PGA Professional National Championship benefits community

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Myrtle Beach is getting some international attention as golfers hit the links for the 47th PGA Professional National Championship.

Early numbers are in, and showing an economic growth of more than $300,000 from the next three days of tournament play.

The Grande Dunes is anticipating a bigger turn out than the PGA National Professional Championship usually gets because Myrtle Beach is one of the top summer destinations and this is just another free event people can come watch.

"I think everyone will look at this area and see what really a great family destination is, see what great quality golf we have and that's all they really have to show them – all those people out there in golfing work, come to Myrtle Beach and play golf," says Dennis Nicholl, Dunes Club Head Golf Pro.

Most of the players brought their families here, which is what Grande Dunes was hoping for.

"Going to dinner, walking the streets, seeing the sites, we went to Broadway last night," explained Terry Whitman, whose husband is playing in the PGA event.

Myrtle Beach is one of the top golfing destinations, so why don't we have more PGA Tours like this?

Well, it all comes down to the cost. Events like this can cost up to $6,000,000 and Myrtle Beach is pretty new to attracting these sponsors that would foot the bill.

However, that doesn't mean they couldn't do it in the future. Dunes Head Golf Pro considers this PGA event a stepping-stone to prove to the world they can host an event of this magnitude.

Nicholl says, "Us and the Grande Dunes Resort, we are kind of carrying the torch for this event for all of Myrtle Beach and that's what we are trying to promote, because if we do well and the world sees a good golf courses here, the quality of the golf courses here in Myrtle Beach they are going to send more people to come down and all the golf course, all the hotels, all the restaurants will benefit from it."

Even players agree.

"This golf course, the dunes, can absolutely hold a PGA tour event no problem," explains Richard Terga, tournament player.

More than 600 volunteers have came out from the community to help organize this event.

At least 70 countries with more than 110 million viewers will have their eyes on Myrtle Beach.

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