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PGA Championship starts Thursday in St. Louis

(Missourinet) The 100th PGA Championship begins Thursday at historic Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis County.

Bellerive also hosted the U.S. Open in 1965 and the 1992 PGA Championship.

Explore St. Louis chief marketing officer Brian Hall says they’re projecting about a $100 million economic impact, with about 80,000 out-of-town visitors for the tournament.

“Many of them are staying not just for a day or two, they’re staying for the entire week,” Hall says. “So it’s a week-long celebration of the game of golf, played by the best in golf.”

Explore St. Louis is the official destination marketing organization responsible for marketing St. Louis City and County as a convention site and as a leisure travel destination.

The organization’s website notes more than 700 local and regional businesses partner with Explore St. Louis.

Hall says Explore St. Louis worked with the PGA on lodging, and that more than 30 area hotels are under contract for the event.

He says reporters from across the globe have traveled to or will be traveling to St. Louis.

“We’re going to have an estimated 1,000 journalists from around the world who are not just going to be reporting on the game of golf as it’s played in the championship play over at Bellerive, but they’re going to be reporting on St. Louis as well,” says Hall.

Hall tells Missourinet that CBS Sports came in about a month ago to shoot B-roll of the Gateway Arch, Forest Park and many other area attractions.

That video will be shown during the broadcasts.

Hall says there will be about 30 hours of live television programming from Bellerive.

Practice rounds continue Tuesday and Wednesday, and round one is Thursday at Bellerive, which is located on Ladue Road.

Bellerive Country Club’s website notes the club is named after Louis St. Ange De Bellerive, the last French commander in North America.

Hall says the St. Louis region is on a roll.

“A month ago we just re-opened the Gateway Arch, incredible new tourism experience,” Hall says. “And to have this right on the heels of that opening that captured international attention, this is really, really exciting for the entire region.”

Explore St. Louis says the Gateway City welcomes more than 25 million annual visitors for leisure, conventions, meetings and business travel.

Hall says Cardinal Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith chairs the PGA’s Foundation, which is called “PGA Reach”.

Hall says the organization will be assisting many of the Boys and Girls Clubs in the St. Louis region.

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