Planning for the 2017 PGA Championship began years ago when the host site agreement was signed between Quail Hollow and the PGA of America in 2010. The announcement, made in August of 2010, was hosted at Quail Hollow Club and attended by many who played an integral role in bringing the first Major Championship to Charlotte. Members of the club as well as former governors Jim Martin and Beverly Purdue were in attendance for the highly anticipated announcement to speak on the significance of hosting such an event in the state of North Carolina.
This past October, PGA of America staff members arrived in Charlotte to begin the on-site planning process for the Championship. The staff, whose mission is to plan, manage and execute the best Championship each year works out of a Championship Office located on-site at Quail Hollow Club and is comprised of 7-8 full-time Championship staff members by year of the event. Site plan development for what could be aptly referred to as a “PGA City” must begin as early as possible. Upwards of 200 temporary structures will be constructed in preparation of the event, the largest being a 40,000 sqft. climate controlled merchandise shop. In total, more than 500,000 sqft. of flooring, 300,000 ft. of lumber, 140,000 lbs. of steel, and 60,000 ft. of rope will be used to prepare the grounds for a Major Championship. Additionally, the logistics associated with security, parking/traffic, and emergency response, are essential to consider in order to provide a safe, enjoyable environment for spectators and players. Building relationships and fostering partnerships within the Charlotte community are also areas of interest for the staff during their first few months on-site as a marketing plan is devised and ticket sales begin.
In December, hospitality sales began and the various packages offered were met with considerable interest by those looking to entertain guests and clients in championship worthy areas. The championship as a whole will attract over 100 corporate clients and approximately 1,000 on-site press members throughout the week. More than 200,000 golf fans, with a large portion coming from out-of-state, will walk through gates during the championship having a considerable positive economic impact on the area, estimated at over $100,000,000, while also providing more than 1,000 temporary jobs. Globally, 28 hours of live network television coverage will deliver the Championship to nearly 500 million homes, promoting the game of golf to viewers around the world.
When Championship week arrives, thousands of dedicated volunteers from across the country will work both on and off the course in a variety of capacities to make the Championship a success. Over 4,000 volunteers will assist in all aspects of the Championship, including areas such as merchandise, marshals, media center, transportation, and many more. The volunteers are a key factor to the success of the Championship and we look forward to forming that team here to help put on this great event.
Working alongside the PGA staff to make the 2017 Championship the best in the event’s nearly one hundred year history is a Host Committee selected by Lincoln Harris CEO and Chairman Johnny Harris, who also serves as the president of Quail Hollow Club. Members of this team include general chair, Ralph W. Breeden, and vice chairs Tom Nelson and Andrea Smith. They along with the rest of the Quail Hollow membership will play a vital role in providing a memorable event for golf fans around the world.
After a worthy champion is crowned, the work for the PGA of America staff is not over. In the succeeding months, full and part-time staff will work to tear down the Championship structures and restore the course to its previous condition. Feedback reports and financial analysis’s are also completed post-event to review event success and improve for the future before PGA staff members move on to their next assignments.