Staying hydrated an expensive proposition for PGA spectactors
KIAWAH ISLAND — PGA watcher Beth Steele knew the $6 she set aside for two, 12-ounce bottles of water wouldn't be enough to keep her hydrated. To her, there's a principle involved.
“I refuse to spend more than that on water,” she said near the 10th fairway. “Because it is water.”
Mild dehydration continued to be the top medical issue Friday and is expected to continue through the weekend. Since Monday, more than 600 people have sought attention after enduring high temperatures, grueling sun and South Carolina humidity. Blisters have been a problem, too.
And while organizers relented on letting spectators carry water into the PGA Championship — one sealed bottle — the corporate mentality took over.
Any water on display must be Aquafina, the “Official Bottled Water” of the PGA. Anything else has to have the label removed.
“It took me five minutes to tear off all the label,” said Barry Socia of Mount Pleasant, holding what had been a bottle of Starbucks-brand water.
Tournament policy had been to prohibit spectators from bringing food or drink. The Post and Courier wrote about the policy on Sunday, then tweeted weather conditions and the price of water on Monday.
“We want spectators to enjoy their time at the PGA Championship. In the summer in Charleston, it's imperative to stay hydrated,” said Brett Sterba, championship director, explaining the policy change.
Socia said the pro-Aquafina policy wasn't that much of a hassle. “It's OK to do the corporate thing if it reduces my costs,” he said.
Jerry Flury, medical branch director for the tournament, said symptoms of mild dehydration include headaches, flushed face and general weakness. She advocates everyone on the course drink 12 ounces of water an hour.
“Hydrate,” she said. “We keep telling people to hydrate.”
The next leading medical issue, she said, is foot woes from people wearing flip-flops, not realizing how much walking is involved.
“Behind the mild dehydration, a lot of blisters,” she said.