Hawaii in Bid to Keep the PGA Tour


The Honolulu Star Bulletin reports that the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) will make a concerted effort to keep the PGA Tour and related golf events in Hawaii when the PGA contract expires in 2010. The HTA’s contract with the PGA Tour was designed to ensure that the season-opening tournaments on both the PGA Tour and Champions Tour would continue to be held in Hawaii, in addition to four other showcase golf competitions. However, the PGA Tour has pulled the PGA Grand Slam and the Turtle Bay Championship from Hawaii due to the economic downturn and a drop-off in sponsorship money. In 2008, cutbacks forced HTA to slash the annual marketing funds that it paid the PGA Tour from $1.2 million to $600,000. HTA Members are saying that Hawaii’s visitor industry needs to do whatever it takes to keep golf events in the state. Some members suggest protecting events by negotiating each tournament on a single-event basis like the Pro Bowl. Others proposed underwriting additional costs to keep the PGA Tour in Hawaii.