It might be a jumbled mess, but one thing's for sure...this is coming from my heart.
A friend had gotten Wednesday practice round tickets in the lottery months ago and when he asked me to go, I was THRILLED!! I was still sad about receiving multiple rejection emails from the Ryder Cup lottery people so this helped.
The Sunday before the Ryder Cup was going to start I emailed my brother and asked if he could join us on Wednesday as I was pretty sure we could find a ticket somewhere. Unfortunately he was out of town for work and wouldn't get back until Saturday evening...he wrote back, "how about Sunday Singles?" The thought of going on Sunday hadn't even crossed my mind! I figured either the tickets would be rare or the price would be crazy...but I emailed back that I would look around.
At the same time a great friend was wondering if there was any way we could go to the Ryder Cup on Friday....it was really the only day that worked. So of course I said..."hey, let me see what tickets are out there!'
The adventure of looking for Ryder Cup tickets was a bit of an emotional roller coaster - I checked Stub Hub and Ebay and most of them were above my mental price limit. I found a pair of Friday tickets, with an hour to go on Ebay any they were only at $75. I thought that was crazy!! Checked in with my friend and we decided to bid up to $150 on the pair but willing to go higher. Put the bid in and the wait began.
I'm not sure why, but I re-read the listing because this one seemed to good to be true...then I saw it - under the starting time it said 1pm. I had read somewhere that there were half-day tickets out there that would release at 12:45pm - and those were NOT for us!! I quickly emailed the seller to confirm but I was pretty sure these were not full day tickets - and we wanted to make a day of it!! Minutes are ticking away and I'm still the highest bidder at $150...and I don't want them!! I looked into how I could retract my bid and was able to do so - I never heard back from the seller but I was pretty sure I didn't want these tickets. Now I was on the hunt again. (sidebar-I looked later and those 2 tickets ended up selling for $275 - I hope for the buyer's sake they were full day!)
My next plan was to check Twitter (you can find me @hopejoygolf) ...while there were hundreds of links to the same tickets I had already seen on Stub Hub, Ebay, and others, I did find a few individuals looking to sell tickets. First it was Friday tickets - I messaged and asked what they were asking for them and he said $130 each - UM, that's face value! I'm doing a happy dance in my living room and as I'm about to reply and say HECK YES, he messages back and says sorry, he meant $175 a piece. Well, SHOOT...I was honest & told him our limit was $150 per ticket and if he could sell them for higher he should. He agreed to keep me in the loop and if they hadn't sold by Tuesday he would be willing to meet my price. It was a bit of a gamble, but we both felt this was what we could afford (especially since I was now going to be on the hunt for Sunday tickets!).
Now I was focusing on Sunday. On an aside, my brother and I have attended 1 day together at both of the PGA's that came to Minnesota, so the possibility of getting to spend Sunday at the Ryder Cup with him was a total Bucket List item for me. On the search again I found 2 Sunday tickets that might be available. I messaged the seller to see what the price would be and instead of a price he asked me to make an offer. OY! I wrote back to say that I needed to confirm that my brother could actually go so I would need a little time, and he was gracious enough to let me check - of course getting a hold of my brother was a different story and I didn't hear back until the next morning!
Once again, I just decided that honesty was the best policy, so I messaged back and said my brother CAN go but the most I could afford to pay was $300 for both. I said I knew he could probably get more, and I would understand if he needed to say no to my offer. And to my complete and total delight, he accepted my offer! I was going to the Ryder Cup on Sunday with my brother!!!
I waited until about noon on Tuesday to connect with my potential Friday ticket person to see if they were still available - and they were!!! He was willing to accept my offer of $150 per ticket and he would make arrangements for his Dad to get them to me on Wednesday!
During all this, it was crazy busy at work and it wasn't until Tuesday about 8pm that I realized - I'm going to the Ryder Cup for 3 days!!!!!!
Next...Part 2 - Wednesday at the Ryder Cup!!
I love golf and I love to write, so I can't think of anything better than having a happy place like this to write about golf to my heart's content. Thanks for joining me!