Archives for February 2012

Legends Toski, Walters highlight PGA Museum of Golf Speaker Series schedule

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Bob Toski, a five-time winner on the PGA Tour who went on to a legendary teaching career; and 2008 PGA Distinguished Service Award recipient Dennis Walters will be the featured guests during March for the PGA Museum of Golf Speaker Series.

Each will take part in a fireside chat beginning at 5:30 p.m., in the Museum, located at I-95, Exit 121 (St. Lucie West Blvd.). Toski will be featured on Friday, March 16; and the inspirational Walters will be the special guest on Friday, March 23.

The events are both open to the public, with complimentary admission.

Toski, a member of both the PGA Tour and Champions Tour, competed in 21 majors, and finishing tied for ninth in both the 1950 and 1954 PGA Championship. The 1954 leading money winner on Tour, Toski became one of the nation’s leading instructors and a member of the World Golf Teachers Hall of Fame. Among his pupils are Tom Kite, Bruce Crampton and Judy Rankin.

Elected to PGA membership in 1947, Toski learned to play the game as a caddie at Northampton (Mass.) Country Club. He left the Tour while at the peak of his game at age 30, wanting to spend more time with his family. A pioneer in golf video instruction, Toski wrote several books and appeared on NBC Sports broadcasts in the 1980s. Later, he teamed up with Mike Fetchick to capture the 1990 and 1992 Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf on the current Champions Tour.

Walters is one of only 11 PGA Honorary Members, joining the likes of Presidents Dwight Eisenhower, Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush. He dreamed of playing on the PGA Tour, until a freak accident in 1974 left him a paraplegic. While his dream to play on Tour was shattered, Walters pledged to never give up playing the game of golf. With that positive attitude, a remarkable public career began.

The first thing Walters had to figure out was a way to play golf again. Since he could not stand, he started by hitting golf shots from his wheelchair. He then progressed to a swivel seat mounted on the passenger side of a golf cart. Since 1977, Walters has made more than 3,000 appearances and performed in all 50 states, Mexico, Canada and the United Kingdom.

Walters and his sidekick “Bucky,” a mixed terrier, appear in approximately 100 shows each year at the PGA Championship, PGA Tour events and golf courses around the world. Walters has performed for and with the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Tiger Woods.

The recipient of the Ben Hogan Award from the Golf Writers Association of America for his triumph over tragedy, Walters uses his own personal experience as an example to challenge each person in the audience to do something in their life that perhaps they thought was impossible.

Attendees of both events will also be able to review the Museum’s new exhibits, which include apparel worn by reigning PGA Champion Keegan Bradley, when he won at Atlanta Athletic Club in August; plaques and memorabilia honoring the seven recent inductees into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame; and the PGA Cup, featuring the Llandudno International Trophy, which was retained by the United States over Great Britain Ireland in September.

Museum hours are 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily through Easter. Admission is free year-round.

For more information, visit pga.com/museum or call 800-800-GOLF (4653). The PGA Museum of Golf is located at 8555 Commerce Center Drive, adjacent to the PGA Center for Golf Learning and Performance, in PGA Village.

About PGA Village
The Ryder, Wanamaker, and Dye Courses form a trio of world-class courses at PGA Golf Club, at PGA Village in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Having been ranked among the best golf resorts in America, PGA Village also features the award winning, 35-acre PGA Center for Golf Learning and Performance and the PGA Museum of Golf. PGA Golf Club exists to be one of the premier public-access resort facilities in America, complete with a Private Members Club, and serves as the home club for our 27,000 men and women PGA Professionals. For more information, please visit pgavillage.com.

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 Professional National Championship headed back to Sunriver

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Sunriver Resort, one of the country’s most scenic golf destinations, featuring acclaimed Crosswater Club, has been selected to host the 46th PGA Professional National Championship presented by Club Car, Mercedes-Benz USA and OMEGA, June 23-26, 2013. It marks the third visit to Sunriver Resort by The PGA of America’s showcase event for PGA Professionals.

The Championship will bring a field of 312 to the Central Oregon resort, utilizing both Crosswater Club and Meadows Golf Course that hosted the 2001 and ’07 National Championships. Crosswater Club, ranked by Golf Digest as one of “America’s Greatest 100 Public Golf Courses,” was the site of the Champions Tour’s JELD-WEN Tradition from 2007-10; the 2006 NCAA men’s Division I Championship; a 1999 segment of “Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf,” and the 1998 Western PGA Professional Championship. The Meadows Course also served as host of the 2007 USGA Senior Women’s Amateur Championship and the 2002 USGA Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship.

“The PGA of America is proud of its tradition of taking our PGA Professional National Championship to many of the best venues in the country and Sunriver Resort fulfills all expectations you would want in a golf destination,” said PGA of America President Allen Wronowski. “Beginning with two outstanding championship courses, the Pacific Northwest scenery and activities for contestants and their families, it is the total package. Over the past decade, we enjoyed two memorable PGA Professional National Championships at Sunriver, and we anticipate another great chapter in Championship history to be written in 2013.”

Sunriver’s 605-acre resort, nearly 4,200 feet above sea level, lies between the Big Deschutes and Little Deschutes Rivers. Inspired by the Scottish highlands, Crosswater Club opened for play in 1995, and was selected the No. 1 New Resort Course in America by Golf Digest. It is a heathland-style course, offering a blend of strategy and aesthetics, featuring a wide range of fairway lengths and the constant interplay of wetlands, ponds, and rivers.

“We are extremely pleased to continue our longstanding tradition of major championship golf at our Crosswater Club and Sunriver Resort by hosting our third PGA Professional National Championship,” said PGA Professional Scott Ellender, Sunriver Resort director of resort operations. “I talked to many PGA Professionals who played in the 2007 National Championship. They said that they thoroughly enjoyed their experience, not only because they loved our Bob Cupp-designed Crosswater course, but also because many brought their families and made a vacation out of their stay. There is so much to do here for children, including swimming, bicycling, river floats, horseback riding, white water rafting and, of course, golf.”

Designed by Bob Cupp, the par-72 Crosswater Golf Club played to 7,563 yards in two previous National Championships, which made it the second longest layout in event history. The Meadows Golf Course, a collaborative effort between Fred Federspiel and John Fought, also is a par-71 layout that was played at 7,001 yards in the Championship. The Meadows winds its way along the great meadow and through groves of Ponderosa Pines.

About the PGA Professional National Championship
Begun in 1968, The PGA Professional National Championship provides additional playing opportunities for PGA Professionals. In over four decades, it has become the showcase event for PGA Professionals, featuring some of the finest players in the Association. Formerly a 360-player field, and contested after the golf season had ended across much of the United States, the PGA Professional National Championship was first converted to a 156-player field from 1997-2005. The Championship now presents a 312-player field representing 41 PGA Sections competing at the peak of their games, and with its 20 top finishers earning a berth in the PGA Championship.

The National Championship was first televised live by Golf Channel in 1997 to viewers across the U.S., Canada, China, Japan, Korea, Latin America, Malaysia, the Middle East, Scandinavia, and Singapore. This year’s PGA Professional National Championship has a potential audience of 110 million.

This summer’s 45th National Championship will be contested June 24-27, at Bayonet and Black Horse in Seaside, Calif. The PGA Professional National Championship has been conducted in 15 states: Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Wisconsin.

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 Golf Club to host PGA Foundation Champions for Diversity Tournament

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — The PGA Foundation announced the formation of the PGA Foundation Champions for Diversity Tournament, an event to provide scholarship support for ethnic minorities and young women, to be conducted May 31 to June 2, at PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Fla.

The tournament will raise funds for the PGA Foundation Diversity Scholarship Program, which will aid deserving ethnic minorities and young women in attaining a college degree in PGA Golf Management at one of the 19 PGA Golf Management Universities.

“The PGA Foundation is excited about the potential that this tournament holds supporting young men and women who aspire to earn an education at a PGA Golf Management University, and perhaps serve as the next generation of leaders within the golf industry,” said PGA of America Chief Executive Officer Joe Steranka.

“The PGA Foundation takes pride in the growth of PGA Golf Management Universities, particularly for the quality young people achieving their degrees.”

Tournament participants will compete in a two-day match play event structured after the Ryder Cup, with a celebrity assigned to each Team. In addition, this event is designed to show case some to the premier minority and women-owned businesses that are vital to the success of the golf industry and The PGA’s mission to become more inclusive.

The Champions for Diversity Tournament also benefit youth golf development programs that include the Lorena Ochoa Golf Foundation and the United South and Eastern Tribes (USET).

The PGA Foundation will provide funds to the Lorena Ochoa Foundation to help fulfill its mission to use golf as the vehicle for teaching life skills to children and young adults within Hispanic communities in the United States.

The PGA Foundation will support USET’s efforts to improve the quality of life for American Indians by funding golf programs designed for improving the health, education and social services for the Nation People of the United South and Eastern Tribes’.

The PGA of America desires to improve the culture of inclusion and provide ethnic minorities and women with opportunities to achieve success in the game and business of golf. The PGA Foundation, the philanthropic arm of The PGA of America, has as its mission the desire to improve the lives of individuals through golf.

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 PGA Foundation

The PGA, in 1978, created a 501 (c) (3) public philanthropic foundation, which later became known as The PGA Foundation. In keeping with the mission of The PGA of America, the PGA Foundation is dedicated to providing resources, professional expertise, and programs to make golf accessible to all segments of the population.

The PGA Foundation’s priority is to grow the game of golf while using the game to enhance the quality of life for all people, especially for those who are under-served by the game. Directly associated with golf programs are core values such as honesty, integrity, respect, self-assurance, courtesy, and perseverance. Regardless of gender, age, social and economic background, ability or disability, every golfer can experience these values through their involvement in the game. 

Defending champ Hutsell previews site of 45th PGA Professional National Championship

SEASIDE, Calif. — It’s been nearly eight months now, and David Hutsell still gets “chills” when he watches a video of his victory last summer in the PGA Professional National Championship. He has catalogued in his memory segments of that video, the scenes of him hoisting the crystal Walter Hagen Cup and being honored by a throng of home club members.

Those images were replayed again Monday as Hutsell, the reigning PGA Professional Player of the Year was the featured guest at Media Day for the 45th PGA Professional National Championship at Bayonet and Black Horse Golf Courses in Seaside, Calif.

“I am honored to have my name on that trophy,” said Hutsell. “As club professionals, we think of ourselves in a different category; we understand what it is that we do day in and day out. Our efforts are growing the game. That is the reason we got into the business. It is a great experience to play in our National Championship, and even greater should you win it.”

Hutsell will be among a 312-player field in the PGA Professional National Championship, June 24-27, making its second appearance in Northern California, and first since 1970 when Rex Baxter triumphed at Sunol Valley Country Club in Sunol, Calif., 32 miles southeast of San Francisco.

The 41-year-old Hutsell, whose college baseball career ended due to an elbow injury in 1991, transformed himself into a competitive professional golfer. He said the first defining point of his drive for improvement occurred when he made the cut in the 2002 Kemper Open.

“Once you can get your game in that position, you can figure out where you stand,” he said. “That was a great barometer for me.”

Hutsell said that his National Championship playoff victory last June at Hershey (Pa.) Country Club, was “a life-changing experience.” The PGA director of instruction at The Elkridge Club in Baltimore said club members, many he has never before met, continue to offer congratulations. Such is the life of a celebrity host professional.

“My younger brother, Chip, called me and said, ‘Did you know that you now have a Wikipedia page?’ ” Hutsell recalled with a big grin. “He then said, ‘So, what’s next?’ “

Over the next several months, Hutsell will take advantage of two among the six Tour exemptions this season that he earned from last year’s National Championship. He will compete in the Mayakoba Classic, Feb. 23-26, in Mexico, and March 8-11, in the Puerto Rico Open. He also accepted a special invitation for May 10-13, to compete in the Japan PGA Championship. He will join 2007 National Champion Chip Sullivan as the only two PGA club professionals to compete in the Japan PGA’s showcase event.

The 45th PGA Professional National Championship, presented by Club Car, Mercedes-Benz and OMEGA, offers a total purse of $550,000. The National Championship is televised live by Golf Channel.

Hutsell was able to get in one practice round Sunday on the Black Horse layout before the fickle February weather on the Monterey Peninsula played through Monday morning. Temperatures plateaued in the high 40s, while steady wind and rain dampened play on a complex ranked No. 21 by Golf Digest in its 2012 roster of “America’s Toughest Golf Courses.” Of the top 25 courses in the list, Bayonet and Black Horse are one of eight sites never to have hosted a major championship.

“We have our major coming up in June, though,” said Hutsell. “We are facing two very challenging courses. The green complexes on Black Horse, I found, are somewhat severe, and you have to keep the ball below the hole. I will be coming back three days ahead of the Championship trying to get adjusted to both courses.”

Bayonet and Black Horse PGA Head Professional Pat Jones teamed with Hutsell at Media Day along with PGA of America Vice President Ted Bishop, the chairman of the Championship, along with Northern California PGA President Len Dumas.

“As much as we appreciate notoriety for being among the most difficult courses in the country, it is a case of ‘over-hype,’ ” said Jones, who joined the Bayonet and Black Horse staff in 2010. “I prefer to call it tournament golf. We have hosted a variety of events, from a U.S. Open qualifier, to a championship for The First Tee.”

Said Bayonet and Black Horse Golf Course Superintendent Ryan VerNess, a past employee at such venues as Spyglass Hill, “When you are on the Monterey Peninsula, with courses like Pebble Beach and Cypress Point, you expect to get that championship mentality.”

This year marks the 11th time that The PGA of America’s showcase event for PGA Professionals will be contested in California, and first since 1996. Bayonet and Black Horse Golf Courses, named in honor of two U.S. Army divisions, occupy property that was once part of the former Fort Ord military base near Seaside, Calif. The courses earned national recognition in 2010 when they hosted the Second Stage of PGA Tour Qualifying School and a U.S. Open qualifying event.

“It is pretty unique for us to be coming to a golf course complex of two great courses that were designed by members of the military,” said Hutsell. “I think right away about my late father, Max, a former senior chief petty officer in the Navy. I grew up on Ruggles Golf Course in Aberdeen, Md., at the Aberdeen Proving Ground. My dad being a retired military gave us playing privileges. He introduced me to the game.”

This June, Hutsell will be back in the hunt and among 312 PGA Professionals chasing a Championship on a new and demanding “Proving Ground.”

About the PGA Professional National Championship
Begun in 1968, The PGA Professional National Championship provides additional playing opportunities for PGA Professionals. In over four decades, it has become the showcase event for PGA Professionals, featuring some of the finest players in the Association. The Championship presents a 312-player field representing 41 PGA Sections competing at the peak of their games, and with its 20 top finishers earning a berth in the PGA Championship.

The PGA Professional National Championship has been conducted in 15 states in its previous 44 years: Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Wisconsin.

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. 

The PGA of America recognizes Black History Month

PGA of America
Experts in the Game and Business of Golf

Founded in 1916, The PGA of America is the largest working sports organization in the world, comprised of more than 27,000 dedicated men and women promoting the game of golf to everyone, everywhere.

The PGA of America
100 Avenue of the Champions
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33418
(561) 624-8400

Florida Golf Day celebrates the industry’s impact on communities

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida’s House of Representatives and Senate each presented proclamations today, citing Feb. 14 as “Florida Golf Day,” which recognizes the importance of the golf industry within the Sunshine State.

State Sen. Michael S. “Mike” Bennett (R), sponsoring the Senate Resolution, acknowledged that “the golfing industry makes enormous contributions to our state and impacts jobs, commerce, economic development, and tax revenues for a large number of Florida’s communities and industries.”

Annually, the size of Florida’s direct golf economy is approximately $7.5 billion (data based on 2007 study by SRI International). Golf brings visitors to the state, spurs new residential construction, generates retail sales and creates demand for a myriad of goods and services. When the total economic impact of these golf-related activities is considered, Florida’s golf industry in 2007 generated approximately:

– $13.8 billion of direct, indirect and induced economic output
– 4.7 billion of wage income
– More than 167,000 jobs

“Golf has a dramatic impact on our State,” said Florida Governor Rick Scott. “Florida is the 1 golfing destination in the world, everything that we are doing to draw people and promote our state involves golf.”

The 2012 Florida Golf Day featured attendees from the Florida Golf Impact Task Force including: The PGA of America, PGA TOUR, LPGA, USGA, Club Managers Association of America, National Golf Course Owners Association, Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, World Golf Hall of Fame, World Golf Foundation, The First Tee, Florida Golf Course Superintendents Association, Florida Turfgrass Association, Florida Chapter of Club Managers Association of America, North Florida PGA Section, South Florida PGA Section, Florida State University’s PGA Golf Management University Program, Florida Junior Golf Council and Golf Channel.

An interactive swing zone was set up at Waller Park, on the west side of the Capitol, featuring North Florida PGA Professionals and David Leadbetter, a renowned PGA Professional and coach to several prominent PGA, European, LPGA and Champions Tour players. Throughout the day, members of the golf industry met with key legislators, state agency heads and members of the Governor’s Office to stress the importance of golf in Florida.

“With more than 1,100 golf facilities in Florida, there are 167,000 people who are employed because of the golf industry in the state,” said PGA Chief Executive Officer Joe Steranka. “Golf is enjoyed by millions who visit the wonderful courses throughout Florida, as well as those of us who live here. It’s a great game, and we also want elected officials and agency personnel in Florida – whether they’re making the decisions on legislation or writing a law for this country – to recognize that we have a very good economic model for those whose livelihoods depend on golf.”

Florida Golf Economic Highlights (based on 2007 SRI Study):

Golf Facility Operations
In 2007, more than $3.4 billion in revenue was generated among Florida’s:

– 1,128 golf courses
– 75 stand-alone ranges
– 84 miniature golf facilities

This level of revenue is comparable to the revenues of all other major spectator sports in the state combined—football, baseball, basketball, hockey, auto racing and soccer.

Major Tournaments and Associations
Florida is home to the:

– PGA TOUR, in Ponte Vedra Beach
– LPGA, in Daytona Beach
– The PGA of America, in Palm Beach Gardens
– The First Tee, World Golf Hall of Fame and World Golf Foundation, all in St. Augustine.

In 2012, Florida will host multiple professional golf championships, including six PGA TOUR events featuring THE PLAYERS Championship and World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship; as well as three Champions Tour events; two Nationwide Tour events; and one LPGA Tour event.

Enabled Industries
Hospitality/Tourism: In 2007, SRI estimates golf-related tourism spending in Florida was $1.71 billion ($1.57 billion from domestic visitors; and $0.14 billion from international visitors). This is based on the following golf-trip and associated-expenditure data for Florida residents and non-residents:

– An estimated 2.03 million day trips—with average spending of $62 per day
– An estimated 3.17 million domestic overnight trips—with average spending of $454 per trip
– An estimated 0.29 million international overnight trips—with average spending of $476 per trip.
– The average length of a domestic overnight trip in Florida is more than five days, significantly longer than other states.

Florida Golf Gives Back
Numerous charitable events are hosted on Florida’s golf courses each year, benefiting organizations such as the: Miami Children’s Hospital; First Tee Miami; Make-A-Wish Foundation; Baptist Children’s Hospital; Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals; Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation; The First Tee National School Program; Boy Scouts of America; American Red Cross; Alzheimer’s Support Network; and Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Southwest Florida.

The total amount of charitable giving attributed to the game of golf in Florida surpassed $300 million in 2007.

About WE ARE GOLF
Led by the Club Managers Association of America, the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, the National Golf Course Owners Association, The PGA of America and the World Golf Foundation, WE ARE GOLF is a coalition formed to tell the true story of golf. Not just the game, but the stories of the hardworking men and women who make it the greatest sport in the world and whose livelihoods depend on it. It is these accounts that affirm the continued health and growth of the golf industry is vital to thousands of communities across the country and instrumental in enhancing the lives of millions of Americans. By showcasing golf’s diverse businesses and their employees, the tax revenues it creates, the tourism it spawns, the charity it generates, and the environmental benefits it provides, WE ARE GOLF is leveling the playing field for the thousands of small businesses that make up the industry and depend on the sport for their success.

Please visit WeAreGolf.org for more information. 

Met Section’s Balin rallies to win 59th PGA Stroke Play Championship

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Danny Balin of Rockville, Md., opened his bid for Player of the Year among the PGA of America’s 27,000 club professionals in 2012 by winning the 59th annual PGA Stroke Play Championship, Feb. 2, at the PGA Golf Club.

An assistant professional at Burning Tree Country Club in Greenwich, Conn., Balin, 29, went from three down after 54 holes to win by three on the Wanamaker Course with a closing round of 67 for 276.

“That’s my goal this year,” Balin said. “I want to win PGA Professional Player of the Year. I finished fourth last year,” after winning a PGA Tournament Series event for the first time in December at the nearby PGA Country Club.

The PGA Stroke Play Championship was the fifth and oldest of six tournaments that comprise the PGA Winter National Championships. Presenting sponsors are the Premier Golf, United Rentals, and Hospital for Special Surgery. Supporting sponsors are DryRainge, Golf Pride and Jacobson.

Balin chased down Bob Sowards of Dublin, Ohio, who was never out of the lead the first three days on rounds of 68-70-68. Sowards finished with 73 for 279 to take second. “Without any wind, the course played as easy as it ever can,” said Sowards, a two-time former champion. “I just couldn’t take advantage.”

Sowards could have become the first player to win the Stroke Play three times, his earlier titles coming in 2005-06. Other two-time champions were John Barnum, 1963-64; Gene Borek, 1970 and 1973; and Bob Ford, 1988 and 1993. Barnum and Borek are deceased.

Left-hander Rod Perry of Port Orange, Fla., was third with 66-283. “I knew I didn’t have a chance, no matter what I shot today,” Perry said. “I played with Danny and Bob yesterday and they were both playing too good.” Perry had 77 the third round and climbed from 17th to third on Thursday.

Sowards and Perry were among four who opened with 68. Sowards was the only one to play the Wanamaker. The others were on the adjacent Ryder Course, generally considered the easier of the two. Balin also started on the Ryder.

Balin didn’t make a bogey until the last two holes, which he played cautiously to protect his four-stroke advantage. He caught Sowards at 9-under-par with a birdie at the fifth hole, then was handed the lead when Sowards bogeyed sixth and never trailed the rest of the day.

“I played solid, hit 16 greens and didn’t make any mistakes,” Balin added. He also hit 10 of 14 fairways in regulation. Balin made seven birdies in a clean round through 16 holes and earned $5,000 from the $55,000 purse.

A graduate of the Professional Golf Management program at Penn State University in 2004, Balin has been the Met Section PGA Player of the Year the last two seasons and in 2011 he won the Met Section Championship for the first time.

Balin has missed the last three years in attempting to qualify for the PGA Tour. “I’ll keep trying as long as my job allows it,” he said.

The 170 starters played one round each on the Wanamaker and Ryder Courses. The 36-hole cut fell at seven over par 151. The last two rounds were on the Wanamaker.

The start of final round play was delayed for 50 minutes by morning fog.

The PGA of America 59th Stroke Play Championship
PGA Golf Club, Port St. Lucie, Fla.
Wanamaker Course, 7,073 yards, par-72

Danny Balin, Rockville, Md., $5,000 69-70-70-67—276
Bob Sowards, Dublin, Ohio, $3,200 68-70-68-73—279
Rod Perry, Port Orange, Fla., $2,100 68-72-77-66—283
Colin Amaral, Port St. Lucie, Fla., $1,600 72-68-71-73—284
Chad Proehl, Urbandale, Iowa, $1,400 75-67-72-71—285
Jeff Sorenson, Blaine, Minn., $1,310 70-73-71-72—286
Richard Terga, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., $1,180 72-75-69-71—287
Patrick Langan, Ridgefield, Conn., $1,180 73-71-69-74—287
David Quinn, Marlton, N.J., $1,070 75-70-75-68—288
Rob Corcoran, Melbourne, Fla., $1,070 71-73-75-69—288
Dwayne Randall, Findley Lake, N.Y., $1,070 74-71-70-73—288
Ken Martin, Wellington, Fla., $1,070 71-72-72-73—288
Jim Estes, Germantown, Md., $1,070 71-71-73-73—288
Chris Black, Independence, Iowa, $1,070 72-73-69-74—288
Mark Faulkner, Marion, Ill., $990 72-74-74-69—289
Frank Esposito, Florham Park, N.J., $990 72-74-73-70—289
Scott Berliner, Kissimmee, Fla., $920 77-69-75-69—290
Gary Rusnak, Santa Rosa Beach, Fla., $920 73-71-72-74—290
Craig Stevens, Dallas, Ga., $920 69-72-76-73—290
Rob Labritz, Pound Ridge, N.Y., $920 73-70-73-74—290
Sean Gorgone, Plymouth, Fla., $920 69-74-73-74—290
Kyle Voska, Cincinnati, Ohio, $840 72-70-78-71—291
Jerry Tucker, Stuart, Fla., $840 70-75-71-75—291
Mark Brown, Glen Head, N.Y., $840 68-75-73-75—291
Michael Zaremba, Pueblo West, Colo., $780 72-78-71-71—292
Craig Smith, Morristown, N.J., $780 72-75-73-71—292
Rick Schuller, Chester, Va., $780 75-76-68-73—292
Sonny Skinner, Sylvester, Ga., $690.71 78-69-77-69—293
Nicholas Beddow, Shirley, N.Y., $690.71 77-74-72-70—293
Tim Weinhart, Alpharetta, Ga., $690.71 75-75-73-70—293
Pete Oakley, Palm City, Fla., $690.71 74-76-72-71—293
Tim Puetz, East Northport, N.Y., $690.71 71-76-75-71—293
Brent Snyder, Hudson, Wis., $690.71 73-75-72-73—293
Sam Arnold, Cincinnati, Ohio, $690.71 68-78-72-75—293
Frank Dully, Salem, Mass., $577.50 79-71-76-68—294
Frank Bensel, Jupiter, Fla., $577.50 76-75-72-71—294
Ryan Kalista, Old Greenwich, Conn., $577.50 73-72-78-71—294
Mark Mielke, East Norwich, N.Y., $577.50 80-70-72-72—294
Chase Brannon, Nashville, Tenn., $577.50 79-69-73-73—294
Kyle Baehler, Rye, N.Y., $577.50 75-74-72-73—294
Roy Vucinich, Moon Township, Pa., $577.50 73-73-75-73—294
Brian Cairns, Walled Lake, Mich., $577.50 74-75-71-74—294
Bob Darling, Lewiston., Maine, $515 75-76-74-70—295
Micah Rudosky, Cortez, Colo., $505 73-71-78-74—296
Craig Czerniejewski, Watertown, Wis., $475 70-79-75-73—297
Bobby Heins, Purchase, N.Y., $475 74-76-72-75—297
Patrick Steffes, Milwaukee, Wis., $475 `76-73-73-75—297
Peter Serafimoff, Millbrook, N.Y., $475 73-68-78-78—297
Robert McClellan, Butler, Pa., $475 72-78-78-69—297
Joe Chalmers, Port St. Lucie, Fla., $435 76-74-75-73—298
Tracy Vest, Waukee, Iowa, $435 70-79-75-74—298
Cory Schneider, Powells Point, N.C., $435 72-76-71-79—298
Andrew Bostrom, Bay Shore, N.Y., $415 72-79-73-75—299
Ben Stewart, Fairborn, Ohio, $390 75-75-78-72—300
Mark Kirk, East Aurora, N.Y., $390 74-75-78-73—300
Bill Andrews, Greenland, N.H., $390 73-77-76-74—300
James Ondo, Mamaroneck, N.Y., $390 76-73-75-76—300
Jason Stilley, Paducah, Ky., $335 75-74-81-71—301
John O’Leary, Reston, Va., $335 76-74-79-72—301
Brian Janty, Milwaukee, Wis., $335 76-75-76-74—301
Gary Robison, Canton, Ohio, $335 76-75-75-75—301
Tony Traci, Sewickley, Pa., $335 74-76-75-76—301
Dennis Winters, Bishopville, Md., $335 75-74-76-76—301
Jamie Kilmer, East Williston, N.Y., $335 75-73-75-78—301
Joe Gothmann, Tarrytown, N.Y., $292.50 78-73-75-76—302
Shaun Powers, Greenwich, Conn., $292.50 71-76-79-76—302
Dennis Colligan, Cazenovia, N.Y., $282.50 77-72-78-76—303
David Hutsell, Baltimore, Md., $282.50 76-71-79-77—303
Kevin Syring, Demarest, N.J., $275 73-78-79-74—304
Mitch Camp, Aurora, Ohio, $267.50 73-73-82-77—305
Korrie Madden, Glenshaw, Pa., $267.50 76-75-76-78—305
Michael Parrott, Woodstock, Ga., $260 69-79-80-78—306
Gary Ostrega, Westfield, N.J., $255 69-79-83-76—307
Patrick Massi, Greenwich, Conn., $247.50 75-76-78-79—308
Kevin Savage, Syracuse, N.Y., $247.50 80-71-75-82—308
Dave Laudien, Wall, N.J., $240 78-73-78-80—309 

PGA of America reports hospitality sales for 39th Ryder Cup at record level

MEDINAH, Ill. (Feb. 7, 2012) — The PGA of America is pleased to announce that official hospitality sales for the 2012 Ryder Cup are tracking at a record level, with an enthusiastic response from international, national, regional and local companies. The Ryder Cup is golf’s most patriotic and prestigious international team competition and will be played Sept. 25-30 at historic Medinah (Ill.) Country Club.

An initial offering of 53 chalet and clubhouse packages was progressively increased to 76 to accommodate demand. In total, the 2012 Ryder Cup currently has hospitality involvement from nearly 250 different companies. To help sales start strong, Ryder Cup officials froze pricing from the 2008 Ryder Cup held at Valhalla Country Club in Louisville, Ky., and offered a five percent price incentive for those that committed by Oct. 31, 2010.

“We are extremely pleased with the response to our official Ryder Cup hospitality offerings and excited to welcome a number of new corporate faces to the mix,” said Michael Belot, director of the 2012 Ryder Cup. “The Ryder Cup is one of the preeminent events in all of sports, and the successful hospitality sales we’ve seen are a true testament to the incredible excitement that continues to build around this event coming to the great city of Chicago. A limited number of hospitality options remain available, but we don’t expect them to last long. I would encourage any interested companies to act now.”

As the only authorized sales force with official on-site 2012 Ryder Cup hospitality packages, The PGA of America has developed creative hospitality offerings at various price points for companies of all sizes. Packages are available to accommodate anywhere from 10-150 people per day. Hospitality packages are all-inclusive providing a premium on-course experience with parking, food, beverages and alcohol. An added benefit for clients is the PGA’s concierge service that can help with accommodations, ground transportation, and other entertainment options in the Chicago area.

“The Official 2012 Ryder Cup hospitality packages offer a world-class experience for businesses and their guests,” said Larry Sinclair, sales director for the Ryder Cup. “However, it is important to stress that the only way to get the full experience on the grounds of Medinah is through official hospitality packages sold by the PGA of America. Unauthorized hospitality packages can be found for nearly every major event and often provide customers with an experience different than what was advertised, so we strongly encourage any business interested in purchasing a corporate hospitality package to come directly to The PGA of America.”

For more information or questions regarding other hospitality sales offers, please contact Sinclair at 502-245-2000, lsinclair@pgahq.com or visit online at rydercup.com/2012.

About the 2012 Ryder Cup
The Ryder Cup, among the last great professional sporting events where winning, and not prize money, is its own reward, spans 37 competitions over 82 years. The competition was born in 1927, when enterprising English seed merchant Samuel Ryder commissioned the casting of a gold chalice that bears his name. The U.S. Team defeated Great Britain, 9 1/2 to 2 1/2, in the inaugural matches in Worcester, Mass.

Since then, the Ryder Cup has expanded to involve the finest players of Europe. Except for a span (1939-45) during World War II and following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks upon America, the Ryder Cup has been held biennially with the U.S. and Europe alternating as host. 

2012 PGA Winter Championships

2012 PGA Winter Championships
The PGA Winter Championships is a six-event series for PGA members played over the first six weeks of 2012 at PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Fla.  They are resented by Premier Golf, United Rentals and Hospital for Special Surgery and supported by Jacobsen, Golf Pride and Dryrainge. Click here for series preview.

PGA Match Play Championship
Feb. 6-10

The PGA Match Play Championship has been part of the PGA Winter Championships since 1964. The field will be limited to 64 players and, if necessary, qualifying rounds will be played to establish the 64-player field. The reigning champion is Rick Schuller of Chester, Va., who became the second player to win the event three times when he beat Scott Ford of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., 1-up in the finals last year. Click here for complete coverage.

PGA Stroke Play Championship
Jan. 30-Feb. 2

Danny Balin of Rockville, Md., opened his bid for 2012 PGA Professional Player of the Year by winning the 59th annual PGA Stroke Play Championship. An assistant professional at Burning Tree Country Club in Greenwich, Conn., Balin, 29, went from three down after 54 holes to win by three with a closing round of 67. Click here for complete coverage.

PGA Women’s Stroke Play Championship
Jan. 30-Feb. 1

Joy Bonhurst of Kensington, Md., won the 13th annual PGA Women’s Stroke Play Championship despite bogeying the 18th hole three times within the last half-hour of the tournament. Bonhurst outlasted Carla Wasienko of Rockville, Md., in a playoff after they tied at 225. Click here for complete coverage.

PGA Senior-Junior Team Championship
Jan. 16-19

Kevin Morris and Frank Bensel won the PGA Senior-Junior Championship for the third time since the tournament was changed to a pick-your-partner event in 2005. Bensel, 43, of Jupiter, Fla., and Purchase, N.Y., birdied five of his first six holes en route to the unprecedented victory. Bensel and Morris, 60, of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., finished at 28-under 260 on three courses over four days to win by a stroke. Click here for complete coverage.

PGA Senior Stroke Play Championship
Jan. 9-11

Sonny Skinner of Sylvester, Ga., and Ed Sabo of Tequesta, Fla., two former PGA Senior Professional Players of the Year, were the biggest winners in the 28th annual PGA Senior Stroke Play Championship. Skinner, 51, head professional at River Pointe Golf Club in Albany, Ga., was low for the two youngest age groups, 50-54 and 55-59, with 11-under-par 205. Click here for complete coverage.

PGA Quarter Century Championship
Jan. 4-5

Jerry Tucker and Steve Heckel, who gave Tucker his first job in golf, were the big winners in the 58th annual PGA Quarter Century Club Championship. Tucker, 62, co-founder of the Treasure Coast Senior Tour based in Stuart, Fla., shot a pair of 68s for 136 to set the pace among professionals in the age groups under-50 through 60-64. All have been members of the PGA of America for at least 25 years. Click here for complete coverage.

 

Bauer International, PGA of America extend deal through 2015

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Bauer International Inc. – which carries an unparalleled reputation as one of the finest providers of hand-crafted furnishings, accessories and fixtures for golf and country clubs, the hospitality industry, retailers, designers and specialty events-has had its designation as the “Official Furnishings and Shop Fixtures of The PGA of America” extended through 2015. The announcement was made today in conjunction with the 59th PGA Merchandise Show at the Orange County Convention Center, in Orlando.

Bauer will continue to supply furnishings and fixtures at PGA of America owned and operated facilities, including PGA Village, in Port St. Lucie, Fla., and the private Valhalla Golf Club, in Louisville, Ky., as well as at The PGA’s Championship events, such as the PGA Championship, Ryder Cup and Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid. In addition, PGA Professional-staffed facilities will have access to preferred pricing on Bauer furnishings, fixtures and golf shop planning services that will optimize sales and increase return on investment.

“Bauer International is known for its remarkable quality and beauty in its furnishings and fixtures,” said PGA President Allen Wronowski. “The PGA of America is delighted to have Bauer on board for another four years, as we showcase their fine products as part of the fabric of our PGA facilities and events.”
“We are very excited to be able to continue our relationship with The PGA of America,” said Bauer International President Kenneth Bauer. “The partnership between Bauer International and The PGA, started in 2004, has strengthened over the years, and remains a key element to our overall success. The PGA of America embodies the highest of standards, and we are very proud of our association.”

With a foundation inspired by authentic 19th century British, Dutch and French colonial designs from the West Indies, Ken Bauer, founder, president and lead designer of the Company, launched Bauer International in 1992. Combining a passion for travel and culture and their love of fine craftsmanship, Ken and his wife Dee Ann, set out on a personal journey to develop a line of hand crafted furnishings and travel accessories. From the rainforest huts of Java, sugar plantations in the West Indies and tented safaris on the Kalahari, relationships with master craftsmen were forged and centuries-old techniques were rekindled.

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 Bauer
Founded in 1992 in London, England, and with corporate headquarters in Charleston, S.C., Bauer International has been an integral part of the redesigning and renovation of The PGA of America’s golf properties. For the past eight years, Bauer International has served as the clubhouse furnishings and golf shop fixtures supplier to the finest courses throughout the United States and around the world. These include PGA Country Club and PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Fla.; Valhalla Golf Club, in Louisville, Ky.; The Ocean Course and The Sanctuary, in Kiawah Island, S.C.; Doonbeg Golf Club, in Ireland; Spyglass Hill Golf Course; in Pebble Beach, S.C.; and Fairmont Southampton and Port Royal Golf Courses, in Bermuda. Bauer International’s product offerings consist of more than 1,000 pieces spanning 10 different collections. Bauer International designs, manufactures and imports golf fixtures, residential, contract and resort furniture, featuring rattan, mahogany and leather mediums. They are proud to have furnished some of the most prestigious properties in over 50 countries.