Raleigh to Get New PGA Golf Course
Posted September 16, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT
RALEIGH — The city of Raleigh is getting a new golf course, a PGA golf course. The news isn't just good for golfers; the course will be an economic boon for the area.
While it's not yet in stone that the Triangle will host a PGA tour or Senior PGA tour event, the chances will go up tremendously Tuesday. Wakefield Plantation off Falls of the Neuse Road is a huge tract of land that was annexed by the City of Raleigh two summers ago. Tuesday, Wakefield developers will announce plans for a Hale Irwin designed golf course that could bring big bucks to the Triangle.
Crews worked past dusk getting ready for Wakefield Plantation's groundbreaking to kick off the building of 4,000 homes, millions of square feet of commercial building and one golf course. The course will be a Tournament Players Club, one of only a handful of TPC courses in the country.
Mayor Tom Fetzer said Raleigh is likely to get a PGA event.
There's a TPC track record to back up the mayor's optimism, almost every city with a TPC course has a professional tournament. In Tampa, Fla., developers finished a TPC course in 1991 and within one year the TPC of Tampa Bay played host to the GTE classic, a senior PGA tour event.
The Tampa Chamber of Commerce says that annual tournament is the biggest sporting event in the area, bigger than Tampa Bay Buccaneer games.
Fetzer said a PGA tour event would bring lots of money to Raleigh.
Inez Choplin, a 50-year resident of Raleigh, added up different numbers, saying her major concern was the traffic. PGA tournament or not, Choplin says Falls of the Neuse will fall short in handling the cars.
Transportation leaders with both the state and the city say they're confident the area can handle the influx that's coming. As far as an announcement on a Raleigh PGA tour event, that won't come Tuesday, but many people feel it may be just around the corner. The course could be open as early as next fall.