Archives for May 2012

Hutsell savors new friends, culture, golf in 80th Japan PGA Championship

David Hutsell has the easy-going temperament that one needs to shake off any obstacle in your path. It is one reason why the PGA director of instruction at The Elkridge Club in Baltimore went on to win a PGA Professional National Championship last summer.

His ability to turn a gale into a soft breeze was his salvation May 8-14, as he made a whirlwind round trip to compete in the 80th Japan PGA Nissin Cup Noodles Cup.

“Without question, it was an honor to represent The PGA of America, a fantastic experience, and I would love to qualify again,” said Hutsell, who earned the trip as a special exemption for capturing the 2011 National Championship at Hershey (Pa.) Country Club. “I know that I will be better prepared should I get the chance.”

Hutsell’s first trip to Asia started with a late rush after he noticed online that he must secure an “entertainer’s visa” from the Japanese Embassy in Washington, D.C. That delay prevented him from taking his original flight and savor two days of practice. He was accompanied by his caddie, John Bowes, a U.S. Navy helicopter engineer from Lakehurst, N.J. Together, they boarded a plane for one leg to JFK Airport in New York, and then a non-stop leg to Narita Airport outside Tokyo. The total 14 hours in the air and nearly three hours by car to a hotel was draining.

Hutsell, 41, was the second reigning PGA Professional National Champion and Middle Atlantic PGA member to compete in the Japan PGA Championship, following 2007 National Champion Chip Sullivan of Troutville, Va., who competed in the 2008 Japan PGA Championship.

The 2011 PGA Professional Player of the Year, Hutsell posted a first-round 73 and a disappointing 86 to easily miss the 36-hole cut. When pressed about what went haywire, Hutsell said that his difficulties centered on being unsure about the yardages, the second-day’s heavy wind and having “about as bad a day hitting the ball on Day 2 as you could imagine. I don’t like making excuses.”

Japan’s Toru Taniguchi captured the Championship, finishing 4-under-par, and having to make a difficult two putts for par on 18 for a one-stroke victory. Hutsell said Karasuyamajo Country Club – which he learned to roll off his tongue with no difficulty – “showed its teeth on the weekend. It was not only a beautiful course but also a strong test, and immaculately maintained.”

Hutsell’s caddie, Bowes, is a veteran of 42 years’ service with the U.S. Navy. He is the lead electronic engineer in the NH60R Helicopter Program for the Naval Air Systems Command in Lakehurst, N.J., and is scheduled to retire this August. Bowes had never met Hutsell until last June, when he agreed to caddie in the PGA Professional National Championship.

“We worked well together, and we have now been through quite a lot together,” said Hutsell. “I have to say that the hospitality John and I have received was first class. John mentioned to me on several occasions that he felt that the Japanese people were ‘the friendliest people he has ever met.’ I would underscore that, and just sightseeing for a few hours Monday before we went to the airport confirmed that.”

Hutsell preceded a sightseeing tour by getting a surprise invitation from Japan PGA Chairman Shizuo Mori to be seated on the 18th green during the award ceremony.

Hutsell and Bowes traveled to Tokyo and stayed downtown at the Imperial Hotel for their final night in Japan. The Imperial Hotel, the largest in which Hutsell had ever been a guest, covered a city block. That night, Hutsell and Bowes were dinner guests with representatives attending the Asia-Oceania Golf Summit. He sat with golf industry representatives from China, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Japan.

“They met to discuss many of the same issues that we have in the States,” said Hutsell. “They talked about the future of golf in that part of the world. They are concerned about rounds played, access, costs of play in the economy, and how they can better work together. There was great conversation regarding the future of our great game. It makes you realize that the same concerns are being addressed no matter what part of the world you may live in.”

Hutsell’s whirlwind three-hour sightseeing tour Monday in Tokyo included one of the largest fish markets in the world, where he sampled foods and watched in awe as one vendor handled a large knife like an artist to dissect a large tuna. The tour also featured Tokyo Harbor and entrance to Sensogi Temple in Asakusa.

Tokyo’s oldest temple, completed in A.D. 645, is devoted to Kannon, the Buddhist deity of compassion and mercy. Throughout their history, temple structures were repeatedly destroyed by natural disasters, fires, and most recently in World War II air raids. The eastern gate, built in 1618, was the only structure to survive.

“It was a great experience to be part of the visitors to the temple and follow the customs before entering,” said Hutsell, who said that he was taken aback by the city of Tokyo.

“I was amazed by how clean the city streets were,” he said. “You did not see a single piece of trash anywhere, and even with the large amount of traffic, we never heard a single horn beep. We also only saw one police car all day. It is evidence of their culture and how much honor and respect for others plays a major role.”

Hutsell now will prepare to defend his National Championship, June 24-27, at Bayonet and Black Horse Golf Courses in Seaside, Calif.

“It is great to be home, and I have a lot of work to do on my game,” he said. “I had been looking forward to the trip to Japan for a number of months and now can’t believe it has ended. It was everything and more than I could have ever dreamed. I highly recommend to anyone who is considering a trip to Japan to go, if possible. I’ll try to earn my way back.”

Get Golf Ready clinics on tap for Welcome to Golf Month

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — The PGA of America, World Golf Foundation and Executive Women’s Golf Association (EWGA) have partnered to present Welcome to Golf-Get Golf Ready Clinics for women at 10 sites across the country. Events will be hosted at facilities in the Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, New York City, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Seattle and Washington, D.C., markets.

Get Golf Ready is designed to bring people into the game in a fast, fun, affordable manner. It targets the millions of adults in the United States who have never played golf or who have minimal experience in the game. The typical Get Golf Ready program consists of five lessons that concentrate on basic skills, instruction and information on the Rules of golf, etiquette and values. Most facilities offer the program for an affordable $99, although price varies by facility.

These events will provide women with a fun experience in a one-day format, including clinics on putting, chipping and pitching, iron shots, driver and fairway woods, and on-course management, followed by a cocktail reception.

“It is critical that women be invited into the game the right way to make the experience welcoming,” says Pam Swensen, CEO of the EWGA. “Women will experience a networking event that just happens to center around golf,” Swensen continued. “It is a great place to have fun with friends and colleagues and also a great opportunity to meet new friends.”

The cost for the event is $25.00 (New York is complimentary) and is limited to the first 100 people who register. The one-day clinic includes golf instruction, equipment rentals if needed, giveaways and the cocktail reception.

“We are proud to team with the World Golf Foundation and EWGA and encourage women to bring their friends and get a taste of what the Get Golf Ready program has to offer,” said Allen Wronowski, President, The PGA of America. “Women are taking advantage of these programs, because they understand the many benefits that the game of golf has to offer – both personally and professionally. We hope these clinics continue to bring more women to golf.”

In 2011, more than 32,000 people participated in Get Golf Ready programs nationwide, an average of 41 students per facility, and 60 percent were female. There are additional Play Golf America programs, which offer unique opportunities for women to connect with PGA/LPGA Professionals allowing women to learn and develop their game as a way to join their friends and family on the course. The game of golf provides hours of quality time outdoors, as well as offers numerous health benefits, making golf a great game for spouses and families to enjoy together for a long time.

The social benefits don’t stop with friends and family. Women are also finding that golf is great for building business relationships. According to a survey conducted by the Golf Digest Companies Research Center, more than 22 percent of executive women golfers have closed business deals on the golf course, and overall, women report that golf has helped them network in their business and be more assertive in the workplace.

Below is a list of EWGA Get Golf Ready events that will be held in May as part of Welcome to Golf Month.

2012 EWGA Get Golf Ready Events (listed by date)

LOS ANGELES- Westchester Golf Course
May 15, 4-6 p.m.
6900 W. Manchester Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90045
310.649.9168

PHOENIX- McDowell Mountain
May 17, 5:30-8:15 p.m.
10690 East Sheena Dr.
Scottsdale, AZ 85255
481.502.8200

DALLAS – Las Colinas Country Club
May 22 – 5-8 p.m.
4400 North O’Conner Rd.
Irving, TX
972.541.1141

BOSTON – Norwood Country Club
May 22 – 5:30 – 8 p.m.
400 Providence Hwy.
Norwood, MA
781.769.5880

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Northwest Golf Course
May 23 – 6:30-8 p.m.
15711 Layhill Rd.
Silver Spring, MD
301.299.5156

PHOENIX – Palm Valley Golf Club
May 25-5:30-8:15 p.m.
2211 N. Litchfield Rd.
Goodyear, AZ 85395
623.935.2500

ATLANTA – City Club of Marietta
May 30 – 5-8 p.m.
510 Powder Springs St.
Marietta, GA
770.528.4653

SEATTLE – The Golf of Newcastle
May 30 – 5-8 p.m.
15500 Six Penny Lane
Newcastle, WA
425.793.5566

NEW YORK – Philip J. Rotella Memorial Golf Course
May 31 – 5-7:30 p.m.
200 Thiells Mt. Ivy Rd.
Thiells, NY
845.354.1616

CHICAGO – Bolingbrook Golf Club
Date and time TBD
2001 Rodeo Dr.
Bolingbrook, IL
630.771.9400 

2012 PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship presented by Brown Capital Management

THE 26TH PGA MINORITY COLLEGIATE GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP PRESENTED BY BROWN CAPITAL MANAGEMENT

TOURNAMENT FACTS AND FIGURES:
Dates: May 11-13, 2012
Site: PGA Golf Club, Port St. Lucie, Fla.
Competitors: Teams and players (.pdf)
Facts Format: General information (.pdf)
Last Year: Relive the 2011 tournament

2011 CHAMPIONS:
Men’s Division I:
Bethune-Cookman University
Men’s Division II: Virginia State University
Women’s Division: University of Texas-Pan American 
Women’s Independent: Airielle Dawson, Towson University
Men’s Independent: Amit Odaiyar, University of Central Florida

FOLLOW THE TOURNAMENT ON TWITTER: Use hashtag #2012MinorityChamp

Virginia State looks to defend its D-II title in return to PGA Golf Club
Virginia State University men’s golf coach Jeff Hamilton waited almost six years for a national championship in his team’s favorite event. In 2011, his vision became a reality and the Trojans return this year with two holdovers and three newcomers eager to defend their treasured title.
Read the story

Annual Career Fair to showcase possibilities throughout golf industry
 The PGA of America will host its annual Business of Golf Career Expo. Set for May 10, the expo will feature golf industry associations and companies that enable student-athletes to learn about employment opportunities in manufacturing, media, trade, course management and governing bodies.
Read the story

Anderson, now at LPGA, looks back fondly on her tournament experience
When Ashleigh Anderson looks back on her PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship experience, it brings a smile to her face. Anderson, who competed in both 2007 and 2008, is excited to see how much the Championship has grown as she returns to participate in a panel discussion of industry professionals.
Read the story

ELIGIBILITY:
Contestants must be students of a university or college, and who have met all the academic requirements of their respective institution governing participation in intercollegiate athletics.

EDUCATION THROUGH GOLF:
Celebrating its 26th year, the PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship presented by Brown Capital Management originated in November 1986 and has elevated golf in minority colleges and universities by providing opportunities to more players to compete in a national championship.

The 1986 organizational meeting brought together a significant group of founders: the late Dr. Herschel Cochrane, Dr. Joe D. Saunders of the National Negro Golf Association; Jackson State University Golf Coach Eddie Payton; Rose Harper-Elder of the Sports Management Institute; and William (Bill) Dickey, founder of the Bill Dickey Scholarship Association and recipient of the 1999 PGA Distinguished Service Award. The founders’ goal was to provide a national stage for players from minority schools after being denied opportunities to compete in NCAA collegiate golf events.

The inaugural Championship was conducted in the spring of 1987 at Highland Park Golf Course in Cleveland, Ohio. Since 1998, PGA Golf Club has been host to the Championship, and in 2006, The PGA of America was granted complete ownership and management of the Championship by the National Minority College Golf Scholarship Fund.

In 1990, a Career Fair was introduced to provide corporate sponsors the opportunity to interview and recruit outstanding college students for future employment. As a result, the Career Fair has developed into an invaluable resource to assist students in gaining internships and full-time positions within the golf industry.

 

UJA-Federation of NY honors Steranka as Sports for Youth Honoree

(May 1, 2012, New York, NY) — UJA-Federation of New York brought together hundreds of top sports industry executives and professionals to join in honoring Joe Steranka, chief executive officer of The PGA of America, at UJA-Federation’s Sports for Youth Luncheon on Tuesday, May 1, 2012, at the Grand Hyatt New York. Steranka was recognized as the Sports for Youth Honoree of the Year, which celebrates industry leaders who demonstrate a strong commitment to caring for the community.

Jimmy Roberts, commentator for NBC Sports and author, emceed the event chaired by former Sports for Youth honoree Russell E. Wolff, executive vice president and managing director of ESPN International, and former Sports for Youth honoree Donna Orender, CEO of Orender Unlimited.

“I can think of no greater deed than sharing the gift of sports with young people in America,” Steranka said. “Virtually everyone in this room was involved in sports in some way shape or form, and it helped us develop our competitive drive, our ability to work with others as a team, and certainly results in a lot of who we are today.”

Among those who came out to support Steranka were event chairs Peter Land, senior vice president, Communications, PepsiCo; David Stern, commissioner, National Basketball Association; Junior Bridgeman, restaurateur and former member of The PGA of America Board of Directors; Mark Lazarus, chairman of NBC Sports Group; Jimmy Roberts; John Skipper, president, ESPN, Inc. and co-chairman, Disney Media Networks; Frank Supovitz, senior vice president, Events at National Football League; and Heidi Ueberroth, president, NBA International National Basketball Association.

About Sports for Youth
Through direct grants to local agencies, Sports for Youth, an initiative of UJA-Federation of New York, affirms the healing effect of sports on children by making it possible for UJA-Federation’s network of beneficiary agencies to refurbish decaying sports courts and facilities serving children of all ethnic and religious backgrounds, and enabling children of all ages and athletic abilities to rehabilitate themselves and enjoy sports.

About UJA-Federation of New York
For more than 90 years, UJA-Federation has been a central force for communal planning and philanthropy in the New York Jewish community. Through UJA-Federation, more than 60,000 donors pool their resources to help people in need, inspire a passion for Jewish life and learning, and strengthen Jewish communities around the world – to address the issues that matter to us most as Jews and as New Yorkers. Working with more than 100 network beneficiary agencies, synagogues, and other Jewish organizations, our reach spans from New York to Israel to more than 60 other countries around the world, touching 4.5 million people each year. Because we do the most good when we do it together. For more information, please visit our website at www.ujafedny.org. 

Welcome to Golf Month: Family, friends and fun in May

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — The PGA of America, Golf Digest and Nike Golf have partnered to launch Welcome to Golf Month in May, a new Play Golf America program evolving from PGA Free Lesson Month. While free 10-minute lessons from PGA/LPGA Professionals are the foundation of Welcome to Golf Month, additional complimentary introductory programs, orientations and Get Golf Ready clinics are also part of the innovative month-long promotion.

More than 1.1 million people have received free 10-minute lessons in May since 1998 when The PGA of America and Golf Digest originally introduced PGA Free Lesson Month, one of the most successful growth-of-the-game initiatives in the golf industry.

As part of the new Welcome to Golf month of May, The PGA of America, in conjunction with its partners Golf Digest and Nike Golf, is launching a Twitter campaign to promote the free, fun aspects of this program. Beginning the week of April 30, The PGA is asking the entire golf industry, pro golfers and golfers across America to tweet about their Welcome to Golf experiences using the hashtag #welcometogolf.

“Golf is a game – a game with a ball and a stick that produces a ton of fun,” said PGA of America President Allen Wronowski. “Welcome to Golf Month is the perfect time to get out and give golf a try by taking a free 10-minute lesson or by participating in a free golf clinic. We encourage golfers to bring their family and friends to the course to share in the experience and have a great time together.”

Welcome to Golf Month is the perfect time for lapsed golfers to come back to the game; new golfers to try the game; and avid golfers to bring a friend or family member to the game. Consumers can find Welcome to Golf Month programs in their area by going to PlayGolfAmerica.com/wtg and can find a “Beginner’s Guide” on how to get started in the game at GolfDigest.com.

“As stewards of this great game, we are pleased to support Welcome to Golf Month,” said Golf Digest Chairman Editorial Director Jerry Tarde. “This month-long celebration of golf is a tremendous opportunity for our game to recruit new players, bring lapsed players back and expose it to the next generation of golfers.”

Every golfer who participates in Welcome to Golf Month is encouraged to enter the sweepstakes for a chance to win a two-day/two-night getaway and golf school at The PGA Center for Golf Learning and Performance in Port St. Lucie, Fla., or two sets of Nike golf clubs.

More than 3.3 million people have participated in Play Golf America programs since 2004. Since its inception, Play Golf America programs have provided millions of people with the opportunity to learn the game of golf and/or to be re-introduced to the game through free and affordable programs hosted by PGA and LPGA Professionals nationwide. Not only do the programs develop basic golf skills and techniques, but they also promote health and fitness principles while having fun spending time with family and friends.

Welcome to Golf Month is sponsored by Golf Digest, Nike Golf, and the PGA Center for Golf Learning and Performance.

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 Golf Digest:
Golf Digest, the world’s foremost authority on how to play, what to play and where to play golf is part of Golf Digest Companies and is published by Condé Nast. Condé Nast is home to some of the world’s most celebrated media brands. In the United States, Condé Nast publishes 18 consumer magazines, four business-to-business publications, 27 websites, and more than 50 apps for mobile and tablet devices, all of which define excellence in their categories. The company also owns Fairchild Fashion Media (FFM), whose portfolio of brands serves as the leading source of news and analysis for the global fashion community. Condé Nast has won more National Magazine Awards over the past ten years than all of its competitors combined. For more information, visit condenast.com or follow us on Twitter @CondeNastCorp.