'Gotta Treat The Fans Better' - Pros React To Beer Prices At PGA Championship

Justin Thomas leads the charge from inside the ropes as beer prices cause uproar

Price of beer at the PGA Championship
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Since arriving at Southern Hills ahead of what is expected to be a fiercely contested PGA Championship, fans have been greeted with a mixture of excitement as to what is to come and shock and awe at the price of items at the concession stand.

A can of Michelob Ultra is priced at an astonishing $18, around the same price of a case at most stores, whilst Stella Artois and Michelob Organic Seltzer comes in at the upgraded price of $19.

A Kona Big Waze or 'standard' cocktail will set fans back $15 with the 'signature' and 'souvenir' cocktails costing as much as $19. Wine by the glass looks to represent the best value at $13. 

Costly prices for alcoholic beverages at leading sporting events isn't necessarily breaking news but what is perhaps most shocking is that a bottle of Aquafina, the tournament's official water provider, will cost $6. With temperatures expected to climb as high as 92 degrees Fahrenheit (33 Celsius), hydration comes at a hefty price at Southern Hills.

As was expected, fans have had their say on social media. One described the prices as "extortion" whilst another indicated that it made "airport prices seem cheap." Of course, it didn't take long for fans to make the comparison to the concession stand at Augusta National, where an import beer costs a measly, in contrast, $5. 

World No.9 Justin Thomas led the cries from inside the ropes when he Tweeted: "$18(!!!!!!!!!!) for a beer .... uhhhh what. Gotta treat the fans better than that." 

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Scott Hend, a veteran on the DP World Tour, chimed in with: "It should only take $400 to get trolleyed," whilst Brooks Koepka offered somewhat of a cheeky solution: "If you drink enough you'll be fine."

The response and criticism the prices received online was put to PGA of America officials with Kerry Haigh, Chief Championships Officer, stating "We do have a new concession area, but we also have a new ticketing pricing offering for all the spectators this year, which includes basically as much food and non-alcoholic beverage as they want included in the price of the ticket.

"Starting Thursday, spectators will be able to drink non-alcoholic beverages and as much food as they want for the price of their ticket.

"For those on the practice days, all spectators can bring in bottled water, and starting Thursday we'll have refills on water. The pricing of the product is sort of comparable to stadium events. We're comfortable with where we are, and we hope spectators will come out and have a great time and a great experience."

The PGA Championship gets underway this week with Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy the most anticipated group. A stacked field of 156 of the best players in the world will battle it out to lift the coveted Wannamaker Trophy. 

James joined Golf Monthly having previously written for other digital outlets. He is obsessed with all areas of the game – from tournament golf, to history, equipment, technique and travel. He is also an avid collector of memorabilia; with items from the likes of Bobby Jones, Tiger Woods, Francis Ouimet, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Adam Scott and Ernie Els. As well as writing for Golf Monthly, James’ golfing highlight is fist bumping Phil Mickelson on his way to winning the Open Championship at Muirfield in 2013. James grew up on the east coast of England and is the third generation of his golfing family. He now resides in Leeds and is a member of Cobble Hall Golf Club with a handicap index of 1.7. His favourite films are The Legend of Bagger Vance and Tin Cup.