Events will showcase Columbus, Dublin for the world
For the first time, the Presidents Cup opening ceremony will be held offsite and will be open to the public.
Organizers are hoping the Oct. 2 event at Columbus Commons that will feature Rascal Flatts will draw interest from more than just golf fans.
"We want to open it to the public to give the opportunity to get the community closer to the event," PGA Tour Organizer Laura Neal said, adding both fans of the Presidents Cup and those not interested in golf can find common ground at the ceremony.
The opening ceremony for the international golf event is slated to kick off at 5 p.m. Oct. 2 and will include an International Festival, opening ceremony, Rascal Flatts concert and fireworks.
"Part of one of the original conversations was about doing it differently and doing it well," Presidents Cup Director Tom Sullivan said of the opening ceremony.
"The PGA has a great relationship with the hosting golf course, but we wanted to make it an event ... ," Sullivan said.
"This is a chance for people to come out for not a lot of money and be part of something special."
Tickets for the opening ceremony are $30 and 5,000 general admission tickets will be available at Columbus-area Kroger stores and online at presidentscup.com starting today, Thursday, Aug. 1.
Proceeds from ticket sales will benefit Nationwide Children's Hospital.
The golf event will pit a team of 12 from the U.S. against a team of 12 from other countries throughout the world.
It will be held in Dublin at the Muirfield Village Golf Club. Dublin Mayor Tim Lecklider said he's pleased with the focus on the region as a whole.
"I'm personally pleased with how this has been promoted," Lecklider said.
"There's equal time in the city of Dublin and the city of Columbus," he said. "We'll have an opportunity to have our event the following evening.
"Our signature event will be one people will enjoy and is not something we have done before," Lecklider said.
More details on Fore!Fest, a celebration, which will be held in Historic Dublin Oct. 3, are forthcoming, but initial plans include multiple entertainment stages and a festival-like atmosphere.
"Our event is being designed as more festival and not so golf-centric," Lecklider said of Fore!Fest.
"We hope to attract folks to that party that wouldn't attend the tournament.
"It will be a celebration of the community," he said. "This is literally a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."
The Oct. 2 opening ceremony is also boasting some original elements.
Music, food and performances representing several countries will be featured at the International Festival, Sullivan said.
Three stages will showcase local acts, with international entertainment; food from Cameron Mitchell restaurants and other countries will be offered.
"We want guests to come here and know Columbus is aware of other cultures and appreciates them," Sullivan said.
The International Festival, slated from 5 to 7:30 p.m. will also have strolling fire performers, stilt-walkers, jugglers, magicians and aerialists.
The opening ceremony will introduce players and the Presidents Cup from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m.
"The centerpiece will be the opening ceremony," Sullivan said.
"It will introduce the players and captains. Those who don't understand the Presidents Cup will get a sense of understanding why being a captain is such a big deal."
Rascal Flatts, which includes two Columbus natives, will play from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. followed by a 10-minute fireworks display.
The Presidents Cup is held every two years and rather than earning money, players pick a charity to receive funds.
The Presidents Cup will run Oct. 1-6 at Muirfield.
For more information, look online at presidentscup.com.