Anything Can Be Purchased At U.S. Open Merchandise Tent | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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Anything Can Be Purchased At U.S. Open Merchandise Tent

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The merchandise tent at the Congressional Country Club is the largest temporary structure built for the U.S. Open.
Matt Bush
The merchandise tent at the Congressional Country Club is the largest temporary structure built for the U.S. Open.

This isn't your average souvenir stand. It's the largest temporary structure constructed for the tournament, and those who enter are almost always caught off guard by its size.

At first glance, you might think there are only hats and t-shirts. But a closer look shows there is far more. Golf accessories such as towels and ball markers, framed lithographs, books, mugs and shot glasses fill the room. Replica flags like those that top the pins on the greens are a big seller for autograph hounds.

And then there are the sewing machines. They're not for sale, but for customizing the hats that are. Linda Gayless mans one of the machines, and she says people are getting creative with what they want sewn.

"It's a joke between he and his family. He put orange jello, all as one word, as if it were someone's name: Oranjello. We had someone put Big Toe, Long Hitter, No. 2 Dad," she says.

She adds they've already done hundreds of these, and that's before the big crowds start showing up for the first round on Thursday.

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