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Well Worth the Wait

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Many Westminster students went to the PGA Championships to see their favorite golfers.

Many Westminster students went to the PGA Championships to see their favorite golfers.

Jack Martin

Jack Martin

Many Westminster students went to the PGA Championships to see their favorite golfers.

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While sitting in traffic in the Westminster parking lot that caused my normal 10 minute commute to cross country practice take around 40 minutes, I, like many other students and staff, wondered why the school decided to allow people en route to the 100th annual PGA Golf Championship to catch shuttles and park in our parking lot. At the time, it seemed like more of an inconvenience to members of the WCA community than something beneficial.

Upon thinking about it more, I realized that the impact of allowing parking for the PGA at Westminster went beyond providing a space to service golf patrons because it allows the school an opportunity be a part of something truly historic and display its Christian character to those who would not normally be exposed to it.

The PGA Championship is one of the biggest events in golf as it is one of the four major championships serving as the fourth and final major of the golf season. It hosts some of the most famous names in golf such as Tiger Woods and Brooks Koepka. This year was particularly special because it was the 100th annual tournament which made the appeal even greater.

“I thought the PGA was a great experience and was worth Westminster being a public parking lot. It’s very rare to see the best golfers in the world and considering it was a major championship meant more people would be there and the atmosphere was awesome especially when Tiger Woods was moving up the leaderboard” says Jack Martin, a Westminster student who attend all 5 days of the tournament.

On average, the PGA Championship attracts over 200,000 spectators over 5 days which is a huge audience but because this year was particularly special there was an even larger percentage of out of town visitors.

Brian Hall, chief marketing officer of the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission is quoted in the St. Louis Post Dispatch saying that “the PGA of America told the St. Louis CVC that 80,000 fans have traveled [to the event] from outside the community.”  

The large amount of people who traveled to the PGA from other areas of the country and even the world proved to be an amazing opportunity to show what Westminster is to people who have never experienced it. By simply serving them well, Westminster can show them what a Christian school looks like and in turn, show them who God is.

During an introductory speech for the athletic night, Dr. Mosbacker commented on the PGA saying that “while the tournament caused a lot of chaos it also proved to have God’s hand present in it. For example, the rainstorm that caused my car to get stuck in the mud and drove thousands of people into the arena allowed them to see the ten pillars of our athletic program written on the wall, with ‘honor Jesus Christ in all things’ at the top.”

However, some may still argue that the school is not a public place simply to be used by out of town strangers by an event not connected to our school but instead should prioritize those who attend the school especially with the school year about to start. But, as a Christian school, we are called to be apart of the community and also serve our community well.

“We are blessed to be a blessing and, as a Christian community, we desire to express love for and Christian hospitality to our neighbor. This tournament is an important event for the St. Louis region and, as a member of the community, we want to do our part to make it a success. Making our facilities available to others often involves sacrifice and inconvenience. That is fine as we are called to be servants” explains head of school Dr. Mosbacker.

Also, while it is not the most important reason why the PGA was impactful for Westminster, the school still is a business and needs to make money in order for students and teachers to continue to have nice facilities, supplies, and resources among other things which can be found through the renting out of the parking lot. Also, the exposure of the school to thousands of people was invaluable as a marketing tool.  

“The PGA contracted with us to use a portion of our parking lot and agreed to pay us a fair rate for using the space along with covering the cost of any repairs caused by their use of the facility.  In addition to the financial compensation, this was an incredible marketing opportunity for Westminster since it brought many people who didn’t know much about WCA on our campus. You can’t put a price on this level of exposure” explains Todd Fuller, head of finance and operations.

So instead of complaining about small inconveniences such as parking or traffic, it is our duty as a Christian school to be a part of the community and serve others well through our participation in events such as these so that through our Christian character we may even lead someone to know Christ, which is the ultimate goal.  

 

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Well Worth the Wait