NAPLES, Fla. - Some of the world's top golfers are in Southwest Florida this week. Greg Norman's Franklin Templeton Shootout is a hit every year bringing thousands to spectators to Tiburon in Naples, but the tournament is also driving millions of dollars to the local economy.
Whether it's for the good weather, great golf or a chance to see the pros up close, tens of thousands are expected to walk along the fairways over the next few days.
"You can't beat a name like Greg Norman for one thing and he does get a number of the best players in the world to come to his invitation so that's really nice," says Jay Rawlins of Fort Myers.
This year, top golfers like Matt Kuchar, Steve Stricker and Jason Dufner will all take a swing at the title.
Tournament Director Taylor Ives says, "this year's field is as good as we've had."
"It give people a chance to learn about the players and interact with them," says Mike Coughlin of Canada.
For some spectators, this has turned into an annual event. For others, it's their first time. Either way, local restaurants and hotels will get a lot of green from the tournament success.
"We expect over the course of five days to have anywhere from 35,000 to 40,000 people come out to the event and while a lot of those are locals, there's no question a lot of the hotels locally benefit," says Ives.
Early December is typically a slower time of year, but the Ritz Carlton on site is sold out most of the week, while other hotels and restaurants are filled with television crews, out of state vendors and fans.
"We're certainly comfortable saying it's a multi-million dollar impact and that doesn't include the television exposure through a network television audience which promotes this region as a destination," says Ives.
The second round of the Pro-AM was Thursday. Friday is the first round of the tournament and it runs through Sunday. Tickets are still available: