Professional golfers from all over the world are starting to arrive in Wisconsin for the U.S. Open at Erin Hills.
The Waukesha County Airport is already receiving at least double the airplane traffic it normally gets, and TODAY’S TMJ4 got a first-hand look at how the golf pros are greeted.
“We’ve had probably a dozen players that have shown up here in the past two or three days,” said Rich Tock, a golf pro at Erin Hills. “More are coming every day now.”
And something nice is waiting for all of them on the tarmac when the golfers arrive.
“Lexus is the official car sponsor of the U.S. Open, so they have about 50 Lexus vehicles staged here right now," said Kurt Stanich, the Waukesha County airport manager. “A bunch of them are also staged at Milwaukee’s Mitchell International Airport. The players use them to get to and from the golf course.”
We watched as professional golfers Patrick Reed and Brooks Koepka arrived. They went from airplane to Lexus and were on their way to Erin Hills in minutes.
“They’ll come in and they’ll play a couple rounds of golf, or just walk the golf course,” Tock said. “Then they’ll go home for the weekend, and come back next week for the tournament on Monday.”
The Waukesha County Airport has undergone millions of dollars worth of renovations in preparation for the event over the past few years.
Airport officials reached out to leaders at Augusta Regional Airport—where pro golfers and their fans fly into for The Masters—for tips and recommendations.
Right now, Waukesha County Airport employees are working longer shifts, and more fuel trucks are being brought in to meet the demand of these world famous golfers converging on Wisconsin.
“You’re seeing the best of the best flying into this airport,” Tock said. “They don’t all fly into Waukesha on private or chartered planes. Most of the golfers are taking commercial flights, and flying into Mitchell.”
Waukesha County Airport officials are hoping to see a prolonged economic impact as many die-hard golf fans travel from all over to play U.S. Open courses like Erin Hills after the pros have played there.