Hundreds of golfers are playing at the PGA Professional National Championship in Myrtle Beach this week in the first PGA-sanctioned event to ever be played in Myrtle Beach, and tourism experts say it could really be a hole-in-one for our economy.
"This is the first time that Myrtle Beach has hosted this event and really a great opportunity, because it showcases what we have to offer to a great audience, the PGA professionals, the PGA of America and of course, the Golf Channel," explained Bill Golden, President of Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday.
The tournament runs from Sunday through Wednesday. Hundreds of golfers, their families and fans are here for the event. Golden added that the the long-term economic impact will be far greater.
"The really big impact is the nearly 10 hours of live television coverage we're going to have on the Golf Channel, because it just showcases the Grand Dunes, the Dunes Club, the ocean, the hotels around here, really the whole destination," Golden said, adding that this will hopefully turn viewers into first-time visitors. "It's the opportunity for us to be able to expose the area to people who haven't been here before and in a unique way which we're doing this week."
He said this could make them repeat visitors, like professional golfer Jamie Broce, here from Ohio with his wife and kids. "I think the family having this much fun. Even for other things, we'd probably come on back. You can't beat the weather and the beaches so yeah, I think we'd definitely come back in the future."
The top 20 players from this tournament will head to the PGA championship in August in Kentucky. Players in this tournament are competing for $550,000 in prize money.