Archives for January 2012

Trench wins, ‘Blow Your Own Trumpet,’ competition for trip to Orlando

For nearly four decades, the remarkable military career of John “Sid” Trench of Hampshire, England, sent him to many of the trouble spots in the world. Beginning with the political hotbed in Northern Ireland in the 1970s, to Bosnia, and capped by two tours in Iraq. Through 36 years, Trench counts himself among the blessed for having escaped injury while serving his country.

Trench also considers himself fortunate to love golf, a sport that seemed light years away while he was embedded in combat. The game beckoned him even when missiles sailed overhead. Trench found temporary solace while sneaking off near sunset to hit practice balls at burned-out tanks in Iraq.

This month, Trench, 54, a PGA Professional since July 2011, makes his debut at the 59th PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Fla. He earned the trip by winning the second annual “Blow Your Own Trumpet” competition sponsored by The Professional Golfers’ Association. Trench’s efforts to transform the junior section of his home club, Test Valley Golf Club, cemented his winning entry.

It will be Trench’s third visit to U.S. soil, having spent one brief military break in the 1980s in Montana and an overnight stay in 1987 in Miami.

“I’m extremely lucky and privileged,” says Trench, who enlisted at age 15. “There are so many who were not so fortunate. I had been involved in many sports while in my youth, but you see those skills fall by the wayside when you get older.”

Ironically, golf offered Trench some precious respite from the demands of tours of duty, and ignited a passion that led to a second career when he retired from the army at 50.

“You get some downtime and I remember a few of the lads saying let’s try this golf lark,” recalls Trench. “I think I was about 25 at the time. We went out with a 7-iron and I never looked back. I loved it.

“I would pack a tube of balls, a couple of clubs and a small piece of Astroturf. In Basra, the only time I could play was at 6 p.m., because it was so hot. But I could only play for 45 minutes before it went dark. I used to go down to the airport and hit balls at burnt-out Russian tanks.”

Competitive by nature, Trench began to take golf seriously at 30 and captained the army golf team from 2006-08.

“Golf was a sport I knew I could do forever. It was also a competitive environment and I wanted to achieve,” says Trench. “I couldn’t just settle with being mediocre, I wanted to play to the best of my ability.” The prospect of becoming a PGA professional only became a reality as he began to contemplate retirement.

“As a career soldier nearing fifty it was time to think about my family. I knew I wanted to be a PGA Professional but there were a few raised eyebrows when I told my family and friends,” he says. Among those who helped guide Trench to a new career was PGA Professional John Jacobs of Cumberwell Park, one of the UK’s Top 25 current golf coaches and no relation to the World Golf Hall of Fame golf legend.

Trench worked hard with the younger Jacobs and gradually improved his skills to where he could pass the Playing Ability Test. His big moment of graduation, after three years in the PGA Training Program, came last July.

Last spring, Trench became a junior golf academy manager at his home club. From a handful at the start, Trench now oversees 80 youngsters. He has started two junior teams, and guides indoor classes at two college campuses. Among the students he coaches are two groups of disabled children.

“It is emotionally challenging, but it is very rewarding,” says Trench. “Three kids in the program can really move the golf ball. It is true that golf can enhance their lifestyle.”

Trench relishes giving his time and energy to golf, and is determined to make the most of his new career. That passion reflects his efforts to develop the Hampshire club’s junior program. His work included spending afternoons delivering leaflets in his nearby village. He reported that some residents had been there 20 years and didn’t know there was a golf course. He set up two new junior golf teams, enrolled in the National Skills Challenge, which implemented the Golf Foundation’s Junior Passport scheme and organized golf day visits to the BMW PGA Championship.

Recalling his years serving in many of hotbeds of violence in the world, Trench says that he is “privileged” to be in a new chapter of his life. Could there be any more fitting recipient this year of a “Blow Your Own Trumpet” competition?

“My golf window is short. I can’t waste a day, I have to hit the ground running,” says Trench. “I am very fortunate to be running a junior academy – every day is a golf day. I am living the dream.”

Jani-King becomes PGA of America’s official cleaning company

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Jani-King, the world’s largest commercial cleaning franchise company, has been named the Official Cleaning Company of The PGA of America. The five-year partnership will generate support for PGA Player Development initiatives, including Get Golf Ready.

Jani-King, which will have a presence at the 59th PGA Merchandise Show, Jan. 26-28, in Orlando, Fla., will network with PGA Professionals to market its commercial cleaning services to the golf industry.

“The PGA of America proudly welcomes Jani-King, which celebrates its 43rd anniversary this year, as a partner in The PGA of America family engaging our member professionals while supporting the growth of the game,” said PGA of America President Allen Wronowski. “Jani-King’s outstanding reputation of service complements our PGA Professionals’ efforts to best represent themselves and their facilities.”

Founded in 1969, and with headquarters in Dallas, Texas, Jani-King has more than 13,000 franchise owners worldwide and more than 120 regional offices in 17 countries.

“Jani-King is excited to partner with The PGA of America to not only grow the game of golf, but to also provide PGA Professionals with the opportunity to showcase their local facilities in a superior manner,” said Jani-King President Jerry Crawford. “Our commitment to customer satisfaction sets Jani-King apart and we look forward to delivering services that are beyond expectations of PGA Professionals and their members and guests.”

About Jani-King

Jani-King is the world’s largest commercial cleaning franchise company with more than 13,000 franchise owners worldwide. Founded in 1969, the company has more than 120 regional offices in 17 countries. Through a network of regional support offices, Jani-King contracts commercial cleaning services for many different facilities including healthcare, office, hotel/resort, manufacturing, restaurant and sporting venues. The company has consistently ranked as the top performer among commercial cleaning franchise businesses.

About The PGA of America

Since its founding in 1916, The PGA of America has maintained a twofold mission: to establish and elevate the standards of the profession and to grow interest and participation in the game of golf. By establishing and elevating the standards of the golf profession through world-class education, career services, marketing and research programs, The PGA enables its professionals to maximize their performance in their respective career paths and showcases them as experts in the game and in the multi-billion dollar golf industry. By creating and delivering world-class championships and innovative programs, The PGA of America elevates the public’s interest in the game, the desire to play more golf, and ensures accessibility to the game for everyone, everywhere. As The PGA nears its centennial, the PGA brand represents the very best in golf.

PGA of America welcomes three new members to board of directors

ORLANDO, Fla. — Three new members of The PGA of America’s Board of Directors were sworn in Tuesday, Jan. 24, at the Association’s 95th Annual Meeting at the Hilton Orlando in Orlando, Fla.

The new PGA District Directors are Jim Antkiewicz of Aliquippa, Pa.; Scott Brandt of St. George, Utah.; and Chris Thomson of Lincoln, Neb., who each will serve three-year terms.

The PGA Board of Directors is composed of the Association’s President, Vice President, Secretary, Honorary President and 17 Directors. The Directors include representatives from each of The PGA’s 14 Districts, two Independent Directors and a member of the PGA Tour. New District Directors are elected by their local PGA Sections.

A closer look at the newest members of The PGA of America Board of Directors:

Jim Antkiewicz succeeds Michael Doctor of Camillus, N.Y., and returns for a second term as District 4 Director, serving the Central New York, Tri-State and Western New York Sections. Antkiewicz, 54, previously served on the PGA Board from 2002 through 2005. Antkiewicz is the PGA director of golf at the Club at Nevillewood in Presto, Pa., where he has served since 1995. He was the 2008 PGA Golf Professional of the Year and in 2011, inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame. Antkiewicz is a 1980 graduate in business administration from Geneva College in Beaver Falls, and was elected to PGA membership in 1982. One of the most active members of the Tri-State PGA Section in professional education, Antkiewicz served as Tri-State PGA president from 2002 to 2006, and was the 1995 and 2007 Section Golf Professional of the Year; the 1998, ’99 and 2000 Bill Strausbaugh Award recipient and the 1994, ’95 and ’96 Horton Smith Award recipient for contributions to Section education. Antkiewicz serves on the board of directors of the First Tee Foundation of Western Pennsylvania, the Pittsburgh Youth Golf Foundation, and is an executive committee member of the Mario Lemieux Foundation and the Andy Russell Celebrity Golf Tournament for Children’s Hospital.

Scott Brandt succeeds Ron Dunham of Jackson, Wyo., and Port St. Lucie, Fla., as District 9 Director for the Colorado, Rocky Mountain, and Utah PGA Sections. Elected to membership in 1985, Brandt, 52, is the PGA head professional at Bloomington Country Club in St. George, Utah, where he has served since 1992. He is a past president (2001-02) of the Utah PGA Section and was the 2003 Utah PGA Golf Professional of the Year; the 2011 Section Horton Smith Award recipient; the 1999 Section Bill Strausbaugh Award recipient and the 1995 Section Private Facilities Merchandiser of the Year.

Brandt is a 1982 graduate of the University of Utah, and was a 1981 all-Western Athletic Conference (WAC) selection. He is one of the Utah PGA Section’s top performers, having won the 1982 Section Match Play Championship, and competed in four PGA Professional National Championships and the 2009 Senior PGA Professional National Championship.

Chris Thomson succeeds Jeff Smith of Oskaloosa, Iowa, as District 8 Director for the Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska Sections, and was elected to membership in 1991. Thompson, 46, is the PGA head professional at Wilderness Ridge Golf Club in Lincoln, Neb., and served from 2007 to 2009 as president of the Nebraska PGA Section. He is a member of the PGA National Publicity Committee, executive sponsor for the Golf 2.0 Committee; and a member of the President’s Council for growing the game. One of the most decorated members of the Nebraska PGA Section, Thomson was recipient of the 2011 Nebraska PGA Junior Golf Leader Award; the 2006 and 2008 Section PGA Golf Professional of the Year; the 2000 and 2009 Section Merchandiser of the Year; and the 2002 and 2003 Section Horton Smith Award. Thomson is a 1989 graduate in business marketing and professional golf management from Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Mich., where he was president of the Professional Golf Management Student Association.

About The PGA of America

Since its founding in 1916, The PGA of America has maintained a twofold mission: to establish and elevate the standards of the profession and to grow interest and participation in the game of golf. By establishing and elevating the standards of the golf profession through world-class education, career services, marketing and research programs, The PGA enables its professionals to maximize their performance in their respective career paths and showcases them as experts in the game and in the multi-billion dollar golf industry. By creating and delivering world-class championships and innovative programs, The PGA of America elevates the public’s interest in the game, the desire to play more golf, and ensures accessibility to the game for everyone, everywhere. As The PGA nears its centennial, the PGA brand represents the very best in golf.

Met Section’s Hines presented 2011 Patriot Award at 95th Annual Meeting

ORLANDO, Fla. — John Hines of Middle Island, N.Y., born into a family of military veterans and inspired by the message of Patriot Golf Day, that ignited a passion to build a model local fundraising campaign, was presented today with the 2011 Patriot Award.

Hines, 53, a 14-year member of The PGA of America, is the first member of the Metropolitan PGA Section to receive the Patriot Award. The PGA head professional at Baiting Hollow Club in Baiting Hollow, N.Y., Hines was honored at the 95th PGA Annual Meeting at the Hilton Orlando in Orlando, Fla.

Originated in 2008, the Patriot Award is presented by The PGA of America to PGA Professionals who personify patriotism through the game of golf and demonstrate unwavering commitment and dedication to the men and women who have valiantly served and protected the United States of America.

The PGA Annual Meeting also honored the Colorado PGA Section, recipient of the Herb Graffis Award for exemplary achievement in player development.

The balance of The PGA of America Awards will be presented Thursday, Jan. 26, during the 59th PGA Merchandise Show at the Orange County Convention Center’s Chapin Theater in Orlando. The program also will honor the following recipients:

– Don “Chip” Essig IV of Indianapolis – PGA Golf Professional of the Year
– Mary Bea Porter-King of Kapaa, Hawaii – PGA First Lady of Golf
– Mike Malaska of Gold Canyon, Ariz. – PGA Teacher of the Year
– John Rogers of Chambersburg, Pa. – Horton Smith Award
– Robert “Bob” Dolan Jr. of Chevy Chase, Md. – Bill Strausbaugh Award
– Rick Grayson of Springfield, Mo. – PGA Junior Golf Leader
– Brian Bain of Brookline, Mass. – President’s Plaque
– David Hutsell of Baltimore, Md. – PGA Professional Player of the Year
– Sonny Skinner of Sylvester, Ga. – Senior PGA Professional Player of the Year
– PGA Merchandisers of the Year – Jeffrey Kiddie of Newtown Square, Pa. – Private Facilities; Susan Roll of Carlsbad, Calif. – Public Facilities; Hill Herrick of White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. – Resort Facilities.

“Our 2011 national award winners reflect the best values and qualities of our Association,” said PGA of America President Allen Wronowski. “By their career work, our recipients have left an impact among their Section peers, their respective communities and influenced others throughout the country. They are inspiring to juniors as well as aspiring professionals, which is a tradition in our profession. We are very proud to declare that PGA Professionals are the experts in the game and the business of golf.”

Born in Queens, N.Y., and raised in Port Jefferson, N.Y., Hines attended Flagler College in St. Augustine, Fla., and turned professional in 1979. He began his golf career that year by taking an assistant professional position at Harbor Hills Country Club in Port Jefferson. From 1981-1982, he served as first assistant professional at Colonie Hill Golf Club in Islip, N.Y., and competed from 1981 to 1989 on the Space Coast Tour in Florida. Hines served as a PGA assistant professional at Crab Meadow Golf Club in Huntington, N.Y., from 1988 to 1989.

He would spend a five-year period in private business, and returned to the golf industry in 1994 at the former Fox Hill Golf Club, now Baiting Hollow Club. In 1997, he earned PGA membership and was named PGA director of golf at Baiting Hollow Club. Over the past 11 years, Hines has battled from the effects of chronic rheumatoid arthritis, which sidelined him from an active competitive career.

Hines served on the national PGA Education Committee; and since 2010 has been a member of the PGA Disabled Golfers Committee. He was the recipient of the Metropolitan PGA Horton Smith Award in 2008, and the 2010 Section Patriot Award. He is the son of a retired Marine; has a son-in-law who is a retired member of the U.S. Army who served three tours in Iraq; a nephew who served two tours of duty in the Persian Gulf and has two uncles in the Marine Corps, one who served on the Color Guard in Washington, D.C.

“I was accepting a Horton Smith Award at our Metropolitan PGA Meeting, the same day that Major Dan Rooney’s video address was played,” said Hines of that 2008 meeting. “When he gave his speech about the origin of Patriot Golf Day, I was sitting with my two sons in the audience. It lit a nerve. With my family having so many veterans, it was something that touched me deeply. Our family service record goes back to World War I, and I had three uncles, and my dad, who served in World War II. We have had someone from the family serving in every conflict since World War I.”

For Hines, there was no hesitancy to deliver his passion to his club members at Baiting Hollow Club and to the Metropolitan PGA Section Board of Directors. In 2009, the Section raised nearly $125,000, the largest increase in Patriot Golf Day contributions and largest per capita total that year. In 2010, the total funds raised reached nearly $170,000.

Baiting Hollow Club raised $20,000 in 2009, and boosted the fundraising efforts to a $35,000 total a year later. That year’s Patriot Golf Day event featured 40 veterans, with 40 playing golf in the event, including honoring veterans from World War II through the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Some of the veterans arrived in a Blackhawk helicopter, two Humvees, and two armored personnel carriers. Hines partnered with Brig. Gen. Raymond Doyle, and together they inspired a four-member scramble event, where Baiting Hollow Club members played with a veteran at an entry fee of $125.

Hines encouraged the Metropolitan PGA to host Rooney, along with a family representative that had lost a spouse in service, and whose children received Folds of Honor scholarships.

“My belief is that we need to make sure that we touch everyone we can,” said Hines. “Without those who sacrificed so much, where would we be? The least that we can do is to make sure we reach out our hand to help those they have left behind.”

The future for supporting our veterans through golf, Hines said, is just beginning. “We can all do more, and develop a national tournament to take care of them.”

Hines lives in Middle Island, N.Y., and has two sons John and Taylor. Hines has three stepchildren, Kelly, Brandy and Travis.

About The PGA of America

Since its founding in 1916, The PGA of America has maintained a twofold mission: to establish and elevate the standards of the profession and to grow interest and participation in the game of golf. By establishing and elevating the standards of the golf profession through world-class education, career services, marketing and research programs, The PGA enables its professionals to maximize their performance in their respective career paths and showcases them as experts in the game and in the multi-billion dollar golf industry. By creating and delivering world-class championships and innovative programs, The PGA of America elevates the public’s interest in the game, the desire to play more golf, and ensures accessibility to the game for everyone, everywhere. As The PGA nears its centennial, the PGA brand represents the very best in golf. 

Colorado PGA Section presented 2011 Herb Graffis Award

ORLANDO, Fla. — The Colorado PGA Section, comprised of 626 professionals, is the recipient of its first Herb Graffis Award, presented annually to a PGA Section for extraordinary or exemplary contributions in player development, whether by conducting or supporting Play Golf America initiatives. It marks the fifth-consecutive year that either the Section or one of its members has earned national recognition from The PGA of America.

The Colorado PGA Section, with headquarters in Larkspur, Colo., was presented the award Jan. 24, at the 95th PGA Annual Meeting at the Hilton Orlando in Orlando, Fla.

The Herb Graffis Award is named in honor of the late golf historian, author, and founder of golf magazines, the National Golf Foundation and co-founder of the Golf Writers Association of America. Graffis passed away in 1989, at the age of 95.

“Our 2011 national award winners reflect the best values and qualities of our Association,” said PGA President Allen Wronowski. “By their combined career work, our recipients have left an impact among their Section peers, their respective communities and influenced others throughout the country. They are inspiring to juniors, as well as aspiring professionals, which is a tradition in our profession. We are very proud to declare that PGA Professionals are experts in the game and the business of golf.”

“I am extremely proud of the many accomplishments of the men and women of our Section in having the Herb Graffis Award bestowed upon us,” says Colorado PGA Section President Tim Lollar, PGA head professional at Lakewood (Colo.) Country Club. “The Colorado PGA Section wears our PGA badge proudly, and we hope that what we do every day helps motivate people throughout the golf industry to want to do more to get even more people involved in the game.”

The Section has implemented several innovative growth-of-the-game programs, including its groundbreaking “Golf in Schools” initiative – developed in partnership with the Colorado Golf Association, Colorado Women’s Golf Association and Colorado Open Golf Foundation.

The program brought golf instruction from PGA Professionals to more than 40 schools and 7,000 children throughout Colorado. Students were offered three lessons in school; a field trip to a local golf course; and a Family Golf Day at the facility, so parents could see first-hand how much their children enjoyed playing golf, while giving them an opportunity to join in the festivities.

For the second consecutive year, Colorado PGA Professionals teamed up with BirdieBall to bring golf instruction to more than 1,000 juniors over three days at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park and YMCA’s across Denver. Afterwards, junior golf classes were offered at affordable prices at the YMCA, which enabled parents to allow their children to experience the game in a fun and non-threatening environment.

The Colorado PGA Section also partnered with The PGA of America and the USGA to host a PGA Sports Academy in conjunction with the U.S. Women’s Open at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs – the first-ever Academy conducted at a major golf event. The program combined principles of golf with fitness, and provided instruction, along with life lessons in sportsmanship, nutrition and exercise for more than 300 juniors.

“What we do is not just about golf,” said Colorado PGA Section Executive Director and PGA Professional Eddie Ainsworth. “It is about making a positive impact in the lives of others through golf.”

The Section often utilizes special events to expand its promotion of the game. For example, leading into the 2010 Senior PGA Championship at Colorado Golf Club, Section members partnered with the Denver Nuggets to produce “PGA Night at the Nuggets.” PGA Professionals gave free 10-minute lessons for four-hours prior to tipoff; conducted the halftime show for prizes using BirdieBalls; and utilized the arena to promote both the Championship and PGA Free Lesson Month.

“We like to think that there is no longer a box to think outside of anymore,” said Lollar. “We try to use all of the facilities in our Section to brainstorm new ideas. If one program doesn’t work, we try something else. And even if something works, we try to come up with something even better for the next time around.”

In the weeks leading up to the Championship, more than 30 Section Professionals played in the Colorado PGA’s “100 Hole Challenge,” raising $80,000 for the March of Dimes and the Colorado PGA Foundation. PGA Professionals shared personal stories on local television, radio and in print of how premature births had affected their families, and why they were playing to raise money for the cause, which further showcased the positive influence golf has on communities.

The Colorado PGA Section was founded in 1957, as the 31st Section of The PGA of America. The Section originally had 30 members. Its territorial boundaries include the entire State of Colorado, along with the Eastern half of Wyoming (excluding Sheridan and Riverton). Since its founding, the Section expanded to include the cities of Spearfish and Rapid City, S.D.

“To be honored with the Herb Graffis Award acknowledges all of our Colorado PGA Section Professionals, and reflects the hard work and dedication we have done to bring outstanding golf programs to the community,” said Ainsworth.

The PGA Annual Meeting also honored Patriot Award recipient John Hines of Baiting Hollow, N.Y.

The balance of The PGA of America Awards will be presented Thursday, Jan. 26, during the 59th PGA Merchandise Show at the Orange County Convention Center’s Chapin Theater in Orlando. The program also will honor the following recipients:

– Chip Essig of Indianapolis – PGA Golf Professional of the Year
– Mary Bea Porter-King of Kapaa, Hawaii – PGA First Lady of Golf
– Mike Malaska of Gold Canyon, Ariz. – PGA Teacher of the Year
– John Rogers of Chambersburg, Pa. – Horton Smith Award
– Robert “Bob” Dolan Jr. of Chevy Chase, Md. – Bill Strausbaugh Award
– Rick Grayson of Springfield, Mo. – PGA Junior Golf Leader
– Brian Bain of Brookline, Mass. – President’s Plaque
– David Hutsell of Baltimore, Md. – PGA Professional Player of the Year
– Sonny Skinner of Sylvester, Ga. – Senior PGA Professional Player of the Year
– PGA Merchandisers of the Year – Jeffrey Kiddie of Newtown Square, Pa. – Private Facilities; Hill Herrick of White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. – Resort Facilities; Susan Roll of Carlsbad, Calif. – Public Facilities.

About The PGA of America

Since its founding in 1916, The PGA of America has maintained a twofold mission: to establish and elevate the standards of the profession and to grow interest and participation in the game of golf. By establishing and elevating the standards of the golf profession through world-class education, career services, marketing and research programs, The PGA enables its professionals to maximize their performance in their respective career paths and showcases them as experts in the game and in the multi-billion dollar golf industry. By creating and delivering world-class championships and innovative programs, The PGA of America elevates the public’s interest in the game, the desire to play more golf, and ensures accessibility to the game for everyone, everywhere. As The PGA nears its centennial, the PGA brand represents the very best in golf. 

National Car Rental named official partner of PGA of America

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — National Car Rental, the premier car rental brand for the frequent airport traveler in North America, has been named an Official Partner and the Official Rental Car of The PGA of America. The agreement features National Car Rental serving as the Official Rental Car of the PGA Championship, Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid, an Official Partner of the 2012 and 2014 Ryder Cup and the title sponsor of the National Car Rental PGA Assistant Championship.

“The PGA of America proudly welcomes National Car Rental, which celebrates its 65th anniversary this year, as an Official Partner and longtime friend of The PGA Professional,” said PGA of America President Allen Wronowski. “National Car Rental’s presence, its support of our most cherished spectator championships and its commitment to personalized service reflects one of the most trusted brands in the transportation industry.”

Founded in 1947, National Car Rental has corporate headquarters in St. Louis, Mo. As an Official Partner of The PGA of America, National Car Rental joins a select group of companies for significant, broad-based support of the Association, its Championships and membership programs.

“The partnership between The PGA of America and National Car Rental is a perfect match,” said Patrick Farrell, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer for National. “Our two brands share a common bond of customers and members, allowing us to connect with a group of people who understand and appreciate the level of service National provides. We are thrilled to be aligned with an organization that shares our commitment to service and professionalism.”

National Car Rental will commit advertising support of PGA major championship broadcasts, along with PGA-branded programming, including on-air, digital and print. National Car Rental also recognizes the connection between the golfer and business traveler demographics, coupled with the power of The PGA brand and its grass roots PGA Professionals.

– National Car Rental will extend specially priced car rental rates to PGA Professionals, the 41 PGA Sections and The PGA’s family of nearly 90 corporate partners. PGA Professionals also will be given the opportunity to extend preferred rental rates to their club members and guests.

– PGA Professionals will be afforded access into National Car Rentals’ Emerald Club, the car rental industry’s first comprehensive frequent-renter program, which expedites the rental process by offering counter bypass as well as Drop GoSM service with convenient e-receipts. National features 62 Emerald Aisle locations in the U.S. and Canada, including the top 50 airports for business travel.

Last year, National earned the “Leading Edge Award” from Executive Travel magazine recognizing the company as the top rental car service in the travel industry. In addition, National Car Rental’s Emerald Club was selected as the winner of the 2011 Best Rental Car Loyalty Program in the second annual Editors’ Choice Awards by SmarterTravel, the largest online travel resource of independent expert advice for the budget-conscious traveler.

About Enterprise Holdings/National Car Rental
National Car Rental is a premium brand serving the daily rental needs of the frequent airport traveler throughout North America. With National, time-sensitive customers in the United States are able to quickly choose their own vehicles, based upon their advance reservation and requested car class, and then simply drive away from the airport. National also is part of a global strategic alliance with Europcar, creating the world’s largest car rental network. Through its regional subsidiaries, Enterprise Holdings owns and operates National Car Rental as well as the Alamo Rent A Car and Enterprise Rent-A-Car brands. With annual revenues of $14.1 billion and more than 70,000 employees, Enterprise Holdings owns and operates more than 1 million cars and trucks, making it the largest and most comprehensive car rental service provider in the world measured by revenue, employees and fleet.

About The PGA of America
Since its founding in 1916, The PGA of America has maintained a twofold mission: to establish and elevate the standards of the profession and to grow interest and participation in the game of golf. By establishing and elevating the standards of the golf profession through world-class education, career services, marketing and research programs, The PGA enables its professionals to maximize their performance in their respective career paths and showcases them as experts in the game and in the multi-billion dollar golf industry. By creating and delivering world-class championships and innovative programs, The PGA of America elevates the public’s interest in the game, the desire to play more golf, and ensures accessibility to the game for everyone, everywhere. As The PGA nears its centennial, the PGA brand represents the very best in golf.

PGA Foundation, USGA team to bring BGCA to new markets nationwide

ORLANDO, Fla. — The PGA Foundation and the United States Golf Association today welcomed Boys Girls Clubs of America (BGCA), as their Official Youth Development Partner, in a new five-year mission that will introduce youth nationwide to the game of golf. Beginning in 46 selected cities, golf training equipment and instructional support from PGA Professionals will be provided through this partnership to help youth build character, develop healthy lifestyles, and learn the game of golf.

The announcement was made at the 59th PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, where golf legend Jack Nicklaus, PGA of America Chief Executive Officer Joe Steranka and USGA Executive Director Mike Davis, were joined by baseball great and BGCA Governor Ken Griffey Jr. and Evan McElroy, senior vice president of marketing communications for Boys Girls Clubs of America.

The program was piloted at three Clubs in 2010-11. After the new program rolls out in the initial markets this year, plans call for expanding the program to at least 150 Clubs over the next five years. Clubs will implement the five- to six-week curricula at least twice a year, with specific scheduling determined locally. The three core components of the partnership are:

– PGA Professionals will serve as instructors, utilizing space both in and out of local clubs to facilitate the PGA Sports Academy program.
– Professionals will teach basic skills and the Rules of Golf, in addition to coordinating contests and games to reinforce both the fun of the game and skill development.
– The golf training clubs and equipment provided by The PGA to each Boys Girls Club allows for safe golf activity in limited space, and is designed for multiple users.

Over the next five years, The PGA Foundation and BGCA will extend the range of golf opportunities to members and their families, including special golf fun days at local Boys Girls Clubs, family days at local courses, invitations to golf clinics and tournaments, and the development of league play.

“The partnership with Boys Girls Clubs of America will expose millions of youth across the country to the values of golf,” said Steranka. “As an alumnus of this wonderful organization, I am excited about Clubs nationwide making a difference in young people’s lives. Golf offers the building blocks of hope, while offering fitness and fun, and teaching determination, focus, and discipline. Together, The PGA Foundation and the Boys Girls Clubs of America are dedicated to helping young people achieve a great future.”

The United States Golf Association joins The PGA Foundation in supporting and promoting the partnership with BCGA.

“The USGA is proud to partner with The PGA Foundation and The PGA of America to introduce the game of golf plus the fun and the skills it offers to more of our nation’s youth,” said USGA President Jim Hyler. “Through this partnership with Boys Girls Clubs of America, the commitment is on display in many new areas of the country, making a difference in the lives of young people.”

In addition, both will work to create greater awareness about the importance of the work being done by the 27,000 PGA Professionals, members of the PGA family, golf enthusiasts and consumers about the partnership.

“We couldn’t be more excited and honored to be partnering with The PGA Foundation and USGA on this important endeavor,” said McElroy. “The many merits of golf, including determination, focus, discipline, respect, and fun, will help the young people we serve become positive role models, better citizens and have even greater futures.”

The PGA Foundation will support the implementation of the PGA Sports Academy program, which teaches youth age 8-13 basic golf skills along with good character and life skills promoted by Boys Girls Clubs across the country. For many of the Club members, this will be the first time they have ever held and swung a golf club. Participants will also be afforded the opportunity to visit a local golf course, where they can practice newly learned skills in a green-grass golf environment.

The selection process included strategies targeting markets where this program could reach females and minorities in a continued effort to diversify the game. The 2012 golf program sites confirmed include:

Ardmore, Pa. (Philadelphia)
Kohler, Wis.
Redlands, Calif.
Atlanta, Ga.
Lake Orion, Mich.
Rochester, N.Y.
Bellevue, Wash.
Las Vegas, Nev.
Sacramento, Calif.
Benton Harbor, Mich.
Los Angeles, Calif.
San Diego, Calif.
Boston, Mass. (2 Clubs)
Medinah, Ill. (Chicago)
San Francisco, Calif.
Camden, N.J.
Monterey, Calif.
Southampton, N.Y.
Dallas, Texas
Napa, Calif.
St. Louis, Mo.
Dothan, Ala.
Needham, Mass.
Tahlequah, Okla.
Fargo, N.D.
Omaha, Neb.
Washington, D.C.
Flint, Mich.
Orlando, Fla. (2 Clubs)
West Palm Beach, Fla.
Fort Knox, Ky.
Parris Island, S.C.
Winchester, Va.
Fort Smith, Ark.
Peterson AFB, Colo.
Windham, N.H.
Hendersonville, N.C.
Philadelphia, Miss.
Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Phoenix, Ariz.
Hollywood, Fla.
Port St. Lucie, Fla.
Kiawah Island, S.C.
Portland, Maine
Knoxville, Tenn. (2 Clubs)
Portland, Ore.

About the PGA Foundation
Since 1916, The PGA of America and its members have dedicated themselves to improving lives through golf. We have helped millions of Americans representing every race, gender, social and economic background – all through a special experience with the game we love. We hope that you will join us in continuing a legacy that celebrates our history of service to others by supporting the PGA Foundation. Founded in 1978, as a charitable foundation to raise funds to support junior golf, the mission of the PGA Foundation is to “Improve Lives Through Golf,” with specific focus on America’s youth, persons with disabilities and minorities. In order to fulfill the mission of the PGA Foundation and also to help achieve the goals of the golf industry’s efforts to grow the game, we have created four key programs that serve as pillars for success: PGA H.O.P.E. (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere); Ryder Cup Junior Academy; the PGA Golf Management Diversity Scholarship program; and local philanthropic support in 41 PGA Sections nationwide.

About The PGA of America
Since its founding in 1916, The PGA of America has maintained a twofold mission: to establish and elevate the standards of the profession and to grow interest and participation in the game of golf. By establishing and elevating the standards of the golf profession through world-class education, career services, marketing and research programs, The PGA enables its professionals to maximize their performance in their respective career paths and showcases them as experts in the game and in the multi-billion dollar golf industry. By creating and delivering world-class championships and innovative programs, The PGA of America elevates the public’s interest in the game, the desire to play more golf, and ensures accessibility to the game for everyone, everywhere. As The PGA nears its centennial, the PGA brand represents the very best in golf.

About the USGA
The USGA conducts the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open, U.S. Senior Open, and 10 national amateur championships. It also conducts two state team championships and international matches. Together with the RA, the USGA governs the game worldwide, jointly administering the Rules of Golf, Rules of Amateur Status, Equipment Standards and World Amateur Golf Rankings. The USGA’s working jurisdiction comprises the United States, its territories and Mexico. The USGA is a global leader in the development and support of sustainable golf course management pratices. It serves as a primary steward for the game’s history and funds an ongoing “For the Good of the Game” charitable giving program. Additionally, the USGA’s Course Rating and Handicap systems are used on six continents in more than 50 countries. For more information, visit www.usga.org.

About Boys Girls Clubs of America
For more than 100 years, Boys Girls Clubs of America (GreatFutures.org) has enabled young people most in need to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, nearly 4,000 Boys Girls Clubs serve some 4 million children and teens through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in cities, towns, public housing and on Native American lands throughout the country, and serve military families in BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide. Clubs provide a safe place, caring adult mentors, fun and friendship, and high-impact youth development programs on a daily basis during critical non-school hours. Priority programs emphasize academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. In a Harris Survey of alumni, 57 percent said the Club saved their lives. National headquarters are located in Atlanta. Learn more at bgca.org/facebook and bgca.org/twitter. 

Ryder Cup Junior Academy again to host juniors at PGA Village

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — The Ryder Cup Junior Academy will mark its return to PGA Village this summer, inspired by past United States Ryder Cup Team Captains to provide aspiring players – many who may not have the means to attend – an opportunity to experience an elite player development academy.

The academy will renew July 1-8, at PGA Village in Port St. Lucie, Fla., where the inaugural event in 2011 attracted 70 participants. The initiative celebrates the passion of the Ryder Cup, in intended to inspire participants to achieve greatness and to improve their lives through the game of golf. The academy focuses on playing and competing in both stroke- and match-play formats.

“We are looking forward to another memorable year to help to develop the next generation of players who will lead our great game,” said PGA of America President Allen Wronowski. “The Ryder Cup Junior Academy was an incredible experience in 2011, where junior golfers were able to learn from some of golf’s greatest names including Billy Casper, Lanny Wadkins and Dow Finsterwald, as well as top PGA Professionals across the country.”

PGA Tour professional Dustin Johnson, a member of the 2010 U.S. Ryder Cup Team, participated with 1995 U.S. Captain Wadkins in a clinic for Academy participants last July.

“I really respect all of the juniors who participated in the Ryder Cup Junior Academy,” said Johnson. “Any advice that Lanny and I can give to help these exceptional kids is really special to us and these are the types of events that I really enjoy doing. We can make a huge impact and that is important.”

The 2012 session will also feature a selection of past U.S. Ryder Cup Captains and team members.

As part of the 2010 United States Ryder Cup Team’s charitable commitment, which has impacted U.S-based charitable organizations and students at colleges and universities nationwide, the team designated $50,000 each to create and support the Ryder Cup Junior Academy. Each of the 41 PGA Sections nationwide will have the opportunity to nominate one boy and one girl each. Additional applicants will be selected from an at-large process working through allied associations including The First Tee, Boys Girls Clubs of America, the Lorena Ochoa Golf Foundation, the Notah Begay III Foundation and the United South and Eastern Tribes (USET).

About The PGA of America
Since its founding in 1916, The PGA of America has maintained a twofold mission: to establish and elevate the standards of the profession and to grow interest and participation in the game of golf. By establishing and elevating the standards of the golf profession through world-class education, career services, marketing and research programs, The PGA enables its professionals to maximize their performance in their respective career paths and showcases them as experts in the game and in the multi-billion dollar golf industry. By creating and delivering world-class championships and innovative programs, The PGA of America elevates the public’s interest in the game, the desire to play more golf, and ensures accessibility to the game for everyone, everywhere. As The PGA nears its centennial, the PGA brand represents the very best in golf.

Nicklaus, Griffey Jr. team with PGA, USGA in support of Golf 2.0

ORLANDO, Fla. — Jack Nicklaus, whose legacy as a champion can be rivaled only by his legacy as a global golf-course designer, businessman and philanthropist, has joined his industry peers on nurturing perhaps one of the most important and lasting blueprints in golf today-ensuring the future of the game. The golf legend, whose 18 major championships set a standard for excellence, joined The PGA of America, United States Golf Association and representatives of Boys Girls Clubs of America Thursday at the 59th PGA Merchandise Show in support of Golf 2.0. The new comprehensive, strategic plan is designed to retain and strengthen core players, bring former players back, and welcome new golfers to the game.

The 72-year-old Nicklaus teamed with PGA of America President Allen Wronowski; PGA Chief Executive Officer Joe Steranka; and United States Golf Association Executive Director Mike Davis in a media roundtable discussion. They were joined by representatives of the Boys Girls Clubs of America-The PGA’s new Official Youth Development Partner-featuring Board of Governor member Ken Griffey, Jr., the baseball great turned avid golfer and BGCA Senior Vice President of Marketing Communications Evan McElroy.

Nicklaus said he is familiar with sobering statistics about those who have left the game, and has committed himself to supporting all efforts to secure the core players, engage those who have lapsed, and build the next generation.

“I care about this game; it’s given me so many great things for me and my family through the years,” said Nicklaus. “This initiative is not a PGA of America initiative; it’s not a Jack Nicklaus initiative. This is a golf industry initiative, because it is a golf industry issue. We all have a stake in this. Whatever happens is because of all of us. It’s our future.”

Among the multi-pronged plan to engage new players is a partnership with Boys Girls Club of America, a five-year mission that will introduce youth nationwide to the game of golf. Beginning in 46 selected cities, golf training equipment and instructional support from PGA Professionals will be provided through this partnership to help youth build character, develop healthy lifestyles, and learn the game of golf.

“Anything that you are trying to draw to this magnitude, you need the support of the industry stakeholders and partners and relationships,” said Wronowski. “You also need very special individuals and great supporters and proponents.”

The PGA of America’s commitment to Golf 2.0 includes nine Player Development Regional Managers to foster growth in the game in key areas of demand throughout the country. Steranka explained that the retraining of the industry extends well beyond the 27,000 men and women PGA Professionals.

 “Now we are extending that training to golf facility owners, operators and non professional staff,” said Steranka. “We are going to realign our playing fields to make have some entry level courses in golf park like settings, whether they are at existing courses or whether they are remade through the [American Society of Golf Course Architects] ASGCA program or portable courses where we can bring a golf course.”

Griffey, who began playing golf in 1994 after baseball’s second strike, said it was not long before he “was hooked on the game.” He said that his oldest son did not want to pursue baseball, and will attend the University of Arizona on a football scholarship.

“I was astounded that he did not want to continue in baseball, but I know that I can ask him if he wants to join me for golf, and he is the first to pack up the car with the clubs. He is now teaching my nine-year-old the game.”

Griffey recalled his trepidation of having to play in the same foursome with Nicklaus at Pebble Beach, and was unable to get any sleep. “We get to the golf course, and start on the 10th hole. They read Jack’s résumé, which says he’s won this five times, that four times and something else three times. He hits it down the middle, Mark O’Meara hits it down the middle, Steve Nicklaus hits it down the middle, and I hit mine dead left. The first words Jack said to me were, ‘We have to play our foul balls.’

“But watching over the next 17 holes, how Jack interacted with his son was unbelievable. It was just, they talked about everything, except golf. And, that was the one thing that I took away. I looked at being a young father at the time. That’s what I want. When I play golf with my kids, I want to be able to do that.”
Griffey said the Golf 2.0 initiatives to build a new generation of players, is part of his motivation when he enjoys time with his family.

“I play a little bit with my Dad here and there, and we talk about everything. I think it’s the best time of my life,” said Griffey. “I also have this thing called Griffey Force Family Fun. We play Sunday, we play golf; it’s usually five of us. We go out, and my youngest is nine, and we have my dad there. And we will tear up a golf course, is what my dad would say. But how many times do we honestly listen to our kids? As kids, you would want your parents to listen to you. Well, here is an opportunity to really do that.”

The PGA also announced the launch of a grant program with the ASGCA, its members and the ASGCA Foundation, to fund complimentary facility audits that would study and recommend land use to welcome new players to the game. Among the recommendations within the program are adapting available land for golf’s version of “bunny slopes” to heighten the golf experience.

“We are going to take a page out of golf history,” said Steranka. “Seventy-five years ago or so, The PGA of America hired A.W. Tillinghast to be a free consultant to America’s golf courses to guide them on how to make their courses friendlier after the Great Depression. They had to introduce new players. They had to make the courses friendlier for women. Tillinghast wrote to them, the-then PGA president, that he had deconsecrated 7,000 bunkers in his tour across America.”

Nicklaus cited golf’s entry into the 2016 Olympic Games as a decisive moment for the game. “It’s a pretty big deal in 2016 to be right,” said Nicklaus, of golf’s appearance in the Summer Olympiad in Rio de Janeiro, for the first time in more than 100 years. “There will be a decision in 2017 on whether to continue with golf in the 2020 Olympics.

“And if 2016 ends right and it is voted back in, think of the effect that’s going to have on, not so much the United States, because we are a pretty mature golf market. But take Brazil that doesn’t even have a public golf facility; take China, which is just barely starting into the game; take India, which is barely starting into the game; take Russia, which is barely starting into the game.

All of these places that have really supported Olympic sports. The gold medal has always been the prize. It’s not the Masters and U.S. Open, PGA Championship or the British Open. It’s been about the gold medal.”

Steranka said the grant to the ASGCA Foundation is “going to provide the travel expenses for architects who are going to volunteer to give free reviews of American golf courses and how to use the existing land plan. Maybe it’s rerouting a hole to expand a range and add in three to six short holes that can be ‘bunny slopes’ and bring that family out even more to the course.”

McElroy pointed to the first meeting between The PGA and the BGCA late last year, and Steranka’s ties to the organization from his childhood.
“This is a match made in heaven, and we are thrilled and delighted to enter into this partnership,” said McElroy. “When Joe came to us as a former Club kid, he got it. He already understood what Boys Girls Clubs were all about and he didn’t have to do a selling job. He said, I know this can work in terms of fitting into our strategy to grow the game.”

Nicklaus said time management works at home as well as the course.

“The parents are being dragged to the parks and the park systems, and they are playing soccer, lacrosse, football, baseball, basketball, you name it,” said Nicklaus. “They don’t have the time to play golf, and the kids are not being introduced to it…We need to introduce our kids to the game of golf. We need to introduce it to them in a way that is friendly and a way that they can have some early success and stay with the game.

“The same with women. And we can’t do it on a five- or six-hour basis. You’ve got to do it on the basis of when they can find time.” Nicklaus said the successful time strategy that could work is: ‘I’m going to go play golf tomorrow, and I’ll meet you at noon for lunch with the kids, and we’ll go spend the afternoon.’ They will be able to do that.”

About The PGA of America
Since its founding in 1916, The PGA of America has maintained a twofold mission: to establish and elevate the standards of the profession and to grow interest and participation in the game of golf. By establishing and elevating the standards of the golf profession through world-class education, career services, marketing and research programs, The PGA enables its professionals to maximize their performance in their respective career paths and showcases them as experts in the game and in the multi-billion dollar golf industry. By creating and delivering world-class championships and innovative programs, The PGA of America elevates the public’s interest in the game, the desire to play more golf, and ensures accessibility to the game for everyone, everywhere. As The PGA nears its centennial, the PGA brand represents the very best in golf.