10 things I enjoyed most about being a spectator at The Match

After watching 'The Match' in-person earlier this week, GOLF Top 100 Teacher Kellie Stenzel shares the 10 things she enjoyed the most

After watching The Match in-person earlier this week, GOLF Top 100 Teacher Kellie Stenzel shares 10 key takeaways.

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The most recent rendition of The Match took place Monday at The Park West Palm in South Florida. Given its proximity to my home, I decided to make the trip to see four of the biggest names in golf play in a unique setting that’s captivated golf fans for the past few years.

While The Match typically pairs players up as teammates, this latest edition had Rory McIlroy, Max Homa, Lexi Thompson and Rose Zhang all playing against one other — and it was a joy to watch.

Here are 10 things I enjoyed most about seeing this golf spectacle up close.

Upon arriving at The Park West Palm, the atmosphere was electric. Kellie Stenzel

1. Getting a ticket

I often don’t like asking others for favors, so this one was likely on me. Still, getting a ticket was a challenge due to the fact that they were so limited. But at the last minute, a friend came through with two tickets, so I was able to bring my teenage son (who loves golf).

2. A special evening

Gates opened at 5 p.m. and the atmosphere was electric up until the 7 p.m. start time. The weather was amazing and the sun was setting, so being outside in Florida made for a special event. The food and drinks were great, too.

3. The course

The Park West Palm is amazing and has added so much to the community. Gil Hanse and Jim Wagner created a great golf experience for any golfer. Anyone who has played the course can truly appreciate it.

I even know several golfers who have given up their private course memberships to only focus on playing at The Park. Not only is the course great, but the entire facility is a golfer’s paradise. The large putting greens were even open for The Match attendees to practice on, which was very fun.

An ideal setting for The Match. Kellie Stenzel

4. Being up close and personal

Due to the limited amount of tickets, attendees were able to get close to the golfers, and it was amazing to see their swings up close in a relaxed atmosphere.

I chose to hang closer to the tee box where Thompson and Zhang were teeing off. The quality of their pre-shot routines and their perfect swings were really fun to watch. McIlroy is phenomenal in the way he generates power and how he’s able to create such a perfect balance with each swing.

5. The charity aspect

The players were competing for their personal charities, which only added to the spirit of the event. The fact that the four participating players care enough to make a difference was nice to see. Even more impressive, the foursome donated over $2 million to charity from the event!

6. Playing under the lights

The stadium lighting was incredible, as it highlighted the beauty of the course and the perfect conditions. Everyone seemed so happy to be there, and the competition and amazing shots were really fun to see.

The star power at The Match was off the charts. Kellie Stenzel

7. Seeing the sheer power and touch

It was fun to see the power of the four players and how far they were able to launch the ball — their tee shots just soared above the lights. Maybe even more impressive was the precision on the par-3s.

On the putting surface, I was impressed with the players’ ability to roll the ball so close — even from far away. The greens at The Park have quite a bit of undulation, so this is no easy feat.

8. Respect to the visionaries

The group of individuals who contributed money to build this facility and have supported it along the way were certainly rewarded. What a great event, and a unique spin for all golfers to enjoy.

9. Seeing the crowd and the celebrities

The crowd was impressive and happy to be there, and the sponsors, their guests, and the community really came out to support the event. So many of the local golf community was there as well, including quite a few elite juniors.

There were also several celebrity attendees, like DJ Khaled and Charles Barkley. DJ Khaled was hitting balls on the range and having fun with fans (although he had a bit of a slice off the tee; I’m more than happy to offer him lessons if he’d like).

10. Fun

Bottom line, the event was just fun. I’m so glad that I was able to go and bring my son. It was a great event at a great location with great people for so many incredible causes. Congrats to everyone involved with The Match.

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