Pat McCrory told a crowd of more than 1,000 golf professionals at the Annual Meeting of Carolinas PGA that “We have the best ‘Golf Trail’ in the nation, maybe in the world right here in North Carolina.” His administration plans to use the 2014 Men’s and Women’s U.S. Opens being played in Pinehurst as a “major jumping-off point” to promote business, travel, and tourism in the state.
North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory told a crowd of more than 1,000 North and South Carolina-based golf professionals how important he considers their sport to the state’s economy on February 17 during the Annual Meeting of the Carolinas PGA (CPGA) at the Greensboro Coliseum.
“There is no reason that North Carolina should not be promoting golf as part of our travel and tourism package, no different from what Arizona and Alabama are doing right now,” McCrory said. “We have the best ‘Golf Trail’ in the nation, maybe in the world right here in North Carolina.
“And it’s not just in Pinehurst. It’s also in Greensboro and Asheville and the coastal areas. We have the best golf courses around and we must integrate that now much more into our travel and tourism package. And not just for travel and tourism dollars but also for business travel—to encourage more business conventions to come to North Carolina and stay in an additional two or three days in [accommodations] and using restaurants, which will create new jobs in North Carolina.”
McCrory told the audience that as part of Secretary of Commerce Sharon Decker’s economic development plan, his administration would be using the 2014 Men’s and Women’s U.S. Opens being played in Pinehurst on back-to-back weeks in June as a “major jumping-off point” to promote business in North Carolina, as well as travel and tourism—and using golf as an important way to do it.
“Sharon Decker is really using me [during the U.S. Opens in Pinehurst],” McCrory said. “They’ve told me to wipe my schedule clean for those two weeks. We are going to be meeting with business development people at the two Opens.
“From now on when we have anyone come to North Carolina—whether they land in Greensboro or Fayetteville or Wilmington or Greenville or Charlotte or Asheville or Raleigh—we’ve got to promote to the business community to bring your golf clubs to North Carolina because there are no better golf courses in the world than right here, from the coast all the way to the mountains and through the Piedmont.”
The CPGA today is the largest of the PGA’s 41 sections with 2,000 professional members and representing more than 800 golf facilities within North and South Carolina as well as portions of southern Virginia. McCrory said he hoped his appearance at the CPGA’s first Annual Show held in the Triad would help validate the significance of the organization’s presence in North Carolina.
“I would like to work with the Carolinas PGA [and develop] a system in which we can allow the travelers to use all of the golf courses in North Carolina, both public and private—and make [North Carolina] like the [California] Wine Valley,” McCrory said. “We could have our own ‘Golf Valley’ of golf courses.”
A native of nearby Jamestown, McCrory served a record 14 years as Mayor of Charlotte and in 2012 became the first Republican elected Governor in North Carolina since 1988.
“I grew up at Sedgefield [Country Club], so Sedgefield will always be close place to my heart,” McCrory said. “In Charlotte, I belong to Myers Park. I’m a big Donald Ross fan.”
“I love the camaraderie of golf,” McCrory said. “I use the golf course often, not only in my own recreational enjoyment but also in my business recruitment. The golf course is a very good place for a business meeting.”