Gov. Doyle: Welcomes the 92nd PGA Championship to Wisconsin

Contact: Laura Smith, Office of the Governor, 608-261-2162

MADISON – Governor Jim Doyle today welcomed the 92nd PGA Championship to Wisconsin and joined the PGA of America in unveiling a new report showing golf’s strong and positive affect on the state’s economy. The Governor will be on hand this week at Whistling Straits in Kohler to promote Wisconsin as a tourist destination and as a great place to do business, and will be available to the media for interviews.

“The economic report confirms what many of us have known – Wisconsin is golf crazy,” said Doyle. “Golf contributes billions of dollars to our economy, provides tens of thousands of jobs and our top rate courses attract golfers from around the world. I’m happy to welcome The PGA of America back to Wisconsin for another great Championship to show off one of our signature courses to golf fans.”

The report shows golf’s annual economic impact in Wisconsin is more than $2.4 billion. In 2008, golf accounted for nearly 40,000 jobs and more than $771 million of wages in Wisconsin. Recent reports have also shown that even in the middle of the Great Recession, Wisconsin had the second biggest increase in the rounds of golf played.

Hosting the PGA Championship brings new tourism and business opportunities for Wisconsin. The PGA expects to host nearly 200,000 spectators at Whistling Straits this week, with a large number traveling from out of the state. Around the world, 580 million households from 185 countries will watch the Championship on TV, helping serve as a promotion for Wisconsin golf.

In 2004, when Wisconsin last hosted the PGA Championship, more than 94,000 tickets were sold, and the tournament attracted more than 30,000 out-of-state spectators. Additionally, the 86th PGA Championship resulted in more than $76 million in spending at area hotels, restaurants and businesses.

The State worked closely with the PGA to ensure this year’s Championship is successful and safe, providing a boost to the region’s tourism economy. At Governor Doyle’s direction, the departments of Tourism, Commerce and Transportation worked closely with the PGA to help with traffic and to promote the Championship as a fun and family friendly event.

The PGA Championship represents the annual culmination of golf’s four major championships, and has evolved into one of the world’s premier sport events. Each summer, one of the nation’s most outstanding golf facilities hosts golf’s best professionals as they compete for the Wanamaker Trophy. In 2010, Golf’s four major championships have been held at Augusta National, Pebble Beach, St. Andrews and Whistling Straits.