Excitement building for Open double at Pinehurst No. 2
Posted April 3, 2013
Pinehurst, N.C. — Men and women, corporate sponsors and casual duffers, Pinehurst offers something for golfers and golf fans of all types. And in 2014 the famed No. 2 course will host a never-been-tried back-to-back: The United States Golf Association will hold both the men's and women's Open Championships.
The men tee it up first, June 12 to 15, 2014, and the women play the following weekend, June 19-22. It's the third time Pinehurst has hosted the Open Championship. The men played there in 1999 and again in 2005.
Don Padgett, president of Pinehurst Golf Resort, said his staff is up to the challenge.
"Pinehurst is not quite ready for prime time," he said. "The clubhouse is still undergoing renovations, and the greens could be greener. But Pinehurst began teeing off for the next U.S. Open just after the last one ended."
For 18 months, companies have been buying hospitality packages, some valued at more than $100,000, to reserve space to entertain clients along the course.
Tickets are already on sale to members of the USGA, and the go on sale Monday, June 10, for the general public. Pinehurst hasn't listed the ticket price, but the top passes to this year's Open Championship, at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa., cost almost $2,000.
The USGA has also signed up thousands of volunteers, and local hotels and restaurants expect to see a boom as well.
"A lot of people have come here and played it and touched it and felt it and have a history with it," Padgett said. "They have a different feeling about an Open here than they would in some place they never get to play or see."
Caleb Miles, president of the Pinehurst/Southern Pines Convention and Visitors Bureau, said the worldwide television exposure will go further than hotels booked and meals sold.
"There are certainly numbers associated with the impact, but that may be the greatest one – the fact that you're in the spotlight, to tell your story – so that's what we're going to be focusing on," Miles said.
He estimated the financial impact at between $140 and $150 million for the area. The Open Championships will draw more than 500,000 visitors and an estimated 350 million will watch some of the 44 hours of television coverage produced for the two tournaments.