Tiger Woods stops to sign a golf cap from a young fan on his way to a practice round at The Ocean Course, which is hosting the 2012 PGA Championship this week on Kiawah Island. (Photo/Leslie Burden)
By Lauren Ratcliffe
Published Aug. 8, 2012
All eyes are on Charleston as professional golfers tee off and try to tame ocean breezes, passing storms and one of the most difficult courses in America.
Tournament organizers, government officials and tourism professionals know how big an opportunity hosting the 2012 PGA Championship is — as golf has worldwide appeal and will be broadcast in homes across the globe.
House Speaker Bobby Harrell said the tournament at Kiawah Island Golf Resort gives Charleston the chance to showcase itself to a half-billion people. To do that, he announced an advertising campaign that will be broadcast in more than 120 nations. Four ads will attempt to lure international visitors to the state.
“Our opportunity to put South Carolina and Charleston into a light, an incredibly positive light for the world to see, is literally at our doorstep over the next couple days,” he said.
Roger Warren, president of Kiawah Island Golf Resort and general chairman of the 2012 PGA Championship, said the visitors who come to Charleston for the tournament will be treated to a level of service that will engage them and persuade them to return.
“When you look at why people travel, it’s about how they are treated,” he said. “What happens in Charleston every day is a level of service that is unprecedented. It’s not something you teach, it’s natural. It’s what you are.”
The international ads will begin airing Thursday when the championship rounds start. Information on content and the cost of the advertisements was not available.