WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Golf courses have long been a draw for the area's tourism industry. Despite the popularity, the PGA Tour has not come to Wilmington since 1970. But that could soon change.
In 2017 the PGA Championship will be held at Quail Hollow Golf Club in Charlotte. That means the annual Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow will need a temporary home.
"We do have many beautiful golf courses here in Wilmington. We have five public courses, and then several private courses, so golf is a big draw for a lot of people in the area," Connie Nelson of the Wilmington & Beaches Convention and Visitors Bureau said.
For the past six years "Golf Digest" has recognized Wilmington's Eagle Point Golf Club as one of the top 100 courses in America. Now the club is trying to lure the PGA onto its links for the 2017 Wells Fargo Championship.
"People would be staying not only in New Hanover County, but also the surrounding counties, so we would have hotels filled up from the river to the sea and beyond," Nelson said. "People would be dining in our restaurants, shopping in our retail shops and really the impact is going to be quite large if we can get it."
The StarNews reports PGA officials have toured Wilmington and Eagle Point, as well as courses in the Raleigh area searching for the best home for a tournament organizers say attracts 35,000 spectators a day.
Nelson says Wilmington would ace any opportunity.
"Success breads success, so if you have one successful event and everybody is happy and enjoys it, chances are they are going to be looking at that area again for a future event," she said.
Officials from Eagle Point Golf Club declined to comment for this story. They said they prefer to wait until PGA officials have made their final decision.