A sprawling, 60,000-square-foot retail store on the grounds of Whistling Straits golf course in rural Sheboygan County opened to the public Friday as part of a grand opening celebration prior to the start of the 43rd Ryder Cup championship.
The store will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Monday as part of the celebration. No tickets or credentials are required for the opening weekend.
Merchandise includes men’s, women’s and children’s apparel and headwear from major brands. Merchandise licensees are Ralph Lauren, the official outfitter of the U.S. Ryder Cup team, and New Era, which is the official headwear provider.
The shops will also offer a major selection of exclusive accessories, gifts and memorabilia.
The retail store, located on the Whistling Straits grounds near the Dye Plaza along the spectator walkway, features 60 check-out registers and offers more than 1,300 logoed items.
“We challenge anyone that comes in here to look for something that we are missing,” PGA Senior Director of Merchandise and Licensing Michael Quirk Jr. said at the store on Wednesday. “The Ryder Cup is going to be an unbelievable event. It’s a memory that everyone will always have. But I think this is the long-lasting memory. This is memorabilia. It’s a way for people to showcase that they were at the Ryder Cup.”
The store is staffed by 1,200 volunteers.
The Ryder Cup is contested every two years with golf courses in the United States and Europe alternating as host sites. It is recognized as golf’s most unique event due to its team format and boisterous crowds.
“I don’t think there is anything better than walking through an airport or being somewhere and seeing that logo 10 or 12 years after the event happened,” Quirk said. “There’s a great possibility that this will be someone’s only Ryder Cup. For them to have that piece, whether it’s apparel or headwear or an accessory, they will wear it until they can’t wear it anymore.”
Patrons can take photos for free with the Ryder Cup trophy at the store on Friday and Saturday and the Larry O’Brien trophy, of which the Milwaukee Bucks are in possession after winning the NBA championship this summer, on Sunday. Free photos can also be taken with the U.S. Ryder Cup team golf cart on Monday.
The Ryder Cup will be contested from Sept. 24-26 on The Straits course, one of two courses that are part of the Whistling Straits property located about 60 miles north of Milwaukee. The U.S. team is led by captain and Wisconsin native Steve Stricker.
The coronavirus pandemic caused the Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits to be delayed by a year.
“Anytime you have more time to do something, it allows you to plan even better,” Quirk said. “At the same time, there are some challenges with today’s world. A lot of the planning and a lot of the ordering was already in motion. If anything, it allowed us to fine-tune it and I think make it even better. We’re excited.”
Tickets for the Ryder Cup are sold out.
“If you don’t have a ticket, this is truly your only time to come out here,” Quirk said. “There are a lot of people that simply could not get tickets to the Ryder Cup. This is their chance to come out and experience the event.”
Even for the those who have tickets, a visit to the store in advance could prove beneficial, he said.
“If you are able to come out this weekend and focus on your shopping experience and not be rushed to get back out on the course, we do recommend you pop out this weekend,” Quirk said. “This weekend is much more relaxed, and you can kind of move at your own speed and you don’t have the golf to be your No. 1 focus.”
Parking is complimentary and located at General Parking South, located south of the main Whistling Straits entrance off Lakeshore Road in Haven.
All transactions at the store will be cashless and patrons will be required to wear masks inside the shop.