Future PGA stars compete in south Georgia - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Future PGA stars compete in south Georgia

By Jade Bulecza - bio | email

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) –Future PGA stars are competing in south Georgia this week in a golf tournament that will pump several million dollars into the economy.

The Nationwide Tour is in Valdosta for the fourth year.

Organizers say the tournament also brings more visibility to the area and raises money for a hospital.

Pro golfers got in practice rounds Tuesday at the fourth annual South Georgia Classic. The tournament has grown over the years and so has the impact on Valdosta and Lowndes County.

"We estimate the economic impact, trying to be conservative, is between three and four million dollars," said Jeff Monday, PGA Tour Senior VP, Tournament Business Affairs. "Obviously it can be higher than that, depending on all the activities going on around the tournament."

And this year, 400 volunteers and thousands of fans will be at Kinderlou Forest Golf Club starting Thursday through the end of the weekend watching the Nationwide pros play.

"We have 156 players and their families, a couple of pro-ams on Monday two pro- ams Wednesday, another 300 players coming in," said David Fox, South Georgia Classic Tournament Director.

The Courtyard Marriot Assistant General Manager says this is a busy time of year and rooms are nearly filled up.

"Valdosta is lucky to be a town that has such a great golf course," said Scott Knepp, Courtyard Marriot Assistant General Manager. "The professional events bring a lot of great business to Valdosta."

The Nationwide Tour is the last step to the PGA Tour. Tournament organizers say it also gives south Georgia more visibility.

"It's definitely the biggest event, professional event," said Fox. "When you throw in the Golf Channel coverage. The Golf Channel is available in 82 million homes."

Net proceeds from the tournament go to South Georgia Medical Center.

By the way, you can watch the tournament for free this weekend and you can get more information on the South Georgia Classic by clicking here.

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