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U.S. Open Fan Experience Allows Golf Fans To Get Closer To The Game

OAKMONT (KDKA) -- When you visit the 2016 U.S. Open at Oakmont, you expect to find professional golfers. But what about a chance to improve your drive, test your putting skills, or even take a picture with the U.S. Open Trophy?

You can do it all at the U.S. Open Fan Experience.

The Lexus Performance Drive Pavilion is set up near the merchandise tent. It's open to everyone, but you do have to register. Once you're inside, it's a golf lover's dream.

There is an exhibit on the history of Oakmont. You can learn more about some of the most famous golfers in history.

Then, there's the trophy.

"You've got the opportunity to hold the trophy so that you can feel like a champion," says Katie Bynum, the Senior Director of Partnerships for USGA.

Once you've snapped the perfect picture, fans can share them online. Or, you can share video of your attempt at making that famous Tiger Woods putt from Torrey Pines in 2008.

"As of now, nobody has gotten the hole in one," says Jenifer Mathis, of the Lexus Performance Pavilion. "But, it's the beginning of the week and there's a lot of traffic, so we'll see how good the golfers are out here."

If you make the shot, you'll be entered for a chance to win a two-year lease on a brand new Lexus.

If your short game is fine, maybe you're worried about your long game. Improving drive accuracy is what the Track Man Swing Zone is for.

"On one wall, they'll be able to see holes 4, 8 and 18, and kind of get some tips and tricks in terms of how to conquer those holes," says Erin Maxwell, the Director of Brand Experiences for American Express. "Then, they can actually try to their swing at the Track Man and get even more tips from a pro."

If you plan to watch some of the rounds live out on the course, you can check out the official Oakmont App on your smart phone.

"Fans who come on the site will be able to use the official app to locate players, to find restrooms, to find concession stands, all to help kind of improve the experience of the day," says John Kent, Technology Manager for IBM.

You can also use the app to track golfers on the course so that fans can approximate when they'll get to certain holes.

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Overall, organizers say, it's all about the fan experience.

"We do it to give the fans the ability to see and experience more – other than [live] golf," says Bynum. "They're coming to spend the day here. We give them a great shopping experience and the ability to get closer to the game and find out a little bit more."

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