MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Some of the best golfers in the world are in Memphis for the revamped FedEx St. Jude Invitational, and this event takes things up a notch from the classic that took place in past years.
The increased exposure could have a big impact on crowds and traffic around TPC Southwind.
“Everybody’s excited," Executive Director Darrell Smith said. "With the elevation to a World Golf Championship, what that means is the best players in the world will be here. Forty-five of the top 50 players in the world.”
Neighbor Judie Hart said she already has her driving plans for the weekend.
"I will be taking a back route," she said. "When certain events are around you have to have a contingency plan for traffic.”
She admits she’s not a big golf fan, but she is a fan of what she’s heard about the revamped tournament.
"It's supposed to bringing in a lot of business to local businesses, so I know that’ll be a benefit as well as exposure," she said.
For those who are going to the tournament, here’s what Smith recommends:
- Use rideshare apps to get to TPC Southwind, rather than driving.
- If you do want to drive, your best bet may be a free parking lot at May Park on Quince Road. Shuttles will be available to get you from there to the tournament.
- If you’re bringing a bag, make sure it’s clear and smaller than 6x12x6.
- Prepare for the heat, though they will have plenty of amenities inside like food trucks and covered bleachers.
Hopefully that makes your $65 ticket worth the price.
Overall, Smith says they have a good plan and some of the crowd control and traffic concerns have been overblown.
"I think there’s a little of hysteria out there. We're not hosting the Superbowl," he said.
Organizers also say they’ve worked with major cell phone providers to boost service availability throughout the weekend.
They are also working with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, Memphis Police Department and Germantown Police, as they have in years past, to make everyone feel safe.