Darrell Smith

Darrell Smith is executive director of the World Golf Championships–FedEx St. Jude Invitational, one of four annual WGC events in the world. Smith grew up in Memphis, graduated from the University of Tennessee in 2005 and lives in Memphis with his wife, Libby, and two children, Holston and Millie.

On National Golf Day, count the benefits of the FedEx St. Jude tournament

By Updated: May 01, 2019 11:42 AM CT | Published: April 30, 2019 2:33 PM CT

Our team at the World Golf Championships-FedEx St. Jude Invitational lives here and works here, and on National Golf Day today, we’re honored to be planning one of the world’s most recognized golf tournaments, set for July 24-28 in Memphis, our home.

Every year since 1958, the PGA Tour has stopped in Memphis, and the impact on this community goes far past the historic shots and legendary winners. The tournament – and the great game of golf – have a long-term economic impact and supply an incredible boost for the world-renowned St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

<strong>Darrell Smith</strong>

Darrell Smith

It's a privilege to host the very best professional golfers in the world in our city, but the PGA Tour’s mission has always been to show that we are more than just a sports league.

Over the last 60 years, Memphis’ annual PGA Tour stop helped generate more than $43 million for St. Jude – helping to further Danny Thomas’ vision that families never receive a bill from the hospital and instead focus solely on their child’s health.

The tournament acts as a megaphone for St. Jude’s mission all over the world, and when PGA Tour players visit the hospital, they touch and change both the patients’ lives and their own.

As one of 47 annual PGA Tour events that have a charitable focus in the markets in which they play, we contributed to the tour's 2018 charitable total of $190 million and overall total of $2.84 billion. The numbers are impressive, but the impact from those dollars is really eye-opening. It’s for brave kids like 10-year-old Mya, who is battling sickle cell disease and was our 2018 Purple Eagle honoree. FedEx dedicated a plane in her honor at the tournament.

In addition to supporting St. Jude, we are committed to increasing the visibility of this city we all love, showcasing Memphis to viewers around the globe. The local economic impact of the event is estimated to be $40 million to $60 million annually.

So, on this National Golf Day, I encourage you to take your kids out to the range to hit a bag of balls, or go play nine holes after work with friends and celebrate this great game and the positive impact it brings to our community here in Memphis and others around the world.

The Daily Memphian welcomes a diverse range of views and invites readers to submit guest columns by contacting Peggy Burch, community engagement editor, at


World Golf Championships-Fedex St. Jude Invitational St. Jude Children's Research Hospital PGA TOUR

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