In HearSway, US OPEN

We’ll let you in on a local secret: even non U.S. Open ticket holders can browse the the USGA’s on-course Merchandise Pavilion tent before the Open officially kicks off. You can shop beginning Thursday June 6 until Sunday June 9, then only those with tickets can shop.

“The championship game days will be packed,” said Head of Merchandise Mary Lopuszynski, who has led the USGA’s merchandise efforts for nearly 30 years. “It’ll get a bit crazy, but these four days will be our warm up.”

The merchandise tent covers 35,000 square feet and is located near the main admission gate on Morganton Road. The full store includes over 400,000 U.S. Open logo items from 50 different brands, including FootJoy, Under Armour, Nike, G/FORE and Adidas.

“It’s a big enormous team that puts the whole thing together,” says Mary.

Peter Millar, the official outfitter of the U.S. Open and USGA, has designed custom apparel for the U.S. Open merchandise offering and volunteers.

There are many design options for men, women and children. “The traditional logo does a little better but we try to do things that are a little more creative too,” says Mary. Janeen Driscoll, Director of USGA Brand Communications adds that what she really loves about golf apparel is “all the funky prints.”

But it won’t just be the name brands that shoppers will recognize. There will also be a few local vendors like Nichols Pottery and R.Riveter with special Open-branded products.

The merch team expects to sell at least 10,000 white U.S. Open flags and about 20,000 towels because they’re an easy price point and versatile. Mary says headwear is good as a gift because you don’t need to know someone’s size and there are tons of options— a whole corner of the tent to be exact.

Drinkware is one of the more popular merchandise items in North Carolina according to Mary, and we can’t say we’re surprised. “In 2014, drinkware sold like no place else,” said Lopuszynski. Mugs and tumblers come in a variety of colors and shapes.

Mary knows the last four days of the Open is when they will do 70% of their business and she hopes they are all sold out by June 17.

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