ATLANTA — It has a $15 million first-place prize and features some of the best golfers in the world, but the TOUR Championship at East Lake Golf Club is shockingly accessible.

11Alive’s Crash Clark visited with tournament director Martin Stephenson before the 2019 TOUR Championship tees off on Thursday, and got a first-hand look at how close the club brings you to the action.

“How exciting is this? I mean we’re getting ready to kick it off, we got the top three players in the world competing right here at historic East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta,” Stephenson said.

The TOUR Championship boasts that it offers a signature experience: getting your closer to the pros than just about any other major tournament.

You can almost reach out and touch them, you get that close at East Lake.

“There is no other event where you can get a grounds ticket and literally go stand four feet from the greatest players in the sport on the planet today,” Stephenson said. “And so for fans, you don’t really have to walk a ton to see a lot, and so it makes it very, very fan-friendly out here.”

Tour Championship Golf East Lake Club Atlanta
AP Photo/David Goldman

“Also we make sure we limit the number of spectators that are out here, because we want to protect the intimacy of that fan experience,” he added.

He described the atmosphere as “lively” and encouraged fans to have fun. The tournament promotes its family-friendly atmosphere, which includes free entry for kids under 18 if they come with adults who have tickets.

“We’ve got something for everybody,” Stephenson said. “For the families that want to come out, all youths 18 and under come out complimentary with a ticketed adult. What a great opportunity for the family to come out.”

The tournament has expanded over the years to become a fully immersive experience – the Georgia Aquarium even has a tent there, so you can bring the young ones out and have the kids petting a turtle while you watch a little golf.

The TOUR Championship starts Thursday at East Lake, which is sandwiched between Glenwood Avenue and Alston Drive along 2nd Avenue in East Atlanta.

For the weekend days, tickets start at $75 for a grounds pass.

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