USGA builds small city at Erin Hills

Posted at 6:44 PM, Jun 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-10 09:45:34-04

For one week in June the golf world will turn its attention to Erin Hills Golf Course for the 117th U.S. Open.

The USGA has essentially turned the course into a small city. The huge undertaking has been several years in the making.

The merchandise tent is 39,000 square feet and air-conditioned.

"People who've never been to a U.S. Open before will quickly see we are building our own stadium; we are building our own arena," said USGA. public relations director Janeen Driscoll.

There are more than 300 tents built specifically to host golf's ultimate test.

Championship Manager Eric Steimer has been in Southeast Wisconsin for a couple of years plotting and planning the event that's expected to host 35,000 people a day.

"When we put the first stake on the ground we started construction on this merchandise tent. We had maybe 20 to 30 individuals on site helping us prep," he said.

Now there are more than 2,500 workers and 5,400 volunteers on site in tents, concessions, parking, you name it.

"There's quite a few tent structures," Steimer said. "But also we'll bring in over 100 different office trailers, all different broadcast trailers come in. There's a lot of places that someone can call home out here."

Driscoll said the USGA strives to use local businesses so many area companies have helped with everything from the concrete to compost to putting up the tents.

Steve Yoder lives one mile from the course and said he can't believe how fast everything went up, "They started building all this infrastructure last October. Even though I'm a golfer I had no clue they started out that far in advance."

Yoder thinks it's cool to have golf's ultimate test so close to home.

"It's like having the Super Bowl in your backyard," he said.

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