Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara transformed into golfer's paradise

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (KGO) -- Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara was built for football, but it's hosted lots of other sports. And on Friday, there's a new one that was added to the list.

The home of the San Francisco 49ers has seen a lot in its brief history, but never something like this.

"If you told me that we were golfing inside Levi's Stadium a year ago, I'd kind of frown and look at you like you're crazy," said the stadium's general manager, Jim Mercurio.

And yet, if you glance down at the field, you'll find no gridiron and no goal posts, only freshly-mowed greens that are punctuated by sand traps and littered with hundreds and hundreds of golf balls.

There are nine holes in all, with tees scattered around the middle and upper decks of the stadium situated high above the field. For three days, Levi's has transformed into a golf course, complete with a clubhouse in the United Airlines luxury lounge by a group called Stadium Links that does this at sports venues around the country.

"I think it's awesome to be playing where the Niners play," said Christopher Lee, who told us his boss declared an office holiday to golf there.

But golf comes with a decidedly different vibe than football, says Niners rookie tight end Cole Hikutini.

"Definitely different," he said. "I've never seen anything like this, so it's interesting."

Instead of music and the cheers of thousands of fans, Levi's is dead quiet, like the golf course Hikutini played on as a kid. He's humble about it, but stadium staff told us his golf game is nothing to sneeze at.
"I live on a golf course back home, so kind of one of the things I did with my dad growing up," he said.

Golfing there comes with its own set of challenges. Aiming at a target six stories below you is difficult enough. Then add the metal railings on the back of the tee box that players hit with a loud "clank" from time to time. Scoring is a matter of how close you get to the hole. Though a hole-in-one is possible, it's more likely to happen on the putting greens set up in the clubhouse.

The event runs all weekend, and Friday saw hundreds of workers who found their way out of the office and onto the Levi's links.

"How'd you talk your boss into this?" we asked one golfer.

"He talked me into this!" he exclaimed.

Click here for to learn more about this event at Levi's Stadium.
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