OWINGS MILLS, Md. — In it’s 30-year history Caves Valley Golf Club has never looked like it does this week.
"I’m excited about this. I’m crazy excited about it," said Caves Valley Club Chairman Steve Fader.
The grandstands are up. Tents appear everywhere. PGA Tour signage is at every turn. The best golf course in Baltimore is welcoming the best golfers on the planet for the BMW Championship.
What’s that feeling like?
"Real. It all doesn’t sound real. On paper it doesn’t sound real. Even as they are constructing it," said Fader. "What’s real is to see the fans, to see fan engagement, to see the players here, to see them on our range."
For the first time since 1962 the PGA Tour is in the Baltimore area. The BMW Championship is the second of three FedEx Cup playoff events. 70 golfers take part. 30 advance. Players like Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth and world No. 1 Jon Rahm got their practice rounds in on Tuesday.
"For everybody I have asked that has played here has told me it’s a great golf course," said Rahm, who is the defending BMW champion. "I know it’s a big property, elevation changes. I can’t wait to get out there based on what I hear."
Over 125,000 fans are expected at Caves this week. The ones on-hand on Tuesday were starstruck.
"It’s awesome," said Davis Cawlfield, 16, who traveled to Caves from Severna Park with his father and brother. "Definitely really cool to see all these big names, all these big players right here in Baltimore."
"It’s fantastic," said his father, Andrew. "I wanted to bring the boys out here and get them an opportunity to take a look at some of the PGA players up close."
One of the unique components of the BMW Championship is the Evans Scholars Foundation. The Western Golf Association, the group that organizes the tournament, awards a four-year college scholarship to 300 caddies a year from across the country. Varada Maulkhan is one of this year’s recipients. She’s from Catsonville and will move in at University of Maryland on Thursday.
"Me going to college has always been a dream and me having that opportunity is absolutely amazing," she said.
Round one of the BMW Championship begins on Thursday.