HARRISBURG – The top professional golfers in the world will tee off in the opening round of the 113th U.S. Open Golf Championship at one of Pennsylvania’s most historic and marveled golf destinations, Merion Golf Club in Ardmore.
The 2013 U.S. Open is estimated to draw close to 200,000 visitors and bring $100 – $125 million to the Greater Philadelphia region over the four-day period. The hotel occupancy for the week is anticipated to be 90 percent, with potentially 110,000 hotel nights booked by visitors coming to the region.
“It truly will be an exciting week when thousands of spectators will travel to Merion to watch some of the best golfers in the world compete for a major championship at one of Pennsylvania’s iconic golf courses,” Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary C. Alan Walker said. “Beyond the competition itself, hosting the tournament will undoubtedly deliver a significant economic boost to the Philadelphia region.”
Established in 1896, Merion Golf Club unveiled the club’s 6,996-yard East Course in 1912, designed by Merion member Hugh Wilson. Merion has a rich history of United States Golf Association (USGA) championships, including hosting the U.S. Open four times prior to this year’s championship. The East Course is also where legendary golfer Bobby Jones completed a “Grand Slam” in golf, winning the 1930 U.S. Amateur Open and where Ben Hogan won the 1950 U.S. Open, only 16 months after surviving a near-fatal automobile accident.
Pennsylvania offers a wide range of opportunities for golf enthusiasts with more than 500 public courses throughout the state including America’s oldest golf course, Foxburg Country Club, founded in 1887. Oakmont Country Club located in Allegheny County has hosted more major golf championships than any other course in the U.S. and is considered to be one of North America’s most challenging golf courses. Visitors also have the potential to bump into golfing legend Arnold Palmer at his home course, Latrobe Country Club.
“Pennsylvania’s collection of championship golf courses has positioned the commonwealth as a top destination for thousands of golfers every year,” Walker said. “With renowned courses such as Merion, Oakmont and Foxburg, it is no wonder people travel from throughout the world to experience what hundreds of golf’s biggest names have experienced in the past.”
Pennsylvania is home to more than 600 public and private golf courses, providing nearly 49,000 jobs and more than $1 billion in direct economic benefit to the state.
In May 2013, the USGA announced that Lancaster Country Club was named as the location of the 2015 U.S. Women’s Open.