Taking advantage of hydration stations at Erin Hills

Posted at 7:23 PM, Jun 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-15 20:23:46-04

Competitive rounds of the U.S. Open Championship began Thursday at Erin Hills, and the heat of competition rose with the mercury on the thermometer.

"This is so exciting," said Dana Kormash. "I've never been to a major (tournament)."

The first players teed off around 6:45 a.m., but as the day progressed temperatures climbed into the high 80's.

Tom Anderson, of Mequon, came prepared for the heat.

"I brought a bottle for water. You have to bring an empty one and then fill it up here," Anderson said. "Then I brought an umbrella for the sun because there are really no trees."

The Erin Hills course contains just five trees over 18 holes.

"I drank a lot of water before we got here," Anderson said. "I'll probably fill my water bottle up six or seven times during the day, because when it gets hot and humid we'll be drinking a lot of water."

There are five hydration stations located throughout the course, where fans can fill up empty water bottles for free.

Patrick Lane, of Event Water Solutions, said the stations pumped out 70,000 bottles of water in the first three days of the tournament.

He expects that number to increase as crowds swell for the competitive rounds.

"I think we're going to do at least triple that," Lane said.

The company's stations tap into the Erin Hills well water supply. The water is then filtered and chilled before it's dispensed.

Lane said each station can sustain about 8,000 people daily, because the water is pumped out at a rapid pace.

"We can fill a standard water bottle in about three and a half seconds," Lane said.

Louis Dobbelaar is visiting from Brisbane, Australia. He was one of the golf fans spotted filling up a water bottle on Thursday morning.

"It's actually not too hot, coming from Australia, but I hope to see some good golf out there today," he said.

"As a spectator, I'll end up walking quite a bit today," Dobbelaar said. "So by keeping hydrated, keeping safe in the sun, it just gives me a better chance to enjoy everything."