Ticket registration for 2012 PGA under way

The gallery watches on #18 as Denis Watson sinks his par putt to win the Senior PGA Championship during the final round of the Senior PGA Championship at The Ocean Course on Kiawah Island.

Officials for the 2012 PGA Championship, which will be played at Kiawah Island's Ocean Course, are encouraging golf fans to register quickly if they want an opportunity to purchase tickets.

The PGA of America expects an early sellout, with only 18,000 tickets available to the public. There will be 8,000 daily tickets available at prices ranging from $30 to $90, depending upon the day one attends the event, and there will be another 10,000 Wannamaker Club Tickets ($450), which cover all seven days and offers admission to air-conditioned tents equipped with televisions and food and beverage service. The official tournament dates are Aug. 9-12, 2012.

Pre-registration can be done online at pga2012.com. During the registration process, fans are asked to designate which days they wish to purchase tickets and how many tickets they would like to purchase. Based upon the time they

register, they are placed in one of two categories.

Brett Sterba, the tournament director for the 2012 PGA Championship, said the preference is for people to register online, but for those who are unable to do so they can call 1-800-PGA GOLF.

Roger Warren, president of Kiawah Island Golf Resort and past president of the PGA of America, said tickets will then be sold beginning Nov. 15 and continuing through Dec. 31.

"All people who pre-register will have the option to buy that ticket in that time frame," Warren said.

Warren said there has been unprecedented demand for tickets, especially because of the distinction of the Ocean Course. The Pete Dye-designed layout, recognized as America's toughest golf course, was the site of the Ryder Cup Matches when it opened in 1991. Since, two World Cups have been held at the Ocean Course along with the 2005 PGA Club Professional Championship and the 2007 Senior PGA Championship.

Tournament officials tried to devise a fair method of ticket distribution while offering a quality experience for golf spectators, Warren said. To that end, total daily attendance is being limited to 27,000. In addition to the 18,000 daily and Wannamaker tickets, 4,000 are allocated to corporate hospitality packages, another 2,000 for volunteers, 1,000 media and 2,000 for juniors. Up to four juniors age 17 and under will be admitted free with a paid ticket, and active military with ID will be admitted free.

"Typically, we have targeted somewhere between 35,000 and 40,000 spectators for major championships," Warren said. "Based on the experience we had at the Ryder Cup in 1991, the 25,000 tickets sold out in one week. So we anticipate great demand. We are encouraging people to act early."

Warren said the resort and PGA officials feel they will be offering a quality experience for spectators. He said parking should not be an issue, that the resort owns 150 acres adjacent to Freshfields Village where 15,000 cars can be parked, and has an additional 3,000 parking spaces available within the resort. Shuttle service will be offered from downtown Charleston.

"We think people will remember the quality of service, the quality of the experience, but most importantly remember the quality of the golf," Warren said. "We don't think we have to do anything to the golf course to make it challenging to the players."