October 30, 2013

Direct Kick: Junior golf event was a boon to local economy

By Denis House
Sports Editor

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — A report was recently released by the American Junior Golf Association detailing the PNC Bank Junior Championship, which was held at Crooked Creek back in August. And the numbers were very eye-opening.

The number that caught my eye was the economic impact the event had on London: $194,614. That’s a nice chunk of change for the community.

The tournament, which brought 143 of the top male and female golfers from 21 states and six countries, gave exposure to some of the finest young golfers today. Some came from as far away as China and Japan. It was estimated that over $30,000 was spent on hotel rooms alone during the event, and another $47,000 on food for both the tournament and the qualifier. Add in rental cars and practice rounds and that comes to a total of $87,587 in visitor spending. Then add in administrative costs and you arrive at the $194,614 total.

The event was put on by London and Laurel County, and a fine job they did, along with PNC Bank and Crooked Creek. Of course Crooked Creek’s no stranger to hosting such events, as they were the host course when the Durameds Tour made a stop in London a few years ago.

Not only did the event bring in nearly $200,000 to the community, it also gave our area some great exposure through news media, web site, banners, signage and flags. According to the report, 2,000 people were exposed to just the  banners, signage flags alone.

As for media coverage, our paper, along with the Somerset Commonwealth Journal, the Times Tribune and the Knoxville News-Sentinel all covered the event in one form or another. Global Golf Post and Golfweek magazines covered the event. As for web site coverage,, WKYT, WWEL and WYMT all featured the tournament, while a fact sheet was sent to 49 local and six national media outlets. And that’s not even including the AJGA web site or the PNC Bank Junior Championship presented by London and Laurel County web site. Thousands and thousands of people kept informed through these sites.

I spoke with Rodney Hendrickson, Co-Executive Director of the London-Laurel County Tourism Commission during the World Chicken Festival and he said the AJGA is interested in bringing this event back to London, and the commission is working hard to make sure this is done.

I hope they do bring this event back. Not only is it good for the economy, but for golf fans, it’s a chance to see the future of the sport. It’s well worth your time to check out these young golfers.