As was noted earlier in the week, the Farmers Insurance Open has made strides since nearly becoming extinct. But the operation, at least for the average paying customer, leaves much to be desired.
With a daily ticket price of $50 ($35 for senior), the event does not offer a single grandstand for general admission fans to sit on a green and watching play. Even worse, there is only a small 50-yard long area right of the 18th green for standing to watch action, leaving play to conclude, at a public golf facility, to finish in front of only corporate customers.
Compounding the problem: many of the corporate guests came dressed as empty seats, even on a gloroius Sunday with a stacked leaderboard. It was that way all week, but here's how it looked when the third to last group was approaching, not long after Jon Rahm's stunning eagle:
This might be moot if Torrey Pines had stadium mounding or even a green complex or two that were not raised surfaces. They do not and with all of the closing holes off limits to fans, this leaves surprisingly few places to comfortably watch action.
At the $50 general admission ticket price, the Farmers could be the worst tournament experience in golf. Growing the game, it will not.
The event obviously needs to generate revenue to pay off debts and surrounding holes 14 through 18 with corporate tents helps sell premium tickets and expensive packages. But at a public facility that the people of San Diego sacrifice for a few weeks, the anti-grandstand gesture seems in poor taste. And given the game's need to add new fans and keep old ones coming around, is it too much to give people a place to sit down once in a while?