Standing near the first tee box at the Presidents Cup a few hours before the opening gala, Johnny Harris smiles when I ask him for Charlotte’s stamp on the event that’s catching the golfing world’s attention.
why? Because this is different.
“I think what happened [is] PGA Championship [in 2017] Harris, president of the Quail Hollow Club and senior developer in Charlotte, told Axios:
why does it matter: The second time you step into the Quail Hollow course, the action feels substantial Charlotte. That’s not just because there are decorative signs for NoDa and South End reading privileges. Instead of feeling like “This is another golf event in Charlotte,” “This is a Charlotte event, and golf is the main course.”
- From the note: Charlotte became the first A place in the southeast to host Presidents Cup.
context: The Quail Hollow Club’s history of hosting golf tournaments dates back to 1969 with the Kemper Open, which ran until 1979 here. Then came the World Seniors Invitational from 1980 to 1989, followed by the Wells Fargo (then called the Wachovia Championship) starting in 2003, but it wasn’t held here this year in preparation for the Presidents Cup. The PGA Championship was also here in 2017 and will return in 2025.
- Harris added that events at the Quail Hollow Club became not just regional or national; It grabs international attention.
- “This has been a very positive aspect of everything we have ever done,” he said.
In numbers: The economic impact of the Presidents Cup will be more than $175 million for the region, according to the office of North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper.
Such events also attract big names, whether it’s Justin Bieber at the PGA Championship in 2017 or former North Carolina basketball coach Roy Williams in 2022. President Joe Biden is the honorary president of the Presidents Cup, a role held by many other presidents. , who may make their way to Charlotte this week.
- Cooper said former presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton will be here and possibly President Biden.
The Big Picture: Charlotte isn’t just banks and beer. It is golf country.
Zoom out: North Carolina has 520 golf courses, and golf is a big business for the state, generating $2.3 billion in direct spending in North Carolina, per Cooper’s office. (These numbers are from a 2017 study by the Carolina Golf Course Managers Association when the sport experienced a decline in activity.)
- The sport is now booming, thanks in part to the pandemic that has forced everyone outside, Axios’s Zachary Ennis and Michael Graf report.
- In addition, the World Golf Hall of Fame will move to Pinehurst, which will also host the US Open in 2024. The move includes an investment of $25 million and brings 50 full-time employees from the American Golf Association there.
What’s Next: All that’s left is for Charlotte to host Ryder Cup, held every two years, which is the United States against Europe. Like the Presidents Cup, it would be a coveted event for Charlotte to host.
- “It’s like my dad always says, ‘When you spend your time at bat, you better swing,'” he said. john Harris, president of the 2022 Presidents Cup and son of Johnny Harris. “So if we ever have the opportunity to step up at bat, we’ll see where it goes.”
deepen: Guide to the 2022 Presidents Cup in Charlotte