KIAWAH ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - Pro-golfers and hundreds of thousands of spectators from across the country will soon descend upon Kiawah Island for the PGA Championship 2012. It the largest sporting event to take place in the entire state ever.
Organizers have two top priorities: Making sure people are safe and minimizing the impact to the local community.
There are two rural roadways to get out to the island's Ocean Course for the event. The main routes are from West Ashley, using Main Road to Bohicket Road to Betsy Kerrison Parkway or from James Island, using River Road to Betsy Kerrison Parkway.
Attendees who are not staying on the island or do not have PGA-issued credentials will not have access to park on the island.
They must park at the PGA public lot, which is big enough for 10,000 cars, located behind the Freshfields Village Shopping Center.
"We've got 83, 60 passenger, air conditioned busses that people will get on the bus there and take the 20 minute ride down to the Ocean Course. I think it will be a smooth transition from driving in and parking, getting on a bus and then they'll come back to the parking lot at the end of the day," Roger Warren, Kiawah Island Golf Resort President and 2012 PGA Championship general chairman, said.
Because the Kiawah Island community is small and about 210,000 people are expected to attend the week-long event, people are encouraged to carpool if possible.
PGA officials and local agencies have been working on the traffic and safety plan for about two years. Sheriff's deputies and highway patrol officers will be posted at multiple locations for quick response to problems.
"The important thing is not just having a plan but practicing a plan. One of the things we've done with this is all the groups with the players in the tournament, in the protection of safety life and property have all come together," CCSO Major Jim Brady said.
The PGA Championship capped spectators at 27,000 to 30,000 for each day. Daily ticket prices ranged from $45 to $110 a day.
Grounds tickets for the weekend have sold out.
People who want to park at the PGA lot can buy tickets in advance for $10-dollars a day at www.pga2012.com or pay $20 at the gate.
People who want to find others to carpool with to get to the Ocean Course, should go to the website www.tridentrideshare.com.