Australian PGA drives $11 million windfall for Coast
  • Friday 03 December 2010

A golf ball is yet to be hit but the Australian PGA Championship is already shaping up as a winner for the Sunshine Coast with the tournament expected to generate $11 million for the region.

The Sunshine Coast Council and Sunshine Coast Destinations sponsorship will not only help attract some of the world’s best golfers, it will also create 100 jobs for Queenslanders.

Economic Development and Entrepreneurship Portfolio holder, Councillor Lew Brennan, said more than 50,000 spectators are expected at the event at the Hyatt Regency Coolum between 9 to 12 December.

“More than half of those people will come from outside the region, which means a timely pre-Christmas boost for business,” Cr Brennan said.

“The high profile sporting event rolls brings a high end, established fan base whose passion for golf also extends to local restaurants; retail therapy and nearby attractions, and translates into more visitor nights on the Coast.

“Traditionally golfers don’t tend to travel to international tournaments with their whole families. Here on the Sunshine Coast, apparently, we are the exception with our unique setting and relaxed atmosphere.”

Sunshine Coast Destination Limited, CEO, Michael Denton, said the event will also mark the first public appearance of the Sunshine Coast’s new brand, Naturally Refreshing, which will be viewed by spectators here and around the world.

“It is a ‘money can’t buy’ opportunity, to promote our brand and destination to a national and international audience – we couldn’t afford to pay for such significant exposure – we even had John Daly last year tweeting the Coast’s praises,” Mr Denton said.

“When you think of the appeal such an event has, particularly with such a strong contingent of players from all parts of the globe, including emerging destinations such as China, it has the ability to open doors and expand partnerships.”

The PGA of Australia’s Chief Executive Officer, Max Garske, said that with the support of the 500 plus volunteers from local community clubs, Sunshine Coast Council and the Hyatt Regency Coolum, the Championship has the right elements to continue its success.

“One of the key factors behind the longevity and ongoing success of the Australian PGA Championship on the Sunshine Coast is the contribution of the large number of volunteers who work long, hot days to ensure the successful delivery of the Championship,” Mr Garske said.

PGA volunteer coordinator and past president of Mooloolaba Rotary Club, Roger Wright said the volunteers from community organisations such as Rotary Club of Mooloolaba, SES Coolum, Lions Club of Coolum, Coolum-Peregian RSL and the AGL Action Rescue Helicopter Service are involved in every aspect from management, logistics, and operations to car parking and event crowd control.

“For our members, this is a fun event as it promotes social interaction, builds and develops friendships and allows them to get up close to the golfers and all the action during play,” Mr Wright said.

“In addition, each community organisation receives a contribution for their services which they channel into their club’s projects,” he said.