The Westin believes the new tour will bolster the local economy.
The Savannah Harbor Westin believes the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf will fill its golf course with players and spectators. Right now, the Westin says the course is only getting about half the numbers it could handle. But the Westin says a tournament like the Legends could change that.
"We do less than we could do," notes general manager Mark Spadoni, "and obviously with a tournament venture, we suspect there will be a lot more rounds because of it."
More than 30,000 people are expected to watch the Legends when it comes to Savannah next April. Spadoni says the tournament could bring in tens of millions of dollars to the local economy. He adds that the Club at Savannah Harbor--designed by Sam Snead and Bob Cupp--was built with the idea of bringing a tournament in.
"There's ample viewing space with the way the course is set up with mounding around the greens to allow people to have great distance to watch golf. All along, our hope would be that we'd be able to attract a major event."
Craig Luckey, the head golf pro at the Club at Savannah Harbor, says the Legends could focus more of the golf world's attention on Savannah. He says the city has typically been overshadowed by golf hot spots like Hilton Head and Myrtle Beach.
"Most folks who travel to the Hilton Head area travel right across the Talmadge Bridge and drive right by our golf course," Luckey says. "With the addition of this fine tournament, we should get a lot more recognition and we're certainly excited to be a part of that."
The legends will be held in Savannah in April. This is not the only tournament the Westin is hosting: it'll also hold the Club Professionals Championship in September, which is the regional qualifier for the national event. And they're talking with members of the Celebrity Professionals tour to host their event in 2003 or 2004.