The first televised matches begin Thursday and continue through the weekend. While tickets to this anticipated golfing event are sold out, but there are plenty of other exciting Ryder Cup related events to take in. Marissa Conrad, an associate features editor with Time Out Chicago runs down some options. timeoutchicago.com
An estimated 3.9 million viewers watched a Tiger Woods–less finale in 2008. Celebrate the esteemed competition by rubbing elbows with inaugural U.S. Ryder Cup Team ambassador Justin Timberlake. (The pop star is an avid golfer and owns Mirimichi Golf Course in Memphis.) Hobnob with the players, team captains and comedian George Lopez. Legendary rock band Chicago plays live. Akoo Theatre, 5400 N River Rd, Rosemont (800-745-3000, rydercup.com). Wed 26 at 8:30pm; $200–$300.
Upwards of 75 artists--including late painter LeRoy Neiman and students from South Shore Arts, Brushmasters, Columbia College and the Chicago Artists Coalition--designed 90 gargantuan five-foot-three-inch-diameter golf balls, including those situated down the Mag Mile. Sponsorship packages from the Magnificent Moments campaign benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland & Northwest Indiana and the Illinois PGA Foundation. Various Chicagoland locations including Michigan Avenue from Walton St to Illinois St (rmhccni.org). Through Oct 10; free.
You can easily waste half an hour at this first-ever installation. Footage from Cups of yesteryear on two flat-screens show former players engaging in more celebratory fist-pumping and Champagne-spritzing than an episode of Jersey Shore. So much for being regarded as "a game for gentlemen." Team captain Jack Nicklaus's bag from the now iconic 1969 match; the wacky uniform shirts worn by Team U.S. in 1999, as well as their championship trophy; a 1920s driver made of mostly wood; and a commemorative 2004 Captain America Ryder Cup cartoon--all can be found on display inside the mall's old bebe retail space. Oakbrook Shopping Center, 100 Oakbrook Center, Oak Brook (rydercup.com). Mon–Sat noon-7pm; Sun 11am-6pm. Through Sept 30; free.
Time Out Chicago's Ryder Cup guide, a special insert in the issue that's just leaving newsstands, details 18 places to drink and watch the Cup. One of our favorite picks: Fadó Irish Pub, right off the Grand stop on the Red Line. It's normally a soccer joint, but with two levels and plenty of TVs, it's great for any sport. Their featured drink is the Basil Squeeze, a mix of vodka, rum, lime juice, lemon-lime soda and, of course, fresh basil leaves. 100 W Grand Ave (312-836-0066, fadoirishpub.com). Ryder Cup runs Tues 25-Sun 30; televised matches are Thurs 27 4pm-5pm, Fri 28 7:20am-end of play, Sat 29 7:20am-end of play, Sun 30 11am-end of play .
Magnolia is doing up its classic chocolate and vanilla cupcakes with edible golf decorations atop the vanilla buttercream frosting. Snag one--or a dozen--at their Loop store. $3.25 each, available Fri 28-Sun 30. 108 N State St (312-346-7777).