AVONDALE, LA — “Now teeing off…” you might hear the announcer say at this year’s Zurich Classic of New Orleans as each player approaches the first tee. Then LL Cool J’s “Mama Said Knock You Out” blares over loudspeakers. Maybe another player will select Pat Benatar’s “Hit Me With Your Best Shot”.
Yes, walk up music is coming to the tournament. Players get to pick their tunes.
“This innovation will try to further enhance the concept and the team atmosphere,” tournament director Steve Worthy says in a written statement. The Zurich Classic will be the first PGA event to have the music.
The move is just the latest to set the tournament apart from others. Last year, it introduced the two-man team format.
“Our fans and the players have enthusiastically embraced our team format,” Worthy says.
This year 80 teams have committed to play in the tournament including this year’s Masters champion Patrick Reed and former Masters champions Sergio Garcia and Bubba Watson.
“We are continuously looking for fun and innovative ways for our players to connect with fans,” said Tyler Dennis, the PGA Tour’s Chief of Operations. “Given the team format and the location being New Orleans, I can’t think of a better event to introduce this on the PGA TOUR.”
The tournament is televised in 224 countries. This year’s Zurich Classic runs from April 23-29. Along with the walk-up music and the two-man format, the tournament also has more than $7 million to be distributed among the top finishers. The winning pair will each receive more than $1 million.
Single day tickets start at $35.