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US Open: Things to check out at Merion

Things to do at Merion's U.S. Open.

U.S. Open - Preview Day 1 The U.S. Open officially started Monday morning under a heavy rain at Merion Golf Club.

The U.S. Open is back at Merion Golf Club for the first time since 1981. While we anxiously await Tuesday's press conferences featuring Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia — the two golfers reportedly shook hands on the practice tee Monday — we present some fun and interesting things to check out this week:

What to do at Merion

1. People watch:From celebrities and media personalities to current and legendary athletes, the U.S. Open will be swarming with big names and exciting faces.

2. Go shopping: The USGA merchandise pavilion has 350,000 items featuring the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion logo. Ralph Lauren is the official outfitter of the Open. A signature polo is selling for $85.

3. Bring the family.Children (12 and younger) do not need a ticket when accompanied by an adult with a valid ticket. Meanwhile, tickets for teenagers (13-17) are just $15 for practice rounds and $35 for championship rounds.

4. Grub hub. Spectator Square is home to numerous food and beverage options, ranging from classic hamburgers and hot dogs — and yes, cheesesteaks — to local microbrews and wine from California.

5. Swing it. Improve your golf swing by stopping by the AMEX Championship Experience's Fitness Studio & Swing Analysis

6. Hit the small screen. Learn the ropes in broadcasting and media technology at Chevron's mock television studio.

7. Pose like a champion. Snap a photo with the coveted U.S. Open Trophy located at the Lexus Performance Drive Pavilion.

8. Take a history lesson.Learn about Merion's rich U.S. Open history at the AMEX Championship Experience. There is also 216-page book on sale ($35) chronicling the greatest moments in U.S. Open history. Page 182 features David Graham's win at the 1981 Open at Merion.

9. Play Merion virtually. Swing by the Lexus Performance Drive Pavilion in Spectator Square to experience the course virtually.

10. Conduct a science experiment. Learn about the flight and lift of golf balls, study velocity and acceleration and use a Stimpmeter to measure the speed of putting greens at Chevron's STEM Zone.

Open pairings

Practice rounds began Monday, but the championship rounds don't begin until Thursday. In case you haven't heard, there are some pretty good pairings starting with the threesome of Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Adam Scott. That group tees it up at 1:14 p.m. Thursday on hole No. 1 and then 7:55 a.m. Friday on hole No. 11.

 
 
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