Category: PGA of America

August 07, 2013

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

Posted at 12:40 PM by Jeff Ritter

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)

July 23, 2013

Fans to choose hole location at PGA Championship

Posted at 10:14 AM by Coleman McDowell

Picture 1

If Phil Mickelson or Ian Poulter have any complaints with the pin placement on No. 15 at Oak Hill during the final round of the PGA Championship, they won't have to look far to find the culprit.

For the first time in history, fans will get to step inside the ropes – albeit from behind their computer screens – and select the Sunday hole location for the 181-yard par-3.

"It really was Jack's idea to get more fan participation in the championship," said Kerry Haigh, PGA of America Chief Championships Officer. "And what better way than to select a hole location in the final round of the PGA Championship?"

None of the four selections present an easy opportunity for the professionals. Water waits for any shot that ventures too far right while three bunkers guard the left side of the green. Jack Nicklaus, the challenge host, says selection 'D' is the only one that presents a true challenge because it forces players to take on the pin instead of leaving it in the middle of the green.

Nicklaus won the PGA when it was hosted at Oak Hill in 1980 by a then-record seven strokes.

Fans can vote at

December 13, 2012

Golfers react to Tom Watson's Ryder Cup captaincy

Posted at 10:06 AM by Samantha Glover
December 12, 2012

Truth & Rumors: PGA has big plans for Bethpage Black

Posted at 12:24 PM by

Tiger_bethpageTiger Woods at the 2002 U.S. Open at Bethpage Black in Farmingdale, N.Y. (Getty Images)

With no plans to bring the U.S. Open back to Bethpage Black in the near future, it appeared the famed New York muni might fade from the major championship picture in professional golf. That is until Tuesday, when PGA of America president Ted Bishop revealed his desire to bring major-caliber golf back to the Black Course to Newsday's Mark Herrmann.

Ted Bishop, the new president of the PGA of America, said Tuesday that one of his goals in office is to bring the PGA Championship and/or the Ryder Cup to Bethpage Black.

"We've just got some things to sort out with some dates in the future, but there is no decline in my interest," said Bishop, who took office last month. He and new chief executive officer Peter Bevacqua are in New York to name the 2014 U.S. Ryder Cup captain Thursday.

"Honestly, I would have to tell you that if you asked me my goal for the next couple of years, it would be to make some kind of an announcement that something is going to happen at Bethpage," Bishop said.

The Black Course at Bethpage State Park hosted the 2002 and 2009 U.S. Opens, won by Tiger Woods and Lucas Glover, respectively. The USGA has announced host venues through 2019, when Pebble Beach will take the reins, and the Black is not on the list. The last PGA Tour event to be played there was this year's Barclays, the first of the four 2012 FedEx Cup playoff events.

December 11, 2012

Truth & Rumors: Prominent U.K. golf writer joins call for Trump boycott

Posted at 12:57 PM by Samantha Glover

Bill Elliott, editor-at-large at the U.K. magazine Golf Monthly, said he would never play Donald Trump's Trump International Golf Links in Aberdeen, Scotland, and he asked his readers to refuse to play the new course as well.

Elliott decided to boycott the course after watching "You've Been Trumped," a documentary about the course's construction that is critical of Trump.

“By all accounts, this is a seriously brilliant links. Opened in the summer, the plaudits for it have been almost overwhelmingly in their positivity. Despite this, I’ll never play it. Why? Because I watched, along with almost a million others, the documentary You’ve Been Trumped on television."

“Even allowing for the fact that it was a one-sided film, it was impossible not to be shocked by the tactics used to try to intimidate a few local residents who refused to sell their homes. This intimidation apparently goes on.”

George Sorial, an executive in the Trump Organization, said Elliott lacks "editorial integrity" and that the course is a success within the industry and with golfers:

“Bill Elliott does not know what he is talking about and his comments demonstrate a complete lack of editorial integrity because he never visited our course or inquired about the issues."

“His entire position is based upon a second-hand source that is a gross distortion of the truth. The global golf community has embraced our course and bookings continue to soar."

“If Mr Elliott took the time to investigate the facts the way a professional writer should, he would be very embarrassed.”

Elliott's announcement comes just one month after a European golf consultant spoke out against Trump International over the "You've Been Trumped" movie's allegations of the Trump Organization's heavy-handedness in dealing with Aberdeen residents during course construction.

Gallery: Trump International
Travelin' Joe on Trump International
November 28, 2012

PGA of America members oppose belly-putter ban; PGA Tour to review in March

Posted at 1:44 PM by Mike Walker

Keegan Bradley won the 2011 PGA Championship at East Lake in Atlanta with an anchored putter. (Robert Beck/SI)

In a recent survey, two-thirds of PGA of America members said they were against banning anchored putters due to concerns over the ban's effect on the growth of the game and the lack of any data to suggest that anchoring is an advantage.

The PGA of America, which represents more than 27,000 teaching professionals and hosts the PGA Championship, shared the results of the survey in a letter to USGA Executive Director Mike Davis and USGA President Glen Nager. Davis announced the USGA's proposed ban on anchored putters in a joint teleconference with R&A Chief Executive Peter Dawson on Wednesday morning.

"We believe that golf is the greatest of all games," the PGA of America's letter stated. "We also believe that we need to continue to do what is necessary to preserve all that makes it unique and, consistent with our mission, take actions to grow the game. Therefore, as you near decisions regarding a potential ban on anchoring, we wanted to be sure that you were aware of the polling results as our PGA members are truly the tangible connection between the game and its participants.

"As Mike mentioned in his presentation to us at our PGA Annual Meeting in Baltimore earlier this month, there does not appear to be any data that suggests that anchoring a golf club results in an unfair competitive advantage. In the absence of such data and based on the polling of our PGA members and all of the exciting progress the industry has made through Golf 2.0 and other related initiatives to make the game more fun and, quite frankly, more enjoyable and welcoming to a broader and more diverse audience, we respectfully ask you to consider our concerns."

The PGA of America is not affiliated with the PGA Tour, which issued its own statement on the ban Wednesday:

"While the USGA and The R&A have kept us updated on this proposed rule change, we only recently have been able to review the final language and have not until now had the opportunity to share it with our Policy Board and membership," the PGA Tour's statement said. "As with any rule change, we will go through our normal process of evaluating the potential impact this will have to all our constituents. It will be discussed at our next annual player meeting on Jan. 22 in San Diego, and it is anticipated that it will be reviewed by our Policy Board during its March meeting. During this review process, we will provide periodic updates to our stakeholders."

Davis said Wednesday that the PGA of America, the PGA Tour and the LPGA Tour are all consulting members of the USGA's Rules of Golf committee and were involved in the discussions about anchored putters, although he declined to say whether PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem agreed with the ban.

"I think it would be fair to say this question would be better answered by Tim himself or a member of the Policy Board, but certainly the Tour is aware of what's going on and they have a process they have to go through," Davis said.

The LPGA Tour put out its own brief statement Wednesday, saying the women's tour has always followed the USGA's rules:

“The LPGA has consistently conducted our official events in accordance with the Rules of Golf as defined by the USGA and the R&A. We certainly respect golf’s governing bodies and their long-standing desire to protect and promote the best interests of the game.

“The proposed new Rule 14-1b prohibiting ‘anchoring the club’ in making a stroke is not yet final and the LPGA will wait with interest while the USGA and R&A consider further comments and suggestions from the golf community.

“In the meantime, we will continue to discuss this proposed change with our players and provide our input and thoughts directly to the USGA and R&A.”

The European Tour is a member of the R&A's Rules of Golf committee. The USGA is the governing body for golf in the United States and Mexico; the R&A is the governing body for the rest of the world. Speaking for the R&A, Dawson said the European Tour is expected to adapt the rule change without any issue, and recalled a saying of former European Tour official Ken Shofield.

"When he was executive director of the European Tour, he said the European Tour are rules followers, not rules makers," Dawson said. "I think from some remarks attributed over the past two or three days to George O'Grady, that sentiment lives on on the European Tour."

November 13, 2012

Truth & Rumors: Dottie Pepper leaves NBC for PGA of America

Posted at 12:39 PM by Samantha Glover

Dottie Pepper, the former LPGA great turned television analyst, will leave NBC at the end of 2012 to begin a three-year long term as an independent director of the PGA of America Board of Directors, according to a report by USA Today.

"NBC wanted me to work more. And I can't do the things I want to do for golf if I'm in a suitcase for half the year doing announcing," Pepper told USA TODAY Sports on Monday. "I really want to get more people playing golf and more women playing golf. We are totally missing the boat. I hopefully can help. It's the perfect time to step back and give a little more back to the game than taking from it."

According to the report, Pepper's role will be to help increase golf participation among juniors and women.

"I'm looking forward to an exciting and new chapter in my life. I'm thrilled and inspired by the people I will be working with at the PGA of America," Pepper said. "My experiences in golf can help shape the decisions that will be made. Expanding junior programs and expanding the number of women playing the game is what I hope to do.

After injuries forced Pepper to end her nearly 20-year LPGA career, she began a successful announcing career. She was the lead LPGA analyst for Golf Channel from 2004-2009 and has been working with NBC since then.

Rory McIlroy wins his first Vardon Trophy and PGA POY; Tiger Woods ineligible

Posted at 12:07 PM by

Rory-poy-presst_330Rory McIlroy better start working on his acceptance speeches.

After winning four tournaments in 2012, including the PGA Championship, McIlroy is expected to sweep golf's end-of-season awards, and he just brought home two of the biggest: the PGA of America's Player of the Year award and the Vardon Trophy.

The PGA Player of the Year is awarded on a points system, while the Vardon Trophy is given to the player with the lowest adjusted scoring average, based on a minimum of 60 rounds, with no incomplete rounds, in events co-sponsored or designated by the PGA Tour.

Tiger Woods finished second in scoring average to Rory McIlroy on the PGA Tour in 2012. (Woods had a 68.90 average to McIlroy's 68.87.) However, even if Woods had finished with a lower scoring average than McIlroy, he would have been ineligible for the Vardon Trophy because he withdrew in the middle of his final round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship on March 11.

According the PGA of America, it was the first time Woods had been ineligible for the award due to an incomplete round. Woods was eligible for the PGA of America Player of the Year award.

The PGA of America announced McIlroy's awards in a statement on Tuesday:

McIlroy, 23, became the fourth youngest PGA Champion on Aug. 12 with a record eight-stroke triumph at The Ocean Course in Kiawah Island, S.C. He went on to capture both the season money earnings and adjusted scoring average titles. He finished with 100 points, while Tiger Woods –-  a three-time winner this season –- finished runner-up with 66 points. Woods is the all-time leader in both season-ending awards, having captured 10 PGA Player of the Year awards and eight Vardon Trophies since 1997.

This is the first time McIlroy has captured either award. The PGA Tour will announce its Player of the Year in December. Golf Magazine named McIlroy its 2012 Player of the Year in its December issue. Go to for more coverage of McIlroy's outstanding season.

Related Photos: Highlights from Rory McIlroy's 2012 Season

Related Article: Rory McIlroy is Golf Magazine's Player of the Year

(Photo: Andrew Hancock/SI)

November 08, 2012

Truth & Rumors: Peter Bevacqua to be named PGA of America's CEO

Posted at 12:41 PM by Samantha Glover

According to Golfweek's Adam Shupack, the search for the next chief executive officer of the PGA of America is over.

Peter Bevacqua, most recently of CAA Sports, has unofficially been offered the position. The decision is expected to be confirmed at the PGA of America's annual meeting in Baltimore this weekend, according to the report.

Prior to his time at CAA, Bevacqua spent more than a decade working for the USGA, acting as in-house corporate counsel, managing director of the U.S. Open Championships and ultimately the organization's chief business officer. In 2009, Bevacqua was among candidates being considered for the role of the next commissioner of the LPGA, according to the Golfweek report.

Bevacqua will replace Joe Steranka, who announced his resignation from the post in April.

September 29, 2012

Truth & Rumors: PGA expects massive crowds, lines to continue at Ryder Cup

Posted at 10:56 AM by Mark Dee

If the 12 hours of blanket TV coverage depicting throngs of fans 10-deep didn't tip it, there's something you should know: People like the Ryder Cup. A lot.

In fact, the PGA of America, which throws the party, has said it expects 240,000 people over the course of the Cup's six days and warned vendors to expect as many as 60,000 people on the course each day, according to Michael Smith of SportsBusiness Journal.

Those big crowds mean big business: Smith reports that the PGA has sold an estimated $50 million in "chalets, clubhouse rooms, individual hospitality clubs, viewing suites and corporate tables" alone.

All that, apparently, means a ravenous appetite for souvenirs.

That will translate into huge merchandise numbers for Cutter & Buck, which manages the 45,000-square-foot Ryder Cup shop next to the 18th hole. Traffic through the merchandise tent was overwhelming as early as Wednesday, when the fire marshal halted the flow of people into the tent for about 15 minutes. Even with 50 checkout registers going, the line to pay went almost the length of the tent. More than 100 fans stood outside waiting to get in and only when buyers exited were more people allowed to enter.

Hmm. Maybe those lines kept M.J. away from the merch tent. That would explain why he showed up in the same clothes he was wearing in 1992. (Check out the first picture of Mike in this wonderful, revealing Tumblr, WTFIsMikeWearing.)

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