Monday, June 10, 2013

U.S. Open: Merion urging, pleading, reminding fans to please drive to course

Above: Merion Golf Club's East Course at the 14th hole with the skyline of Philadelphia in the
background. Tournament organizers are urging fans to skip public transit, carpooling, and private 
shuttles and drive alone to the course. "People, we have plenty of parking, so please drive by 
yourself to the Open,"said one Merion official.
Ardmore, PA--The historic Merion Golf Club in Haverford Township, which has hosted 17 USGA championships since it was established in 1896--more than any other course in the nation--apparently has "more parking than you can shake a one iron at." Course manager Darrell Vesitter: "We want to dispel any rumors that the club is tight on parking. Please arrive by car, in fact, arrive by two cars. We have more parking spaces than the King of Prussia Mall and the South Philly sports complex combined." The club is located in highly developed Delaware County just west of Philadelphia in the first-ring suburbs with very minimal parking. The driving request is extremely unusual--which could cause unprecedented gridlock--given that Amtrak serves Ardmore, PA, just over a mile from the East Course, site of this year's tournament. In addition, SEPTA's regional rail has stops in Haverford and Ardmore, while the Ardmore Avenue stop along the transit agency's high speed line is just steps from one of several entrance gates.

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