Leisure

The AT&T Classic is all "fore" Gwinnett County

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For those who eagerly await the turning of the seasons, Gwinnett”s unofficial arbiter of summer is just around the bend – the AT&T Classic. Celebrating its 40th year, the Classic will be held May 12-18 at the TPC Sugarloaf, drawing legions of golf fans from around the Southeast. Since moving the tournament to Duluth in 1997, the Classic has firmly imprinted themselves as one of metro Atlanta”s premier philanthropic and community events.

Defending champion Zach Johnson will be back to defend his crown, as well as past champion Retief Goosen, Gwinnett”s own Stewart Cink, long hitting J.B. Holmes and Georgia native Charles Howell, III. Wonderful weather is expected, and the crowd-friendly TPC provides a welcoming venue for autograph seekers, golf buffs, party-goers and families.

The tournament”s success is not only evident by attendance, sponsorships and television coverage, but also by the Atlanta Classic Foundation”s sustained and year-round charitable involvement. The majority of the tournament”s revenues are donated to charity, with nearly $1.4 million dollars distributed to local children”s charities in 2007. The tournament”s primary charity is Children”s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA). With three CHOA satellite pediatric centers in Gwinnett, more than 60,000 Gwinnett patient encounters took place in 2007 – more than in any other county in Georgia.

"Birdies for Charity" is a three-pronged program that allows non-profit organizations to collect pledges based on the anticipated number of birdies made in the tournament. More than 60 organizations participate, with more than $625,000 in charitable donations going to local schools, youth athletic associations, garden clubs, community theaters and pet rescue groups.

The AT&T Classic is also a top sponsor of the Atlanta Junior Golf Association and a major contributor to the Georgia State Golf Foundation, as well as supporting the Project One Junior Golf Academy, which assists promising students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

When it comes to economic impact, there is no other single Gwinnett event that packs as much of a wallop as the Classic. According to a recent economic impact study conducted by the Atlanta Sports Council, the total economic impact of the 2007 AT&T Classic was:

  • $14.03 million (statewide)
  • $13.65 million (metro Atlanta)
  • $770,142 (state and local tax revenues)
  • $189 (average daily expenditures of overnight AT&T Classic guests)

Talk about millions of reasons to support this important event! For more tournament information, visit www.attclassic.com or call 770-951-8777.