By Christie Duffy
Golf pros from around the world took to the green at Ridgewood Country Club in Paramus today.
Among them Wyckoff native Morgan Hoffmann. He finished the day two below par.
Before signing autographs for fans, Hoffmann tells us other pros find the Ridgewood course to be a challenge. And some want to see a U.S. Open played there. That would be good news for Hoffmann, whose got the home-field advantage.
What’s it like playing so close to home? “It’s great. It’s nice to sleep in my own bed and have a home crowd out here. It’s really special,” Hoffmann said. You know this course well right?
“I do we played high school matches as a kid and played a bunch coming into this event,” said Hoffmann.
It’s not just the Ramapo High School grad who loves when the PGA Tour comes to town.
But it’s also a boon for businesses. On “The Food Truck Fairway”, business owners tell us they’d like to be invited to more major sporting events like this one.
“So far it’s been great. A lot of publicity of course, it’s tremendous event. Over the course of the weekend, five days in August, each truck will anticipate making twice what they would normally make anywhere else, that’s the goal,” said New Jersey Food Truck Association President and owner of Aroy-D Thai Food Truck Jon Hepner.
It’s Paramus’ fourth time hosting the 18-hole tournament. And the mayor says with an estimated 20,000 spectators in town per day – the area is expected to benefit to the tune of $35 million to $45 million dollars.
“We believe it’s not only at the course itself but the restaurants, malls, hotels. As you drive around while the golfers are here you can see the spike in the business when you talk to the workers etc., in particular restaurants and hotels,” said Paramus Mayor Rich LaBarbiera.
Visitors to the Barclays should expect to pass through three layers of security before making it to the green. Hundreds of private security staff are scanning people and their belongings. Bags larger than a half-foot are prohibited. Cameras, signs and pets – all banned.
Officials have been preparing six months to make this event a safe one. The Paramus police are the lead agency but the state police, FBI, and multiple jurisdictions are all on site.
Visitors should also be prepared to park and ride or walk. General parking is at Bergen Community College.