As The Presidents Cup week begins and the golf world descends on Columbus, Dublin and the surrounding communities, a gracious welcome is being extended to residents and visitors alike through a full schedule of activities aimed to celebrate the competition and highlight the local area. While The Presidents Cup, held at Muirfield Village Golf Club, October 1-6, is a showcase of golfing excellence, national pride and sportsmanship, there is plenty to do away from the course this week as well.
The Presidents Cup Opening Ceremony & Celebration, Wednesday, October 2, 5-9:30 p.m., Columbus Commons (sold out)
For the first time in event history, The Presidents Cup is hosting an off-site, open-to-the-public Opening Ceremony, featuring an international festival and concert by Grammy Award-winning group Rascal Flatts. The celebration will be held at the Columbus Commons in Columbus, Ohio, located downtown at 160 South High Street, with an international food and entertainment festival from 5-7:30 p.m.; Opening Ceremony from 7:30-8:30 p.m.; and a concert by Rascal Flatts (two of three members hail from Columbus), followed by fireworks, from 8:30-9:30 p.m.
The Presidents Cup Motorcade, Thursday, October 3, 5-10:30 a.m.
To help commemorate and celebrate the start of The Presidents Cup competition, The Presidents Cup trophy will be a part of an official motorcade from downtown Columbus to Muirfield Village Golf Club on Thursday morning. As the motorcade makes its way to Dublin, it will be met by bands greeted by residents and students.
Fore!Fest, Thursday, October 3, 5-10 p.m., Dublin's Historic District
Dublin will welcome visitors to the Historic District on Thursday from 5-10 p.m. for Fore!Fest – a lively street festival to commemorate The Presidents Cup and showcase Dublin. Bridge and High streets will be closed creating a safe, spacious and lively atmosphere.
Throughout the district, there will be strolling entertainment, four outdoor entertainment venues, savory local cuisine and historic golf highlights.
Columbus Blue Jackets Game, Friday, October 4, 7 p.m., Nationwide Arena
On Friday, October 4, four-time U.S. Presidents Cup Team Captain Jack Nicklaus will drop the ceremonial first puck at Nationwide Arena, marking the end of pregame festivities and the start of the Columbus Blue Jackets' season opener against the Calgary Flames.
Short North Arts District Gallery Hop, Saturday, October 5, 4-10 p.m., High Street, Columbus
The Short North Arts District Gallery Hop occurs the first Saturday of each month, which is perfect timing for the thousands of visitors in town for The Presidents Cup. The tournament has partnered with the Short North Alliance to make the Gallery Hop on October 5 a celebration of The Presidents Cup. Fans will see Presidents Cup branding in storefronts along High Street, a projection of photos and video of the tournament action, as well as the arches over high street lit in green and gold, forming a mile-long tribute to The Presidents Cup.
Fans can wander the district and take in the galleries and non-traditional exhibit spaces, street performers, vendors selling hand-crafted items and food and drink specials from area restaurants.
The Presidents Cup Mural Project is also part of the Short North Alliance's support of the event. Columbus artist, Sarah DeAngulo Hout is creating a mural that chronicles the week and showcases the personality of the tournament. Four canvases will be painted at The Presidents Cup Fan Experience (Thursday through Sunday) and Saturday evening at the Gallery Hop Hub located at the Victorian Gate Courtyard from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., alongside a display of The Presidents Cup trophy. The mural will include interpretations of all the events in and around The Presidents Cup. Upon completion,, the paintings will be on display at PGA TOUR Headquarters in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
The Presidents Cup Closing Ceremony, Sunday, October 6, 6:30 p.m., The Presidents Cup Fan Experience
The Closing Ceremony celebrates the end of a wonderful week with speeches from the captains, entertainment that celebrates South Korea, the host country of the next event in 2015, and – of course – The Presidents Cup being officially awarded to the 12 members of the winning team and their captains and captain's assistants. Closing Ceremony will be held approximately 30 minutes after the conclusion of play in the performance area at The Presidents Cup Fan Experience, located just outside the gates at Muirfield Village Golf Club. The Presidents Cup Fan Experience is open to the public and does not require a ticket for entry.
Additionally, fans are reminded of the free entry to The Presidents Cup Fan Experience, which offers fans and local residents a place to enjoy food and beverages, entertainment, shopping and a variety of interactive displays throughout tournament week. The Presidents Cup Fan Experience is located on approximately 3 acres just outside the main gates at Muirfield Village Golf Club and is open to the public, with no ticket required.
The Presidents Cup, a team, match-play competition featuring 24 of the world's top golfers – 12 from the United States and 12 from around the world, excluding Europe – is held every two years, and since 1996 has alternated between United States and international venues. The Presidents Cup was developed to give the world's best non-European players an opportunity to compete in international team match-play competition. The U.S. Team has won seven of the nine previous Presidents Cups, and the only win by the International Team came at the 1998 event in Melbourne. The Presidents Cup 2003 ended in a tie. Fred Couples is returning as U.S. Team captain in 2013, and fellow World Golf Hall of Fame member Nick Price will lead the International Team.
The Presidents Cup is a unique golf event in that there is no purse or prize money. Players are not paid for their participation, but each competitor allocates an equal portion of the funds generated to charities of his choice. Since the event's inception, more than $27 million has been raised for charity from event proceeds, as well as contributions made on behalf of The Presidents Cup, including a record charitable donation of $4.5 million from the 2011 event alone.