FARMINGDALE, N.Y. (WPIX)—It's only the practice round, but already the masses are gathering at Bethpage Black.
Tens of thousands of spectators walking the links each day means lots of green, in money being spent. $9 for two ice cream bars, seems to be well worth it.
The last time the U.S. open played at Bethpage State Park, which is actually in Farmingdale, businesses suffered because fans were shuttled to and from the course, with hardly anyone visiting local shops and restaurants.
This time around there's a big push to drive fans to free entertainment on the village green.
Jessica Geremina at Croxley's Ale house already sees a difference.
"I have a full bar as you can see and a little while ago I had a full dining area," said Geremina.
Because of the down economy, corporate sponsors didn't buy up as much space in the big white tents that line the course, but that opened up more tickets to the general public.
Mike and Luann Johnson came from Iowa and are spending in downtown Farmingdale.
"We went to a show last night, ate there, we're eating there every night," said Mike.
The Open is also expected to benefit Nassau, Suffolk and the City.
Fans are urged to hop on the Long Island Railroad to the Farmingdale train station and from there get a free ride to the course.
"There's already been about $45 million spent on hotels and catering and all the different equipment used to prepare for the Open," said Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi.
The hope for more green though, depends a lot on the sun.
That's because golf fans may be more willing to watch their favorite players play in the pouring rain, the same may not be true for live music and shows, even if they are free.