Bloody Mary bars. Super-sized TVs. And branded golf apparel.
These are some of the amenities the PGA Championship is showcasing this week for corporate customers who have reserved hospitality tents at the golf major being played next summer at Charlotte’s Quail Hollow Club.
The “Taste of the PGA Championship” event Tuesday through Thursday is the latest reminder that Charlotte will be hosting its biggest golf event ever in less than eight months. It gives the corporate customers who are paying tens of thousands of dollars to entertain clients a sneak preview of what their tents will look like – and what extras they can add to the experience.
They can even snap a selfie with the Wanamaker Trophy that will be handed out to the winner of the 99th PGA Championship.
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“It’s a major milestone for us,” Jason Mengel, the tournament’s director, said of this week’s preview event.
The PGA Championship at Quail Hollow has already secured record revenue from hospitality sales, Mengel said, but there are a couple spots still available. More than 100 companies are expected to host guests during the competition, which runs Aug. 7-13.
The hospitality options range from $40,000 for 10 tickets in the “Champions Club” to $500,000 to host 150 guests at a 17th green village. The packages include food and beverage, preferred parking and other perks.
The “Taste of the PGA Championship” event features a 100-person chalet constructed in the Quail Hollow parking lot with wood-paneled walls, a bar and comfortable seating areas. Corporate clients will work with caterer Levy Restaurants on their menus and discuss decorating options with designer Barton G. They can also shop for branded shirts, hats and other items for their guests.
“What we’ve found is really imagination and budget are the only parameters for what’s possible inside one of these venues,” Mengel said.
Visitors this week will also get a feel for how the PGA Championship layout will compare with the Wells Fargo Championship tournament that is normally held in the spring at Quail Hollow. Unlike the Wells Fargo, which will temporarily move to Wilmington next year, patrons will enter the course through the main entrance instead of near the driving range.
The parking lot will be turned into a “Main Street” area with a massive merchandise tent. Fans will get their first glimpse of the course when they enter near the 18th green.
Tickets for the actual competition (Aug. 10-13) are already sold out, but practice round tickets (Aug. 7-9) are still available, Mengel said. Those remaining tickets will go on sale next month.