Last minute preps ahead of 100th PGA Championship at Bellerive

TOWN AND COUNTRY, Mo. – The last-minute rush is underway as crews on Friday worked to make sure everything is ready for the 100th PGA Championship next week. Thousands of golf lovers are expected in town.

Bobbi Paul of Denver is one of more than 4,000 volunteers to participate in one of the biggest sporting events ever held in St. Louis.

“I did the LPGA in 2011 and then the PGA at Whistling Straits Golf Course four years ago and now here I am,” Paul said. “Come the weekend we have a job and that is to make sure that the players have what they need to get their job done and the fans have what they need.”

A.J. Miller of Arnold said his first time as a volunteer is making him a bit nervous but in a good and exciting way.

“I’m nervous right now getting interviewed but, you know, everyone is here for one love and that’s the passion for golf,” Miller said. “So that helps take the nerves away so, you know, you can spark up a conversation.”

The process of volunteer recruitment and training is just a small portion of the preps that have been underway since 2011 when the contract was signed. And now with the 11th hour looming, crews worked to put on the final touches.

“You can hear the stakes,” said championship director Barry Deach. “It’s the final landscaping being done, the final signs to get out because our plants have to exist for ten days. We will have our interior structures and all the decor that goes in them and putting out furniture within those tents and we will work 24 hours a day, Saturday and Sunday.”

Organizers said that the biggest anticipation, of course, is the arrival of the players. Spirit of St. Louis Airport will likely see an onslaught of private jets carrying professional golfers and corporate executives flying in for the championship beginning as soon as this weekend.

“Starting tomorrow and then Sunday, they will start rolling in fully because of the cut that we are going on at the firestone so a lot of players will be here for that,” Deach said.

For many locals the championship gives them bragging rights about how it puts St. Louis on the map which is something they consider a hole in one.

“This is a chance for St. Louis to get a good reputation,” said Miller. “Especially for such a world-class professional golf association so it’s a great opportunity.”

Saturday and Sunday are the only days you can visit the grounds or shop if you don’t have a ticket. Visitors will need to use shuttle services from Creve Coeur’s Soccer Park.