President of Houston Golf Association Steven Timms
The Shell Houston Open, on the PGA Tour one week before The Masters, will take place March 30-April 5 at the Golf Club of Houston in Humble. Tournament play will be Thursday, April 2, through Sunday, April 5, with the Pro-Am Monday, professional practice and junior events Tuesday, and the Grand Pro-Am Wednesday.
Steven Timms, president of the Houston Golf Association, said the tournament has a huge impact on the local economy and offers support to area youth.
"Annually the Shell Houston Open has an estimated $25 million economic impact for the local area,” said Timms. “HGA, through the Shell Houston Open, continues to provide high-impact youth development activities like The First Tee of Greater Houston as well as funding for local deserving charities."
The list of golfers committed so far includes 2011 champion Phil Mickelson, 2012 SHO winner Hunter Mahan, Keegan Bradley, European Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke, Stewart Cink (2009 British Open at Turnberry), Lucas Glover (2009 U.S. Open at Bethpage State Park), Justin Leonard (1997 British Open at Royal Troon), South African Louis Oosthuizen (2010 British Open at St. Andrews) and David Toms (2001 PGA Championship at Atlanta Athletic Club). The tournament previously announced that Dutch golfer Joost Luiten and Englishman Danny Willett will be making their SHO debuts this year.
Players have until March 27 to commit to the tournament. They may also withdraw for any reason without penalty by that date.
In total, 144 of the best golfers in the world will play for $6.3 million in prize money.
There is no cost to spectators Monday and Tuesday, but attendees must have tickets to be admitted Wednesday through Sunday. Tickets can be purchased at shellhoustonopen.com or at the gate. It is best to purchase in advance because ticket prices increase by $5 beginning March 30.
Tickets range in price from $30 per adult for a full-day grounds pass to $89 ($99 after March 30) for a Champions Pavilion ticket, which grants admission to a large tent to purchase food and beverages on the right of the 18th fairway.
Up to three children, 13 and under, can be admitted (grounds ticket) at no charge when accompanied by a ticketed adult.
There will be several open-to-the-public grandstands located around the course. There will also be concession stands throughout the course and some have tables where attendees can sit and enjoy refreshments. No outside food or beverages, coolers, etc., will be allowed.
Comfortable tennis or athletic-style shoes are recommended for those who want to follow competitors around the course. Spiked shoes/heels are not permitted.
A change in rules this year will allow spectators to bring their cell phones; however, they must be kept in silent mode, used for calls only in designated areas, and cannot be used to take photos or video during tournament play. Phones must also remain out of sight near the rope line in teeing areas, on the fairway or near the green. Spectators not near the rope line and who are well away from competitors can use their phones for texting and emailing.
Parking at the lot adjacent to the Tournament Course will be available Monday to Wednesday, but the shuttle is recommended Thursday through Sunday, or a parking hang-tag will be needed to park on-site. General Parking is at the ecopark lot at Bush Intercontinental Airport, located near the intersection of JFK and Greens Road. Roundtrip shuttle rides on air-conditioned buses are available for $5. Same as ticket policy, up to three children, 13 and under, can ride free when accompanied by a ticket-holding adult.
On Thursday and Friday the Golf Channel will telecast from 3-5 p.m. and replay at night. On Saturday and Sunday there will be early round coverage on the Golf Channel from noon-2 p.m.; NBC Sports (Local 2, Houston) coverage is from 2-5 p.m. on the weekend.
For more information, visit shellhoustonopen.com.
SPECTATOR SECURITY TIPS:
• Bags that are clear plastic, vinyl or PVC and do not exceed 12 x 6 x 12 inches
• One-gallon, clear plastic freezer bag (Ziploc bag or similar)
• Clutch bags smaller than 6"x 6 x 6 inches
• Bags that are medically necessary (will be permitted after proper inspection at the gate)
• Diaper bags (will be permitted after proper inspection at the gate)
Backpack, camera case, mesh bag, purse, seat cushion, clear backpack, tinted plastic bag, over-sized tote bag, printed/pattern plastic bag, binoculars case, folding chair bag, umbrella sleeve
NOTE: Binoculars, umbrellas and chairs will be allowed without the bags.