GREENSBORO, N.C. — A golf tournament bringing the best NCAA Division III golfers to Greensboro won’t get the headlines that the ACC basketball tournament did, but it’s a valuable score for the Sports Commission.
“If they weren’t here they’d be somewhere else,” said Kim Strable with the Greensboro Sports Commission.
The Sports Commission says the golf tournament will have a $1.5 million impact without ever selling one ticket.
More than 40 teams qualified for the golf competition, bringing around 240 athletes to town but along with those athletes come family and lengthy stays, which feed restaurant and hotel business.
Many of those athletes have a support system following them as well.
“We went ziplining Monday,” said John Snow of Minnesota, whose son Austin attends Bethany Lutheran College.
Snow rented a five bedroom house for the week to keep up with all the relatives who wanted to come to Greensboro to watch Austin compete for a championship.
Other visitors have returned to Greensboro over and over again. Sheryl Doll has followed her son Rory to North Carolina four times for this championship or the preview in the fall.
“The people are very friendly,” said Doll. “Our son loves the accents.”
Doll also has high praise for the hotel they’ve stayed and the restaurants they find in Greensboro.
The Sports Commission said other smaller events that can be big draw without drawing a crowd of spectators are girls’ basketball tournaments, youth soccer and rugby events.
Recently, Greensboro held two rugby tournaments simultaneously.
“That’s another thing that didn’t hit the radar but there were a lot of people in town,” said Strable.