Help PGA work to a tee
When the biggest sporting ever to come to Charleston begins, be assured it will bring the biggest traffic challenges since Hurricane Floyd. Fortunately, we’ll be better prepared.
Organizers for the PGA Championship coming to Kiawah Island Aug. 6-12 have been working out details for two years. Designated routes to Kiawah Island, ample parking near Fresh Fields shopping center, shuttle service and off-site registration will help.
But we’re still talking about 30,000 people a day attending the biggest golf tournament in the history of South Carolina. That’s the equivalent of the entire population of Myrtle Beach. Tournament officials expect only 25 percent to stay on Kiawah. The rest will use cars.
The plan doesn’t involve anything as dramatic as the Ryder Cup did in 1991 — doubling the capacity of Bohicket Road from River Road to the resort island and renaming it Betsy Kerrison Parkway. But for the PGA Championship to run smoothly, public cooperation will be important.
Carpooling is a great place to start, and the Berkeley/Charleston/Dorchester Council of Governments has a web site (tridentrideshare.com) where people who are interested in carpooling to the tournament can find others of like mind. Save on parking and gas. Reduce traffic, emissions and headaches.
A little advance planning will also help. Read PGA-provided materials so you know when and where to go for what.
And try some deep breathing. That, along with the exquisite rural route, should make the trip seem more relaxing, if not quicker.
Local residents will be on the front row, if not for the world’s best golfers on the greens then for the media attention that is likely to accompany the sport’s fourth and final major championship of the year.
The Lowcountry handles tourism well. One big award after another comes this way because of the area’s manners, beauty, romance, restaurants, charm or outdoor opportunities.
This is an opportunity to introduce people to local history and culture, architecture, shopping and dining. Participants, officials, volunteers and spectators will be focusing on Kiawah Island, but many will stay in Charleston, North Charleston or Mount Pleasant.
For the PGA Championship to be held on Kiawah Island is cause for celebration.
It is also cause for taking extra precautions to ensure it goes smoothly.