Some of the country's best, young golf prospects have gathered in Greene County to showcase their skills in a tournament that will bring the local area more money.
Link Hills Country Clubs in Greeneville is holding the Amateur Athletic Union National Golf Championships. This weekend is the first time the tournament has been in Greene County. Fifty-two golfers, aged from 5 to 18, are participating in the event. They come from six states and Canada.
The Greene County Partnership, a local commerce group, sponsored the event. According the Partnership, the event which took more than eight months to plan, could bring Greene County anywhere from $100,000 to $150,000 in revenue.
"Some of our hotels have quite a few rooms booked on this," said Tammy Kinser, director of tourism for the Greene County Partnership.
According to Kinser, tournament participants have been spending money in Greeneville's businesses and historical attractions ever since the event started Thursday.
One business that has seen more customers because of the tournament is Stan's Bar-B-Q, on Andrew Johnson Highway. Owner Stan Fortner said he enjoys whenever big events like the AAU National Golf Championships come to town.
"We've had several tournaments in town this year, sports events, and we get a lot of business from them and it's always a lot of fun," he said.
And, that's what AAU organizers like to see: fun. That said, AAU Vice-Chair Bill Harper said his organization is aware of the economic impact it can create.
"The restaurants and hotels love us and the golf course loves us," Harper said.
The tournament will conclude Sunday after a second round is played. According to AAU, an awards presentation will follow the event.
Harper said the tournament will take place in Greeneville two more years before it goes to another location. However, he said it could always come back sometime in the future.
As for the Greene County Partnership, Kinser said the group was looking at bringing even more events to the area. She said the partnership was looking into AAU Basketball and Appalachian Athletic Conference sports.