The 99th PGA Annual Meeting brought more than 265 PGA professionals to PGA National Resort and Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. As the PGA prepares for its Centennial in 2016, delegates, comprised of PGA board members, past presidents and representatives of all 41 PGA Sections, discussed the progress the PGA has made with its long-term strategic plan to serve members and grow the game.
PGA President Derek Sprague and CEO Pete Bevacqua kicked off the informal session by laying out the framework for the PGA’s focus on advancing the ability of PGA members to utilize state-of-the-art tools and education to foster career growth and player development.
“As an association, the best of what we do centers on leading, inspiring and believing in others. That’s how we create the next generation of leaders,” said Sprague. “The greatest tribute we can make to the association is to leave it better than we found it. That’s what leaders do.”
Accordingly, PGA Vice President Paul Levy announced the creation of the Golf USA Tee Times Coalition, a formal partnership between the PGA and the National Golf Course Association (NGCOA) to drive compliance in support of guidelines established this year. The coalition will also educate PGA Professionals and the golf industry on yield management and best practices that maximize profitability and consumer experiences.
PGA of America Chief Commercial Officer Jeff Price —and special guests Billy Casper Golf Chairman and CEO Peter Hill, NGCOA CEO Jay Karen, Priceline Chairman Jeff Boyd and Cornell University Professor Dr. Cathy Enz — also emphasized the importance of converting from a price-conscious approach to a time-sensitive consumer focus, in order to drive new revenues and cater to core customers.
PGA Secretary Suzy Whaley and Chief Operating Officer Darrell Crall delivered a dual presentation on the success of PGA Junior League Golf, which grew exponentially this year to approximately 30,000 boys and girls in 2015, a 13,000 year-over-year increase.
The annual meeting also featured:
- PGA of America Hall of Fame induction ceremony headlined by Lee Trevino, Payne Stewart and Charlie Sifford
- Induction of six new members of the PGA Board of Directors, including new Independent Director Seth Waugh, former CEO of Deutsche Bank
- 2015 PGA of America National Awards led by PGA Golf Professional of the Year Tom Henderson and PGA Teacher of the Year Cameron McCormick, who is Jordan Spieth’s instructor
- PGA Distinguished Service Award presentation to former PGA Tour Commissioner Deane Beman
- Keynote Speaker Dave Ridley, former Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for Southwest Airlines
- Legends of the PGA honoree, PGA Past President Jack Connelly
PGA of America