Par tee time
The Ryder Cup is sold out, but fans can get a taste of the competition’s offerings at local exhibits and fund-raisers
Often referred to as the Super Bowl of golf, the Ryder Cup takes place this year at northwest suburban Medinah’s renowned Medinah Country Club, which underwent a $1.5 million greens renovation for the three-day competition. Established in 1927 by Samuel Ryder, the biennial patriotic team challenge is between Team U.S. and Team Europe. Money isn’t on the line, but that doesn’t minimize the players’ passion or the match’s hype. Tiger’s going to be in our neck of the woods, and so are golf greats Lee Trevino and Corey Pavin. His Airness Michael Jordan is Team U.S. motivator-advisor. If you didn’t score tickets, don’t be teed off. We’ve rounded up some happenings that’ll give you a taste of the series.
2012 Ryder Cup exhibit
You can easily waste half an hour at this first-ever installation. Footage from Cups of yesteryear on two flat-screens show former players engaging in more celebratory fist-pumping and Champagne-spritzing than an ep of Jersey Shore. So much for being regarded as “a game for gentlemen.” Team captain Jack Nicklaus’s bag from the now iconic 1969 match; the wacky uniform shirts worn by Team U.S. in 1999, as well as their championship trophy; a 1920s driver made of mostly wood; and a commemorative 2004 Captain America Ryder Cup cartoon—all can be found on display inside the mall’s old bebe retail space. Oakbrook Shopping Center, 100 Oakbrook Center, Oak Brook (rydercup.com). Mon–Sat noon–7pm; Sun 11am–6pm. Through Sept 30; free.
Ryder Cup gala
An estimated 3.9 million viewers watched a Tiger Woods–less finale in 2008. Clearly the event can stand on its balls and reputation alone. But star power never hurts. Celebrate the esteemed competition by rubbing elbows with inaugural U.S. Ryder Cup Team ambassador Justin Timberlake. (The pop star is an avid golfer and owns Mirimichi Golf Course in Memphis.) Hobnob with the players, team captains and comedian George Lopez. Legendary rock band Chicago plays live. Akoo Theatre, 5400 N River Rd, Rosemont (800-745-3000, rydercup.com). Sept 26 at 8:30pm; $200–$300.
Tartan Art on the Avenue
Upwards of 75 artists—including late painter LeRoy Neiman and students from South Shore Arts, Brushmasters, Columbia College and the Chicago Artists Coalition—designed 90 gargantuan five-foot-three-inch-diameter golf balls, including those situated down the Mag Mile. Sponsorship packages from the tMagnificent Moments campaign benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland & Northwest Indiana and the Illinois PGA Foundation. Various Chicagoland locations including Michigan Avenue from Walton St to Illinois St (rmhccni.org). Through Oct 10; free.
Young Irish Golf Club Outing
Ryder Cup tickets sold out faster than flat-screen TVs at a Wal-Mart doorbuster. Instead of watching today’s broadcast from the sofa, record it, then head out to Carriage Greens for a round of your own. Swingers down for a foursome can play for two worthy charities including the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation. The YICF provides golfers with carts, lunch, a polo shirt and gift bags. Top golfers receive additional prizes at the open bar reception (6:30–9pm). Carriage Greens Country Club, 8700 Carriage Green Dr, Darien (youngirish.com). Sept 29 at 1pm, course registration at noon; single $150, foursome $500, spectators $40. A bus departs Mystic Celt (3443 N Southport Ave) at 11:30am.
The 39th Ryder Cup is September 28–September 30 at Medinah Country Club, 6N001 Medinah Rd, Medinah (rydercup.com).