MEMPHIS, Tenn. — With TPC Southwind on the eve of its largest golf tournament ever, officials have increased personnel to handle the challenge.
The FedEx St. Jude Invitational is expected to draw the largest crowd in the history of the tournament, and that doesn’t even account for keeping the playing field safe. With 46 of the top 50 players in the world in Memphis, security is at a premium.
Officials say preparation is just as important as execution.
“It’s a focus of ours. We have some strong history of putting on a golf tournament for 61 years. We’ll rely on that as well, and we’re well prepared for any issue that might arise,” Tournament Director Darrell Smith said.
The tens of thousands of spectators that are expected to be here at TPC Southwind this weekend might not always see or feel security, but there are hundreds of people on the golf course all the time.
“Right now on site there are 225 individuals. That includes the Shelby County Sheriff’s, that includes third party security companies and that also includes our first aid staff,” Smith said.
Every person entering the course has to pass through a metal detector and have an admission ticket, and once they’re inside, security is hovering around every restricted area.
While they’ve prepared for success, Southwind feels they’re ready if they have to deal with an unexpected situation.
“We have those things in place. You have all those things in place with the hope that you never have to use them. But if there is a situation where they have to be used we’re prepared, and we’ll put those assets in motion,” Smith said.