Once again, we’re at the center of the golf world

WELCOME TO SHEBOYGAN COUNTY, The Golf Capital of the World.

While we’d like to think that slogan applies year-round, it is inarguably true this week as the focus of the professional golf world will be on Whistling Straits golf course on the bluffs overlooking Lake Michigan.

The world-class course will host the class of the world’s golfers for the 2015 PGA Championship.

It’s the third time in a little over a decade that Whistling Straits – and Sheboygan County – has hosted this Grand Slam tournament.

Both previous tournaments at Whistling Straits, in 2004 and 2010, have required a playoff to determine the ultimate champion, creating a memorable legacy and providing a testament to the difficulty of the links-style course.

No one can predict whether that kind of exciting finish will happen again this year or who will eventually triumph over – or perhaps more accurately, survive – the course and the field to hoist the Wanamaker Cup next Sunday, but there is one prediction that can safely be made about the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits.

It will be a boon for Sheboygan County, economically, as well as a boost to the county’s already-strong reputation as a top-notch golfing destination.

As past major golf events at Whistling Straits and Blackwolf Run have shown, the PGA will bring big crowds to the golf course and the county for the week.

Those are visitors who will be staying in motel rooms, eating in restaurants, getting gas for their cars, shopping in local stores, buying souvenirs to take home with them and visiting local events and attractions during the week or so they’re here for the PGA championship.

All of which means more dollars going to local businesses and paying wages for local employees.

Beyond that, many of those people who are here for the golf may well discover that there’s a lot more to see and do in Sheboygan County and will hopefully come back again in the future to take in some of the rest of what our area has to offer for visitors.

The week-long PGA may cause some temporary inconveniences with traffic congestion and crowds at some places, but the positive impacts of the tournament will last far beyond any short-term difficulties.

It will be a week of championship-caliber golf on a world-class course in the midst of an unrivaled destination and vacation spot – all of which will have a deep and lasting impact on Sheboygan County well after the last professional has finished his last round, packed his bags and headed on to the next stop on the tour.

It’s good to be the Golf Capital of the World for another week.

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