Edited by Wolfgang Maennig and Andrew Zimbalist
Chapter 25: The Economic Impact of the Golf Majors
Stephen Shmanske* 1 INTRODUCTION Professional golfers compete in tournaments year round and all over the world. Traditionally, four tournaments have attained a special status, becoming known as the Majors. They are: the Masters, played each year at the same course in Augusta, Georgia; the US Open Championship, played at a different course in the United States each year; the Open Championship or ‘British Open’, played at a different course in the British Isles each year; and the Professional Golfers Association (PGA) Championship, played at a different course in the United States each year. These tournaments do not approach the magnitude of the NFL’s (National Football League) Super Bowl, however, among the community of golfers and golf fans they are anticipated with equal fervor. The golf Majors have among the largest purses, and carry extra monetary significance for the players because of endorsement possibilities for the winners. Because of the money and prestige, the Majors attract the top talent, consequently attracting large crowds of spectators. The sporting significance of the golf Majors is undeniable, but quantifying the economic significance for the local community is not nearly as straightforward. Sports boosters will always point to the additional spending by visitors who come to attend sports competitions. There is also extra spending by those staging an event in terms of lighting and power, crowd control, parking, and preparing the course beforehand. Some of this spending takes place weeks or even months in advance of the event itself. This extra demand for local goods...
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