How to Get US Open Golf Tickets

Good news: It's much easier than getting Masters tickets

Will call ticket booth at US Open
Harry How/Getty Images

So you want to attend the United States Open. How hard is it to get U.S. Open golf tickets?

Probably not as hard as you might think. And definitely not as difficult (or expensive) as, say, getting Masters tickets.

"U.S. Open golf tickets are easy to get," said Brian Talbot of the ticket broker TickCo Premium Seating. "In fact, it's one of the easiest major U.S. events to get into, even if you missed your chance to get tickets through the box office.

Tickets are relatively cheap on the secondary market."

The price isn't even in the same neighborhood as Masters tickets, Super Bowl tickets or World Series tickets, to name a few, on the secondary market (meaning tickets re-sold by brokers or individuals).

Even better, there's a decent chance you won't have to turn to the secondary market to get your U.S. Open golf tickets.

US Open Golf Tickets at the Box Office

The USGA used to conduct a lottery to award tickets to the U.S. Open, first for USGA members, and later another lottery for the general public. But these days, U.S. Open tickets can be purchased online directly from the USGA, no lottery required.

USGA members still get advance notice and opportunity to buy tickets. So if you want to virtually guarantee yourself tickets, become a USGA member.

Tickets generally go on sale to USGA members approximately 15 months before the date of the U.S. Open, with the general public getting its opportunity beginning several months after that.

However, that doesn't mean that tickets sell out that far in advance.

In 2014, for example, the U.S. Open was played at Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina, beginning on June 12. On May 20 of that year - just a few weeks before the start of the tournament - I checked the tickets page on usga.org and found tickets still available for all practice days and all tournament days.

Practice day tickets were selling for $60; first- and second-round tickets for $120 (per day); and third- and fourth-round tickets for $135. (Updated to note that by the end of the day, Saturday tickets had sold out.)

So if you want to attend a U.S. Open, getting tickets directly from the USGA is easily possible, so long as you check early enough.

Where to check? Go to the tickets page on usga.org and check out the options. And remember what we said earlier: Becoming a USGA member is the best way to go when it comes to getting tickets. In 2017, USGA memberships started as low as $10. Look for the "Membership" link on the usga.org homepage.

US Open Golf Tickets on the Secondary Market

If you wait too long and tickets directly from the USGA are sold out, a reputable ticket broker is the next-best thing. As Talbot pointed out at the start, U.S. Open golf tickets are one of the least-expensive tickets among major U.S. sporting events.

And here's an insider tip from Talbot: If it's practice round tickets you want, it might actually be cheaper to start by shopping reputable ticket brokers than it is to buy directly from the USGA. The brokers sometimes sell practice round tickets at below face value.

(Obviously, compare prices before deciding where to buy.)

Auction sites are another option, although the tickets often sell for a premium at such sites. But if you do find a bargain price in an auction, be sure to only purchase from sellers who have high feedback ratings.

On-site scalping varies from year-to-year depending on how heavily the site is being policed. You probably can't count on getting a ticket the day of the event (and then there's that whole breaking-the-law thing to consider ...).

So, to Summarize ...

  • U.S. Open golf tickets are among the easiest and (comparitively) least-expensive tickets to get for major American sporting events.
  • If you plan early enough, you should be able to get tickets directly from the USGA (and can virtually guarantee yourself tickets by becoming a USGA member).
  • But reputable ticket brokers are good fall-back options - and sometimes the first option when it comes to practice-round tickets.

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