At the 2020 US Open, there won’t be any fans in attendance — something that’s become more normal in our current world.
However, there are some fans in a virtual grandstand at Winged Foot, which is an innovation that has looked to replace the experience of being at a sporting event live with at least being able to tell your friends that you got on TV at a live sporting event (without being there).
If you want to get on the video board for the virtual grandstand on the first hole at Winged Foot, you have to join the USGA’s new Victory Club. It’s a free club for golf fans to join, and you’ll get info on upcoming ticket sales, discounts on merch and the like. You’ll then get a chance to get in on the fun at the virtual grandstand.
Victory Club members also get some other cool benefits for this unique US Open. Members will be able to ask select players questions in post-round interviews, so they can connect directly with some of the week’s biggest names.
The best benefit, however, is the planned virtual autograph sessions for kids. Victory Club members will be able to participate in these sessions with their children, where they’ll be able to interact with players on video and then get signed US Open memorabilia and photos sent to them in the mail free of charge.
The USGA is trying to make the best of a crummy situation by creating these opportunities for Victory Club members, but I would love to see the virtual autograph session become a thing moving forward. So many people would love to attend the US Open but can’t for myriad reasons. Exposing kids to these great players and having an impactful interaction with them is nothing but good.