Spectators watch as professional golfers from around the world compete at the 2012 PGA Championship on Kiawah Island over the weekend. (Photo/Leslie Burden)
By Lauren Ratcliffe
Published Aug. 13, 2012
Golf fans and pros came from all over the world to experience one of the four golf majors on Kiawah Island last week.
The 2012 PGA Championship ended with 23-year-old Rory McIlroy winning the second major of his career.
Above: A few yards from the Atlantic Ocean, spectators line The Ocean Course on Kiawah Island during the 2012 PGA Championship. (Photo/Leslie Burden)
Left: Rory McIlroy celebrates his win at the 2012 PGA Championship on Kiawah Island on Sunday, the second of his career. (Photo/Lauren Ratcliffe)
A couple from Germany donned flags in their baseball caps as they cheered German competitor, Marcel Siem. Others hoped to catch a glimpse of Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson as they passed by.
Tournament officials worked for more than two years selling tickets, organizing venues and finalizing logistics and travel plans for the thousands who came.
In the hospitality chalets, businesses networked with guests to build new relationships and future business deals. S.C. House Speaker Bobby Harrell congratulated and thanked one company for recommitting to renting out the Sanctuary hotel for a company event.
Business leaders and regional development officials said hosting the tournament presented an opportunity to invite executives to experience the Lowcountry lifestyle in a world-class setting.
David Ginn, Charleston Regional Development Alliance president and CEO, said the tournament offered businesses an opportunity to build relationships. The CRDA used the tournament as a chance to lure prospective businesses and encourage them to think about Charleston as a place to invest.
Helen Hill, the executive director of the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, said the opportunity to come to the PGA Championship was often too good to refuse. The ocean backdrop during play, friendly service and hospitality both on-course and in town, set the stage for business deals to be inked for the future, she said.
“There will (have been) a lot of business done in South Carolina this week,” Hill said. “We are the kind of destination that can host one of the four major golf championships.”