Golf is a gentlemen’s game, and it’s policies can differ a great deal in comparison to other major sports. If you are looking to spend time with friends at a PGA tournament, you might be wondering what their policy is regarding alcohol consumption. Can you drink alcohol at PGA events?
Yes, you can drink alcohol at PGA events. PGA tournaments will offer a wide variety of alcohol for sale at concession stands, including domestic and craft beers, mixed drinks, and wine.
Every event is unique, so the drink menu will differ from event to event. Concession stands should be available in several spots around the course.
But if you plan to drink at a PGA tournament, there are spectator etiquette issues you will want to be mindful of. In this article we will discuss some issues that may arise from drinking at a PGA event and also answer questions such as:
- Can you bring your own beer to a PGA tournament?
- Can you leave to drink beer at your car?
- What are beer prices at PGA events?
Because the PGA has unique policies in comparison to other sports, here are links to our other articles you may want to check out if you are attending a PGA tournament:
- What to bring to a PGA tournament
- Can you smoke at a PGA tournament?
- Can you bring a baby to a PGA tournament?
Drinking At PGA Events
Drinking alcohol is allowed on the grounds at PGA events. As we discussed above, most tournaments will offer you a drink menu that consists of domestic and craft beers, cocktails, and wine.
Although there is no policy prohibiting drinking, the PGA tour does reserve the right to remove any spectator who is being rude, disruptive, or aggressive.
The PGA tour allows its fans to be closer to athletes than any other major sport. When a golfer has to hit a shot from the rough, there are times where fans may be an arm’s length away.
Getting to stand right next to Tiger Woods or Jordan Spieth or Bubba Watson or some other star golfer is an exciting opportunity for fans, but with great opportunity comes great responsibility. The PGA trusts that its fans will act with etiquette and respect.
If you plan to drink at a PGA event, be sure to keep yourself under control. Not only could you be removed if your condition resulted in obscene behavior, but you also may run the risk of another issue: dehydration.
Dehydration is a real concern for summer PGA events. The temperatures can be extreme, and if you are exposed to the direct sunlight while drinking all day, it could result in dehydration. Take necessary precautions.
Can You Bring Beer Into A PGA Event?
If you are hoping to save a little money and not have to pay concession-stand prices for beer, I have some bad news for you.
No, you cannot bring alcohol of any kind through the gates at a PGA event. Bringing beverages through the security gates is prohibited. You also cannot bring coolers of any kind through the gates at PGA events.
Can You Leave To Go To Your Car To Drink?
Okay, so you couldn’t bring alcohol in through the gate, but can you bring yourself back out through the gate to your car, to dive into your beer cooler? Again, unfortunately I have bad news for you.
No, you cannot leave a PGA event and then gain readmission. Once you use your ticket, you cannot leave the grounds for any reason and then gain re-entry to the event on that same day.
Beer Prices at PGA Events
The price of alcohol at PGA events will differ from event to event and state to state. For 12 ounces of domestic beer (size of a beer can), you can expect to pay in the $4 to $8 range.
Some events will offer “Large” domestic beer options, which usually means 24 ounces of beer. These sizes will be $10-$12 and may offer you more bang for your buck.
Craft beers will be expensive, as expected. You will likely pay $8-$10 for a regular-sized craft beer. Every event is different and may have their own specials. A glass of wine will likely run you somewhere between $10-$15.
If you are attending the Masters, you may be surprised to learn that even though it is one of the most desirable tournaments to attend, they have some of the best concession prices in comparison to other professional golf tournaments.
How Do PGA Beer Prices Compare to Other Major Sports?
PGA beer prices are very comparable to other major sports. The average lowest-priced beer across NFL stadiums in 2018 was $8.17. NBA and MLB prices are very similar and range between $4-$8 depending on stadium.
What Are Concession Stands Like At PGA Events?
A typical PGA concession stand will offer American food like cheeseburgers, hot dogs, chicken sandwiches, BBQ sandwiches, chicken strips, and salads.
Some events will offer a small breakfast menu that will consist of bagels, sausage biscuits, and fruit cups etc. The beverage menu will be water, soda, sports drinks, iced tea, and alcohol.
If you go to the stand and buy a cheeseburger, bag of chips, and a beer, you should expect to pay somewhere around $20.
Players Complain About Fan Behavior
Some PGA tour members have raised concern over recent years about the on-course conduct of some fans who appear to be very intoxicated. There have been incidents where fans have harassed players, and caused scenes.
Rory McIlroy voiced his displeasure after a Saturday round at the 2018 Arnold Palmer invitational when a disorderly fan kept yelling his wife’s name.
“There was one guy out there who kept yelling my wife’s name. I was going to go over and have a chat with him. I don’t know, I think it’s gotten a little much, to be honest. I think that they need to limit alcohol sales on the course, or they need to do something because every week, it seems like guys are complaining about it more and more.”Rory McIlroy, 2018 Bay Hill
Golf is not a sport where heckling is accepted. This is one of the main things that differentiates fan conduct at PGA events from fan conduct at other professional sporting events.
If you attend an NFL, MLB, NHL, or NBA game, fan heckling is commonplace. Players may not like it, but they’ve accepted it and learned in many cases to use it as motivation.
Golf is a bit different though because it is a sport that relies so much on concentration during swinging. Because of this, golf has always asked its fans to remain orderly and be mindful of spectator etiquette.
Golf is a gentlemen’s game. Much like tennis, it’s history is deep-rooted in country clubs and high-class society, where behavior was expected to be well-mannered and civil.
As we see with many sports, traditions are not easily broken. Professional golfers are not used to heckling, and are not willing to tolerate it. And in fairness to them, heckling can easily cross the line and become abhorrent when a spectator has had a few too many drinks.
Because of this, as we discussed earlier, the PGA reserves the right to remove any disorderly fan from the premises.
Do PGA Events Cut Off Beer Sales?
Yes, most tournaments will cut-off beer sales sometime in the afternoon, like around 4:00pm. This information will usually be posted somewhere near the concession stands.