The Wegmans LPGA Championship begins one week from Monday and everything is different this year. The tournament will be played at Monroe Golf Club for the first time. That means new challenges and new opportunities.
Traditions run deep with the LPGA in Rochester. When it was held at Locust Hill, many people had designated parking spots that they reserved months in advance. This year is the last year for the women's golf tournament in Rochester, but the first time it'll be held at Monroe. A local farmer is clearing the fields for parking. In addition to making hay Powers Farm is making way for the LPGA.
"Our property backs right up to Monroe. And this is probably the flatest piece of land. And the best drain. So it would be the premium for parking," said Ned Powers, Powers Farm.
Powers is clearing nearly 17 acres for parking. The LPGA rented 300 spots for volunteers. The rest will be available to spectators for a fee. It's a less than a half mile walk from this hay field to the gate. Or a short shuttle ride from field to front door.
"I think the shuttle, we figured, is a two minute ride. So, it's probably as easy as it gets," said Powers.
In addition to Powers farm fields, Golf Avenue neighbors will also turn their yards into parking lots. There are fewer of them than in years past along Jefferson Road in Pittsford, but organizers say they'll be open for business.
"Up and down Golf Avenue, I would say yes, there will be less spots available however, we don't know what people's backyards are like. So, it's a first year. So we'll kind of learn all that as we go, unfortunately. But I would say, it'll be close. But it might be a little bit less than what Jefferson had," said Jim Garvey, Director of Operations.
There is also free parking at Monroe Community College. Spectators can get shuttled right to the golf course.
As for Powers Farm, they're happy to turn their crop for a game of golf, even if it's only for a week.
"We're trying to pick corn and do all of our normal farm work. And try to get ready for all of this. So we're working overtime I guess you could say," said Powers.
The farm hired extra help in hopes of earning an extra buck.
Powers says he'll likely charge $5.00 to park on day one and see how it goes from there. The Pro-Am gets underway Monday, August 11th. Championship play begins Thursday, August 14th.