LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- As the eyes of the world turn to Louisville for the 149th running of the Kentucky Derby this Saturday, the owners of Valhalla Golf Club in east Louisville are preparing for next year's PGA Championship. 

WDRB caught up with Valhalla co-owner Jimmy Kirchdorfer on the backside of Churchill Downs on Wednesday to talk about the plans that have been in motion for some time.

Kirchdorfer is part of a group of four longtime Valhalla members — along with David Novak, Junior Bridgeman and Ches Musselman — that purchased the club from the PGA of America in 2022.

The PGA Championship returns to Valhalla in the spring of 2024, and crews are hard at work around the property finishing the final major projects before the pros arrive. The tournament — to be held May 16-19, 2024 — will be the fourth time Valhalla has hosted one of professional golf's four major championships. 

"It's great for this community and Valhalla and our members to be able to host a major championship again," Kirchdorfer said. 

Mark Brooks, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy won the previous three PGA Championships held at Valhalla.

"We've had some historic championships," Kirchdorfer said. "In 2014, when Rory won in the dark, people remember that. And Tiger won in 2000 against Bob May. In 2008, we had a great Ryder Cup." 

Among the final projects ahead of 2024 are lengthening four holes with new tee boxes, re-working the green site on the club's signature 13th hole and finishing a large-scale renovation of the clubhouse. In late-2021, the club began work to re-sod the entire golf course. The course was transitioned from a cool-season Bentgrass to a warm-season Zyosia grass, allowing for easier maintenance of the course during the warm season, course superintendent John Ballard said.

"We have a timeline," Kirchdorfer said. "We have to get it done by May of '24. So renovating the clubhouse is going to be painting it white, making it like a 'My Old Kentucky Home' theme. We've done some things on the golf course: a new water feature on 13 — the island hole — we really revamped that. And lengthened hole 18.

"But the drive in is going to be very special. It's going to be kind of a Kentucky theme. You're going to have horses when you drive in the property. A white picket fence, limestone, a springhouse. A lot of guests come from all over the world to play Valhalla, and we want them to know what state they're in."

Ryan Ogle, the director of the 2024 PGA Championship, said he expects the tournament to have more than $100 million in economic impact to the Louisville community.

Tickets can be purchased online at PGAChampionship.com but there's a process involved.

"You've got to register first and then get in line," Kirchdorfer said. "Then, in June, you'll have a chance to buy them."

Valhalla's 486-acre property sits off Shelbyville Road, just east of Interstate 265. Designed by Jack Nicklaus, it opened in 1986 and remains the No. 1-ranked course in Kentucky, according to Golf Digest.

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