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August 07, 2013

PGA explains new slogan, and why Oak Hill green speeds are a mystery

Posted at 12:40 PM by Jeff Ritter | Categories: PGA Championship, PGA of America

Pga-champ-oak-hill-flag_640
ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- The PGA of America held its annual pre-event press conference late Wednesday morning, and you can tell it's a fairly stress-free week for the powers-that-be when the toughest questions involve the tournament's slogan. "Glory's Last Shot"? Like Shawn Micheel's 7-iron, it's history. Now it's "The Season's Final Major." You can argue whether the new tagline is catchy enough to be marketed effectively, but surely we can all agree on this: it's accurate.

It seems the slogan change came at the "suggestion" of PGA Tour commish Tim Finchem, who no doubt believes there's plenty more glory to be attained each year after the PGA. (FedEx playoffs, anyone?) Here are a few highlights from the talk, which also included an interesting point about green speeds at Oak Hill, which are reportedly far slower than those typically found at the majors. Where are they on the stimpmeter? It will remain a mystery.

Q: I've been coming for over 30 years and enjoyed looking at the sign that says, "PGA Championship: Glory's Last Shot." Now I come in and see it's "The Season's Final Major." What caused the change? Have you had grammar lessons, or what?

Ted Bishop, PGA President: John, you're killing me (laughter). We have had conversations the last few months with the PGA Tour, and one of the questions that we had of Commissioner Finchem and the players was to consider playing the FedExCup in four consecutive weeks the year of The Ryder Cup in 2014. Our captain felt like that it was imperative that our players had a week off prior to The Tour Championship and the beginning of The Ryder Cup, and in exchange, one of the things that Commissioner Finchem asked us to consider was dropping the tag line of Glory's Last Shot. He was very provocative and emphasized the fact that the PGA Championship is the strongest field in major golf; that it stands on its own merits and that there was golf that was played after the PGA Championship, most notably the FedExCup. I think that we feel that our championship does stand on its own merits and there is other golf that's played after this championship, albeit not major golf.

And so that was just one example of some of the many things that I feel like we have been able to work together and accomplish hand in hand with the PGA Tour. I think it was a change that was good for them, and obviously the week off prior to The Ryder Cup, hopefully will be good for our players.

 

Q: Can you tell some of the numbers of the green speed?

Kerry Haigh, PGA of America Chief Championships Officer: Championship speed.

Q: Can you tell me anything you think it could be?

Haigh: It's a speed that's appropriate to the greens that we feel is right. We don't give out a number. To be honest, we don't think that's necessarily good for the overall country clubs out there. I think everyone hear a number and then everyone starts saying, well, we need it at this number. I think all clubs should set at a green speed that is appropriate for their play and the quality of their members and the slope of those greens. Throwing out numbers, I'm just not comfortable.

 (Photo: Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

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