All You Need To Know About The First Tee For The 2023 Ryder Cup

How many fans will it hold? How does it measure up to previous first tees and how can you get a ticket? All you need to know about the Ryder Cup first tee

The first tee at marco Simone GC for the 2023 Ryder Cup
(Image credit: Getty Images)

There’s absolutely nothing like it anywhere in the world of golf, arguably the world of sport, where the most talented golfers on the planet, masters of their craft, are reduced to quivering wrecks once engulfed by the noise, the tension and the enormity of the situation.

These are the feelings that only the first tee on the first morning at the Ryder Cup can provoke. 

And for the 2023 Ryder Cup at Marco Simone Golf Club in Rome the first tee is following the recent tradition of having a huge grandstand surrounding it, but how many fans will it hold, and how can golf fans get themselves there? 

How big is the first tee grandstand at the 2023 Ryder Cup?

Quite aptly in the ancient city of the gladiators, a golfing amphitheatre has been produced around the first tee at Marco Simone Golf Club.

The best golfers in the world will feel like they're being fed to the lions when they step out in front of this magnificent structure - with seats coloured the same Azzurri blue that Italy's football team have made famous.

Apparently having enough space for just around 5,000 fans, make no mistake that this will be the toughest tee shots to hit anywhere in golf.

Players will again walkthrough a tunnel underneath the 25m high superstructure, which will dull the noise slightly before they emerge and will be hit by a wall of sound and no doubt massive shot of nerves.

It will take some bottle to step up and stripe one off the first tee here come the Ryder Cup.

What are the biggest Ryder Cup first tee grandstands?

The first tee at the 2018 Ryder Cup in France

The first tee at the 2018 Ryder Cup in France was massive

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Rome is big, but it comes in as second best to the monstrous first tee stand that dominated in 2018.

That year, the Europeans took it to another level when they unveiled their gargantuan grandstand at the first tee at Le Golf National.

Just under 7,000 fans could fit into the hulking great structure that towered menacingly over the first tee box - and created a scene unlike anything we'd seen before in Ryder Cup history.

The size of the stand and the noise, coupled with the tension that a seemingly endless build-up produces would be enough for mere mortals to forget their own names, let alone how to swing a golf club.

The first tee at the 2018 Ryder Cup in Paris

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We had Rory McIlroy wigs and team chanting at Celtic Manor in 2010 to create a great atmosphere if with a relatively modest first tee stand.

From there it's just started getting bigger and bigger, with around 1,200 fans around the first tee at Hazeltine in 2016 before Europe upped their game with about 3,000 up at Gleneagles for 2014.

Already that was enough to make even Major champions quake in their FootJoys, as Webb Simpson showed when he skied the opening tee shot of the competition and only just about made the fairway.

A view of the first tee grandstand at the 2021 Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Even the starter in Scotland may have been feeling the nerves when introducing Simpson as Bubba Watson!

Team USA responded to Le Golf National by packing 4,000 American fans around the opening tee box at Whistling Straits last time out - with only a few Europeans making it due to Covid restrictions.

But still, nothing can touch what was produced in 2018 - even though Rome comes pretty close.

Can I get tickets for the Ryder Cup 1st tee?

The 2023 Ryder Cup in Rome

(Image credit: Getty Images)

In short, no as that ship has unsurprisingly sailed with all of the First Tee Experience upgrades that had been on sale all being sold out.

However, importantly and quite rightly there will be some unreserved seating at the first tee at Marco Simone GC that will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

That means that fans will be lining up at the crack of dawn and we could see an almighty scramble when the course opens up of fans racing towards the first tee hoping to get a seat.

And before you rest too easy with your First Tee Experience upgrade tickets, don't think for one minute you can just waltz in at the last minute so smugly take your seat when everyone else has been there since daybreak.

As the Ryder Cup website warns that even those with tickets need to be in their seats 45 minutes before the first scheduled tee time otherwise they risk losing their seats!

The first tee shots are iconic, the stand will go down in history and the last thing organisers want to see are empty seats in the flagship stand.

They want this huge stand packed, as it should be, and cranking out the maximum volume for what is one of the greatest scenes in golf.

Paul Higham

Paul Higham is a sports journalist with over 20 years of experience in covering most major sporting events for both Sky Sports and BBC Sport. He is currently freelance and covers the golf majors on the BBC Sport website.  Highlights over the years include covering that epic Monday finish in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor and watching Rory McIlroy produce one of the most dominant Major wins at the 2011 US Open at Congressional. He also writes betting previews and still feels strangely proud of backing Danny Willett when he won the Masters in 2016 - Willett also praised his putting stroke during a media event before the Open at Hoylake. Favourite interviews he's conducted have been with McIlroy, Paul McGinley, Thomas Bjorn, Rickie Fowler and the enigma that is Victor Dubuisson. A big fan of watching any golf from any tour, sadly he spends more time writing about golf than playing these days with two young children, and as a big fair weather golfer claims playing in shorts is worth at least five shots. Being from Liverpool he loves the likes of Hoylake, Birkdale and the stretch of tracks along England's Golf Coast, but would say his favourite courses played are Kingsbarns and Portrush.