#ThePlusInMetsPlus: Redeeming my Miles another way…..
On today’s #ThePlusInMetsPlus, we take a break from the Baseball to talk about Golf. Not to farfetched, right? Well, what does Golf have to do with Frequent Flyer Miles? Read on to find out!
Baseball is my favorite sport. Aside from Baseball, I like Hockey, Golf and Tennis, and Football when the time is right.
Last year, I went to the Barclays Black Course in Bethpage, and I’ve been intrigued by the PGA Tour ever since.
This year, through the MileagePlus Exclusives program, I got tickets to the Genesis Open, in Santa Monica, CA, but here’s the catch, I didn’t purchase any tickets, my Premier Status allowed me to redeem miles for the United Fairway Club, right in front of the 17th Green.
I simply logged into my MileagePlus account on the official MileagePlus Exclusives page, and everything was processed from there.
Members without Premier Status could bid on these exclusive experiences buy using their MileagePlus award miles.
The VIP treatment started two weeks before the tournament, as I was given the tickets in a huge box via FedEx. The box included the tickets with nice United Airlines lanyards, parking passes, and a separate Calaway Golf “repair kit” with a tee, four golf balls and markers.
This was a pretty awesome gift and a great omen for the trip!
Fast forward to Genesis Sunday, and the aforementioned parking pass really came in hand. The VIP pass gave us access to the valet lot right behind the 18th Clubhouse, which really helped us get in and out in a flash. The walk down the path was beautiful, with the sun starting to come out of the clouds just as the players started teeing off.
The club was next to the AT&T, Bank Of America and Mercedes-Benz tents. I was welcomed by the representative, given a wrist band and we were off.
Upon entering, we were given a golf towel by a friendly check-in representative that made us sign photo release forms. There were outlets, flat screen TV’s, air conditioning, leather couches, a full buffet (more on that later) and those advertised views of the 17th Green.
There were three rows of comfortable seats, all overlooking the green with TV monitors showing the replays overhead. There was rain the day before, so there was pressure to finish play before sunset.
The event lasted from 11am to around 5pm. The catering was pretty good, similar to what you would see at a great airport lounge. There were make-your-own Chicken Sandwiches, Salads, Brisket Mac and Cheese, Toppings, Pickles, breads, all in addition to a fantastic full bar, which served non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages free of charge, I stuck with the cranberry juice, but my parents quite enjoyed the alcoholic selection, which has delivered by the courteous bar tender.
To start, I had some of the brisket mac & cheese, which was extremely tasty, and probably the most memorable food item on the whole buffet due to it’s uniqueness.
When the golfers made there way to the 17th hole, I made myself a delicious Chicken Breast Sandwich, with some toppings, accompanied by a thirst quenching Cranberry Juice.
This truly felt like a VIP experience, and something that should cost way more MileagePlus miles. Comparing it to something that I understand, a suite at Citi Field, which doesn’t come with any food, starts from $5,000 per game, so this was an incredible deal.
Here are some more candids from the day:
We were encouraged to share the experience on social media using #MPExclusives, which I did throughout the day.
Towards the end, I had some of the dessert, thinking the culinary part of the day was over, but no, it was time for the snacks!
This time there was Seasonal Fruit, Chips, Mini Hot Dogs etc. which I continued to enjoy.
We might have just had the luck of the draw, but the weather was fantastic, and the fact that there was an overhang protecting us from direct sun was a huge plus. After the last group of players (Perez, Johnson and Triangle) finished playing, I said goodbye to the staff at the United Fairway Club, who were very nice and super friendly, and even gave us a few more towels before we left.
We then “followed” Johnson up the 18th Green and saw him finishing the tournament off with a great putt.
Overall, this whole event was superb, and United did a great job putting it together. I would highly recommend doing something like this if you have a stash of United MileagePlus Miles that you aren’t utilizing.
Thanks to United Airlines and the Genesis Open for being amazing hosts and offering great hospitality.