Officials Declare St. Louis 'Ready' to Handle Onslaught of Golf Fans

100th PGA Championship tees off in two weeks at Bellerive Country Club.

Brett Blume
July 25, 2018 - 1:08 pm

(KMOX/Brett Blume)

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ST. LOUIS COUNTY (KMOX) - After well over a year of planning and preparation, area officials say everything's in place for one of the biggest sporting events to hit the town in years.

The 100th PGA Championship will be played at Bellerive Country Club the week of August 6 through the 12.

"We've worked to plan for all contingencies," declared Capt. Bryan Ludwig, with St. Louis County Public Safety, during a Wednesday morning news conference to update preparation efforts. "We are ready to go."

Lest there be any confusion as to the importance of this event on the region, Missouri Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe said the number crunchers at the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Bureau have determined that there will be a $100 million impact on the area's economy.

It won't just be St. Louisans going to see the world's top golfers compete in one of the PGA's four major tournaments early next month.

"Well over 15-to-20 percent of the participants will be non-Missouri residents," Kehoe pointed out. "We have all 50 states represented, and I think about 20 different countries coming in to see this event. So it's an incredible effort."

Capt. Ludwig stressed the complexity of that effort by reading the names of each of the two dozen local agencies that have been cooperating to come up with a security plan for the tournament.

"We've been working on this event for some time," Ludwig said. "I'm very proud of the way that this community comes together, specifically law enforcement, medical, fire, health and things of that nature, to put together what we feel is a comprehensive plan to address anything that we might encounter."

(KMOX/Brett Blume)

Authorities are stressing the importance of carpooling, public transit, and ride services like Uber and Lyft to get to and from the course.

The entire week of the tournament there will be several road closures around Bellerive Country Club, including Mason and Ladue roads.

"Again, the reason that we do that is to keep the general public safe," intoned Ludwig. "No public parking, no drop-off, no pedestrians and no bicycle traffic around the course. Now I know that some people will take that as a challenge and try to get in. But trust me, you won't get within 2 miles of the course if you try, so please don't."

There's an extensive list of things that those heading to the tournament are being told to leave at home, including bags, weapons, pocket knives, food and beverages, and personal items like computers, drones, laser pointers and whistles.

All of that is covered comprehensively in a pamphlet titled the Spectator Guide for the 100th PGA Championship, which is being mailed to all those who order tickets and can also be viewed online at pgachampionship.com.

"This is the biggest thing you need to have before heading to the tournament," said Barry Deach, 100th PGA Championship director, as he held up a copy of the pamphlet. "Know before you go. We're going to be sending out emails to every ticket holder prior to the event. This official spectator guide will give you every bit of information you need to have a good experience."