The 99th PGA Championship played host to its own hosts from the Charlotte community—representatives of the area’s four minority chambers of commerce: Charlotte LGBT Chamber of Commerce; Charlotte Mecklenburg Black Chamber of Commerce; Carolinas Asian-American Chamber of Commerce; and the Latin American Chamber of Commerce of Charlotte.
Key political and business leaders—including U.S. Rep. Alma Adams, Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts and local chamber representatives—joined PGA President Paul Levy, 2017 PGA Championship Director Jason Mengel, 2017 PGA Championship General Chair Ralph Breeden and PGA Historian Bob Denney for “Chambers on Course at the PGA Championship” on Tuesday at Quail Hollow Club. They addressed the crowd of 125 about the economic impact of golf, as well as the importance of diversity and inclusion on business growth.
Officials estimate that this week’s PGA Championship will make an enormous impact on the region, to the tune of an estimated $100 million. With record ticket and corporate hospitality sales, coupled with golf fans traveling from across the world to the Queen City and the multiplier effect on the local economy, golf is indeed a juggernaut.
“Being united is a great thing, and coming together is the best thing we can do,” said Mayor Jennifer Roberts. “It’s great to see our minority chambers come together to spread the word to everyone in every corner of our city, county, state and the country.”
Best, this work has been coupled with outreach to diverse businesses in the community since the PGA of America committed to come to Charlotte for this year’s championship seven years ago.
“To see the incredible transformation of this whole part of our city, it takes a lot of work” said Rep. Adams. “The PGA of America has made great progress in embracing diversity and inclusion. We worked together to make sure the PGA Championship was very inclusive intentionally in the bidding process.”
This week, the positive financial impact will be felt everywhere from transportation to restaurants to retail to hotels, where more than 8,500 room nights have been booked for the week through official Championship outlets. Meanwhile, an estimated 200,000 people are expected to line the fairways of Quail Hollow.
PGA President Paul Levy explained how the PGA has made a deep-rooted commitment to foster diversity and inclusion in every facet of its business.
“We have made diversity and inclusion part of the fabric of the PGA of America,” said Levy.
The end result is a win for all.
“The best thing about the $100 million impact of the PGA Championship is that it is non-discriminatory,” said 2017 PGA Championship General Chair Ralph Breeden. “It is inclusive for all.”