A Mom’s Insider Tips to the Charles Schwab Challenge at the Colonial Country Club

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The Charles Schwab Challenge at the Colonial Country Club is a staple of Fort Worth’s golfing scene, providing ample opportunities for families to learn about the sport of golf while enjoying the festive and exciting tournament atmosphere.

The tournament, which runs from May 20 through May 26 at the Colonial Country Club, has occurred for more than 75 years and supports a number of charities, including The First Tee – Fort Worth. The tournament is the longest running PGA event held at the same location! 

As you and your family consider attending the Charles Schwab Challenge for the first time or the umpteenth time, these tips will hopefully prepare you for a wonderful tournament experience. 

When Is the Tournament

The 78th annual Charles Schwab Challenge runs from Monday, May 20 through Sunday, May 26. The Monday and Tuesday events are not open to the public. Public attendance opens up with the Colonial Pro-Am on Wednesday, May 22. Gates open at 6:00 a.m. on Wednesday through Sunday, with food services, and the Patio Club clubhouse opening at 7:30 a.m. Thursday through Sunday.

The golf ball almost made it into the hole.

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What to Do

Attending a golf tournament is a unique sporting experience. Spectators have the opportunity to watch world-renowned golfers compete while socializing with friends, enjoying yummy food, and spending time outside. There are a variety of ways to experience the Charles Schwab Challenge. 

Autograph Zones :: Kids meet players and get autographs at two designated autograph zones: one at the lower putting green near the tenth tee, and the other at the driving range next to the fourth fairway. Meet and greet a PGA Tour player at noon on Wednesday, May 22, in the player warm up area on the lower putting green.

Bleachers :: Located at the number three, number nine, number 10, and number 18 greens, bleacher seating provides a great opportunity to rest and watch the tournament progress. These spaces tend to fill up towards the end of the day as players wrap up the tournament. 

Fan Shop :: If you are needing golf gear or tournament souvenirs, the fan shop is the place to find these items. Located by the lower putting green, the fan shop is also air-conditioned. 

First Aid :: First aid and sunscreen stations are located around the course that offer a private space for nursing mothers and diaper changing. 

Food :: Food and beverage options are located around the course, offering breakfast and lunch options between 8:00 a.m. and the final putt of the day. Food options vary by which type of ticket is purchased, by time, by day, and by food station location. Spectators are able to bring one one-gallon sized bag of snacks and an empty water bottle to the tournament. 

Performance Center :: The performance center houses a number of vendors and activities for spectators to view while visiting the tournament. Get your swing analyzed by a PGA professional or enjoy one of the beers on tap. It is located near the tennis complex. 

Insider Tip :: The fan shop and performance center are great spots to cool off from the heat!  

Restrooms :: Nine restrooms are available around the course. Certain tickets allow for spectators to use club house restrooms. 

Walk the Grounds :: Whether you choose to follow a player throughout the day or if you find seating under some trees in the shade, walking the grounds using the walking map is a great way to learn about the sport of golf and to watch the tournament. The Colonial Country Club golf course is beautifully manicured and accessible via walking paths. Course monitors will aid in ensuring you stay within the spectator bounds.  

Golf courses are big and require a lot of walking.

Cost of Attendance

Tickets are available for purchase online. Daily tickets range from $50-$85, plus tax. Tickets are delivered electronically. Tickets and wristbands must be worn at all times. Children 15 and under do not need a ticket. 

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How to Get There

Parking and shuttle options for the tournament are limited, so it’s best to strategize a transportation plan accordingly. 

Drop off :: Having a family member or friend drop you and your family off close to the tournament or at the rideshare location is an alternative to parking. Note that streets surrounding the Colonial Country Club will be closed to traffic. 

Parking :: Valet parking at the Colonial Country Club entrance and a shuttle from TCU are options for parking, with a fee. Parking passes range from $25 – $150 for the silver, gold, and public parking lots. Plan where to park and purchase ahead of time. Although not ideal, some residences surrounding the Colonial Country Club open up their yards for parking, at a variety of prices. 

Rideshare :: Rideshare is available Thursday through Sunday of the tournament. Pick-up and drop-off for rideshare occurs by the number one green and number two tee box at 2300 Colonial Parkway. 

The man places his golf ball on the green.

Other Tips

Participating in a golf tournament is a little different from attending a football or baseball game, but it can be just as fun! Make sure to stay up-to-date with the rules of the game, items allowed on the grounds, security measures, and spectator expectations. 

Etiquette :: Course marshals will be placed around the course to help monitor proper behavior during the tournament. These behaviors include being courteous, remaining quiet during play, kneeling or sitting when in the front row, and walking — not running — around the course.  

Insider Tip :: If your child needs to burn off some energy, the Palmer Village near hole 13 has a bit of open space. 

Permitted Items :: Be sure to double check the permitted items list before attending the tournament. Key takeaways: A one-gallon plastic bag of snacks, small diaper bag, umbrella without sleeve, empty water containers, binoculars without a case, collapsible lawn chairs, and cell phones on silent are allowed. 

Security and Bag Policy :: Bags are checked at every entrance of the tournament. Spectators have the opportunity to check bags at each entrance, as well. Personal bags smaller than six inches by six inches or clear plastic/vinyl bags smaller than 12 inches by 12 inches are permitted. Diaper bags containing all necessary supplies for children are permitted and will be scanned/searched upon entry to the tournament. 

Stay Alert :: When bringing children to the tournament, it is paramount to remain alert of your surroundings at all times. The event attracts a large crowd, and children may easily be separated from their families. Although rare, golf balls may veer off the greens and dangerously fall into crowds. 

Strollers :: Motorized scooters or other personal transportation vehicles (like strollers), which aid in impaired mobility, are allowed. Certain parts of the course may be more difficult to access with a stroller. Baby carriers are highly recommended for carrying infants. 

Taking a stroller to the golf tournament is very helpful.

Tournament Attire :: Be prepared for changing weather patterns, including rain or heat. Comfortable, outdoor attire is recommended, along with ample sunblock and walking shoes. 

Insider Tip :: Small, portable fans are a must! 

Will Call :: All tickets are digital, so will call (located at the Log Cabin Village) is mainly a resource for the distribution of specific parking passes. 

With a 78-year history, the Charles Schwab Challenge will provide you and your family a unique experience, showcasing the Fort Worth golfing culture. Take advantage of the opportunity to learn about the sport and witness elite players from across the world compete here in our community. 

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