Golf fans gear up for long drive to BMW Championship parking lot

CARMEL, Ind (WISH) – Golf fans are gearing up for a long drive Thursday, but it has nothing to do with the PGA event in Carmel.

On Wednesday, thousands enjoyed the warm, dry weather, to greet players, and get autographs. However, things are about to get messy.

Right now, spectators park in a field off 146th Street, only minutes from the course. But Thursday and Friday, they’ll be forced to make a 30 minute commute to the old airport in Indianapolis.

“That’s going to definitely change things up for me. I’m going to have to plan on leaving probably an hour earlier,” Noblesville resident David Parter said. “So, it’s going to be a long day.”

“It’s a lot longer of a drive for me from Lebanon,” Marty McGinley said. “But if that’s what you have to do, I guess I’ll live with it.”

Weather is the big reason for the change. Wednesday afternoon, the field was nice and dry and cars had no problem parking on it. With rain expected over the next several days, organizers know the water will make this place really messy.

“The last thing we want to do is create a bad experience for spectators,” Senior VP of Tournaments for the Western Golf Association, Vince Pellegrino said. “Getting back to their cars and having to wait several hours just to get them out because of cars stuck in the mud, and we definitely don’t want to do that.”

The airport lot is 20 miles from the course. While there might be other lots nearby, organizers said they couldn’t find any that could accommodate the size.

“Trying to find 8 to 10,000 paved spots during a work week is a really difficult challenge,” Pellegrino said. “Fortunately we’ve got a great spot at the old airport that’s all highway driving. It’s all paved lots. It’s all easy in and easy out.”

It might be a dryer option, but now golf fans have to weigh if it’s worth the drive.

“I think they’ll go anyway, that would be my guess,” McGinley said. “I would, if I already had the ticket. It sure wouldn’t stop me by having to drive an extra 5 or 10 miles.”

“I wouldn’t miss the championship,” Parter said. “I’ll be here, but just a little bit of an inconvenience, I guess.”

Parking will remain the same as originally planned for this weekend. Spectators are encouraged to park Saturday and Sunday at 11815 North Pennsylvania Street in Carmel.

Fans can avoid the commute by using Uber, or a cab.

If an Uber is dropping you off, they must do so at Towne Meadow Elementary School. The address is 10850 Towne Road.

If you are being dropped off by a friend or family member, the drop off address is 10910 Greenbrier Drive.

If they do make the drive, organizers caution about bringing the right things into the course. Here’s a spectator’s guide:

Rules for strollers

Strollers are permitted, but subject to search. Medically necessary materials, strollers, small diaper bags, plastic baby bottles, and other essential baby supplies (infant must be with carrier) are permitted- items subject to search.

Bag policy (same as NFL standards)

Opaque bags must be smaller than 6” x 6”, clear bags must be smaller than 12” x 6” x 12”. Medical bags are permitted. No backpacks are permitted on the grounds.

Phone and photo policies

Cameras are only permitted on practice round days, Tuesday and Wednesday

No cameras after Wednesday. Video recording is not permitted at any time

Mobile device policy: Device must be on silent at all times.

Devices cannot be used to capture video/audio at any time during tournament

Still photography is permitted in all areas, Monday-Wednesday

Thursday-Sunday: No photos of players as they execute a golf shot in competition areas

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