Archives for August 2012

Schultz heads class of National Award Recipients as the 2012 PGA Golf Professional of the Year

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Mike Schultz, only the second PGA head professional in the history of storied Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minn., has shaped the careers of more than 40 aspiring PGA Professionals for nearly four decades. Schultz’s legacy of service has elevated him to become the 58th recipient of the PGA Golf Professional of the Year Award, the highest annual honor bestowed by The PGA of America on a PGA Professional.

A 37-year member of The PGA of America, Schultz is the fourth member of the Minnesota PGA Section to be honored as the PGA Golf Professional of the Year. Schultz is retiring from his Hazeltine National post at the end of the season, pursuing other interests within the golf industry.

He will be honored during The PGA of America Awards ceremony on Jan. 24, 2013, during the 60th PGA Merchandise Show at the Orange County Convention Center’s Chapin Theater in Orlando, Fla. The program also will honor the following:

* Michael Breed of Greenwich, Conn. – PGA Teacher of the Year
* Don Law of Boca Raton, Fla. – PGA Junior Golf Leader
* Harry Hammond Jr. of West Chester, Pa. – Bill Strausbaugh Award
* Carl Alexander of Bedford, N.Y. – Horton Smith Award
* Mark Holiday of Bozeman, Mont. – PGA Player Development Award

The PGA of America also will honor recipients of two national awards, Nov. 10, at the 96th Annual Meeting at the Hyatt Regency Baltimore Inner Harbor in Baltimore. They are:

* John Kennedy of New Canaan, Conn. – Patriot Award
* New Jersey PGA Section – Herb Graffis Award (for exemplary contributions to Player Development)

The PGA Merchandisers of the Year will be honored Jan. 18, 2013, at the Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate, Fla. They are:

* Amy Pendergast of Bandon, Ore. – Resort Facilities
* Dale Smigelsky of Fort Collins, Colo. – Public Facilities
* George Kahrhoff of Castle Rock, Colo. – Private Facilities

“Our talented 2012 class of national award winners span more than four decades of service to our Association and to the game of golf,” said PGA of America President Allen Wronowski. “They are PGA Professionals of impact to their Section, their respective communities and in many cases they have influenced others throughout the country. We are proud of how they daily go about their business of inspiring young and old, and grow the game through innovation and their passion. By their dedication to serving others, we are proud to declare that they are truly experts in the game and the business of golf.”

MIKE SCHULTZ – PGA Golf Professional of the Year

Mike Schultz, 64, follows Wally Mund (1969), Jock Olson (2002) and Jim Manthis (2006) as Minnesota PGA members to receive the Association’s highest annual honor bestowed on a PGA Professional.

A native of Pittsburgh, Pa., who was raised in Houston, Schultz was introduced to the game by his father, a geologist in the oil industry. Schultz caddied for his father at Champions Golf Club in Houston, where he developed his game, as well as across the city at Sharpstown Country Club. Schultz later attended the University of Texas, competing in baseball before being injured in an automobile accident.

He turned his concentration to golf and attended South Texas Junior College for two years. He returned to the University of Texas and attempted to walk on to the Longhorns’ golf team before turning professional in 1970.

Schultz competed in tours overseas before arriving in the Minneapolis area in 1971. He worked for PGA Professional Bob Olds at Minnetonka Country Club, and was elected to PGA membership in 1975. Schultz also gained invaluable experience from Minnesota Golf Hall of Fame PGA Professionals Bill Kidd at Interlachen Country Club in Edina, Minn., and Joel Goldstrand at Minneapolis Golf Club.

In January 1976, Schultz succeeded Don Waryn as PGA head professional at Hazeltine National Golf Club, embarking on a career at a facility that became one of this country’s hubs for premier golf. He guided club operations and was a member of the executive committee for three men’s major championships – the 1991 U.S. Open, and the 2002 and 2009 PGA Championships. He also guided his staff to oversee the 1983 U.S. Senior Open, 1977 U.S. Women’s Open, 2006 U.S. Amateur, 1999 NCAA Division I Men’s Championship, 1994 U.S. Mid-Amateur, and 2001 U.S. Men’s Team Championship.

One of the most decorated Minnesota PGA members, Schultz was named the 1988 Section PGA Professional of the Year, and served nearly four decades on the Section board of directors. He was Section president from 1986-87. Schultz was named the 1991 Section Merchandiser of the Year; the 2002 Section Facility Promoter of the Year; and was recipient of the 2006 Steve Weidner Award for Community Service. In 2009, Schultz was inducted into the Minnesota Golf Hall of Fame. He has guided more than 40 young professionals, of whom more than 25 continue today within the industry.

Schultz said that serving as a member of the PGA Rules Committee (1990 to 2002) was one of the highlights of his career. He served as a referee at the 1999 Ryder Cup.

Among the initiatives at Hazeltine National Golf Club under Schultz’s direction was developing a junior program in 1980 that twice earned Golf Digest’s No. 1 award, and currently features 320 juniors.

In 1993, he co-founded the Fairway Foundation, bringing golf and its values to inner-city youth. Schultz also launched a junior golf program in 2010 for 400 Girl Scouts during their annual Camp Twilight and designed a state-of-the-art practice facility in 2010 outdoor facility and indoor fitting/teaching center.

Currently, Schultz is working with several foundations, the club, and the city of Chaska, Minn., to develop a beginner’s course to serve as a prototype for Golf 2.0 projects.

Schultz and his wife, Diane, live in Eden Prairie, Minn.

MICHAEL BREED – PGA Teacher of the Year

Michael Breed of Greenwich, Conn., whose telegenic instruction skills through his signature Golf Channel program, “The Golf Fix,” has motivated countless viewers to enjoy the game, has been named the recipient of the 2012 PGA Teacher of the Year Award.

Breed, 50, is in his 12th season as PGA head professional at Sunningdale Country Club in Scarsdale, N.Y. He follows Michael Hebron (1991) of St. James, N.Y., as the only Metropolitan PGA members to receive The PGA of America’s highest honor for a golf instructor.

A native of Greenwich, Conn., Breed began his athletic career in baseball as a shortstop, and was introduced to golf at age 13 by his father.

Breed is a 1985 graduate of Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Va., where he was a standout player for the Yellow Jackets, and was a 2004 inductee into the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame. Breed declared professional in 1985, and made a bid in 1991 to earn a berth on the former Ben Hogan (now Web.com Tour). Breed was a PGA assistant professional at Augusta (Ga.) National Golf Club from 1989 through 1992, before serving as assistant from 1992 to 1995, for former PGA Professional National Champion Darrell Kestner at Deepdale Golf Club in Manhasset, N.Y. In 1994, Breed competed in the Greater Hartford Open on the PGA Tour.

Breed made his venture into golf broadcasting at Golf Channel in 1999, appearing on numerous “Golf Academy Live” programs as both a guest instructor and host. He has served as an on-course reporter for the former Nationwide Tour and PGA Tour events, and as a guest on such Golf Channel programs as “Viewer’s Forum” and “Golf Central.” Breed also contributed numerous golf tips for CBS, Turner Sports, and Cablevision.

In 2009, Breed was selected to host “The Golf Fix,” elevating it into one of golf’s most popular instruction programs on cable television. He also serves as host instructor for Golf Channel’s “Big Break Academy.”

Breed’s broadcasting venture, he said, would not have been possible without the support of his home facility, Sunningdale Country Club, where he has been PGA head professional since 2001.

Breed served from 2005 to 2010 on the Metropolitan PGA Board of Directors and is in his second term on the national PGA Instruction Committee. A past chair of the Metropolitan PGA Education Committee, Breed won two Ely Callaway Awards in 2010 and 2011, recognizing individuals earning the most service hour credits for education recertification. He was the 2000 and 2009 Metropolitan PGA Teacher of the Year, and recipient of the Section’s 2006 and ’07 Horton Smith Award for contributions to PGA education.

For more than a decade, Breed has served as a Titleist Leadership Advisory Staff member and is among Golf Digest’s Top 50 instructors in the U.S., and since 2003 has been listed as a top 100 instructor by GOLF Magazine. Breed’s worldwide travels include trips to Canada and China to promote PGA education and has appeared before more than 15 PGA Sections nationwide.

Breed has coached 2003 PGA Champion Shaun Micheel, and past Tour winners Chris Smith and Joe Ogilvie. His current students include five-time Web.com Tour winner Darron Stiles, Ron Whitaker and LPGA winner Meghan Francella.

Breed also is co-author of “Picture Perfect Golf Swing: The Complete Guide to Golf Swing Video Analysis” (2008) and “The 3-Degree Putting Solution” (2011).

Breed and his wife, Kerri, live in Greenwich, Conn., and are parents of a son, William.

DON LAW – PGA Junior Leader

Don Law of Boca Raton, Fla., whose entire professional career has been a commitment to support and educate the next generation of golfers, has been named the recipient of the 2012 PGA Junior Golf Leader Award.

Law, 57, is PGA director of instruction of the Club Med Academies in Port St. Lucie, Fla., and owner of the Don Law Golf Academy at Osprey Point Golf Club in Boca Raton; Cypress Creek Country Club in Boynton Beach and Ocean Breeze Golf Country Club in Boca Raton.

He is a 19-year member of The PGA of America, and is the first member of the South Florida PGA Section to be named recipient of the national PGA Junior Golf Leader Award. The award was established in 1988, recognizing the PGA Professional who is a leader in junior golf and who reflects the ideals of those who work with youth.

Born in Clovis, N.M., the son of a career military father, Law was introduced to golf at age 15 by his high school assistant baseball coach while living in Anchorage, Alaska. Law’s family later moved to a military base in Homestead, Fla.

Law would eventually teach the game of golf to his father, who retired a master sergeant in the Air Force. Law went on to advance his education at the Golf Academy of the South in Orlando, Fla. He was elected to PGA membership in 1993, beginning his career at Oriole Golf Course in Delray Beach, Fla. He was head professional and teaching professional from 1995 to January 1999 at Boca Golf in Boca Raton, Fla.

From the start of his career, Law has dedicated himself to junior golf. He opened the first Don Law Golf Academy in 1999, now located at Osprey Point Golf Course. Since then, he opened additional academies in East Boca Raton, Boynton Beach and a summer camp at the Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo, Fla. In 2011, Law helped launch the Club Med Academies in Port St. Lucie.

Since 2001, Law has served as chair of the South Florida PGA Junior Golf Committee and since 2011 has been a member of the PGA National Junior Golf Committee. In 2010, he co-founded ParKit Golf, a company that provides golf professionals with innovative teaching kits and training materials designed to grow junior golf.

From 2006 to 2012, he teamed with the South Florida PGA to present the Dennis Walters Clinic, which has impacted more than 3,000 juniors, and was instrumental in the growth and implementation of the South Florida PGA Junior Tour, an initiative that encompasses more than 400 junior members each year.

Law was named the 2011 South Florida PGA Golf Professional of the Year; is a four-time Section Junior Golf Leader (2001,’07, 09, ’10); and was the 2006 Section Bill Strausbaugh Award recipient. From 2006 to 2010, Law was named a Top 50 Instructor by the Golf Range Association of America. From 2004-07, Law was named a Top 50 instructor with US Kids Golf and in 2008 a Master Instructor.

Law and his wife, Diana, live in Boca Raton, Fla., and are the parents of a daughter, Jennifer, and a son, David.

HARRY HAMMOND JR. – Bill Strausbaugh Award

PGA Master Professional Harry Hammond Jr. of Unionville, Pa., whose service to both members and aspiring PGA Professionals for nearly a half-century follows the spirit of one of the game’s legendary mentors, has been named the recipient of the 2012 Bill Strausbaugh Award.

Hammond, 73, is PGA director of golf at Penn Oaks Golf Club in West Chester, Pa., and a 49-year member of The PGA of America. He is the third member of the Philadelphia PGA Section to receive the Bill Strausbaugh Award, which was established in 1979 in tribute to the late Middle Atlantic PGA Master Professional who left an indelible mark in PGA of America history, excelling in both leadership and service to a PGA Section and the Association. Strausbaugh passed away in 1999.

Hammond, who also was recipient of the 1999 national PGA Junior Golf Leader Award, follows John Poole of West Chester, Pa. (1993), and Doug Ritter of Lancaster, Pa. (1997), as the Philadelphia PGA members to receive the national Bill Strausbaugh Award.

Born in Upland, Pa., Hammond attended Penn State University with the intent of becoming an engineer, but did not push that career goal for long. When his family moved to Kennett Square, Pa., in 1953, he elected to take up golf at Kennett Square Golf Country Club, where he caddied and later entered a PGA apprenticeship in 1958 under the late PGA Professional William Palumbo.

Hammond was elected to PGA membership in 1963, first serving as PGA head professional at West Chester Golf and Country Club until 1969.

In 1969, Hammond was named PGA head professional at Whitford Country Club in Exton, Pa., and would spend the next 38 years at that post, training many men and women professionals who went on to successful careers in the industry. He was elected a PGA Master Professional in 1991.

Hammond has been a longtime leader within the Philadelphia PGA Section, serving as president in 1986, and as chair from 1993 to 2008 of the Section Junior Golf Committee, a group that he continues to serve. He has been president, since its inception in 1999, of the Greater Philadelphia Section PGA Foundation, an organization that contributes to multiple charities, including the Section’s official charity, the Variety Club.

He also is a member of the national Golf 2.0 Growth of the Game Committee. From 2009 through this year, Hammond served on the national PGA Junior Golf Committee, and spent two terms on the PGA Special Awards Committee and the PGA Master Professional Certification Committee. Since 2004, Hammond has been a member of the Section Hall of Fame Committee, and a past member of the Section’s Education, Long Range Planning, Executive Director Search, and Special Awards Committees.

In 2007, Hammond retired from Whitford Country Club, where his son-in-law, Michael Ladden, is now its PGA head professional. In ’07, Hammond accepted the head men’s coaching position at West Chester University, an NCAA Division II program. Hammond’s mentorship and coaching expertise was immediately apparent, and he guided the school to the NCAA Regional Championships the past two seasons, and was named the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Coach of the Year for the 2010-2011 seasons.

Prior to his retirement from Whitford Country Club, Hammond entered into a partnership to purchase Penn Oaks Golf Club in West Chester, Pa., where he became a consultant to elevate the club business practices and was named its PGA director of golf in 2008.

Service to others, says Hammond, keeps him excited about the game’s future. In 2011, the Make-A-Wish Pro-Am committee brought an event to Penn Oaks. The Pro-Am has contributed more than $350,000 to The First Tee of Chester County and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Hammond and his wife, Sally, live in Unionville, Pa. They are the parents of a daughter, Laura, a former Penn State University standout and an eight-time Women’s Golf Association of Philadelphia champion. The Hammond family also includes sons David and Brian; and daughters Diane and Sonya.

CARL ALEXANDER – Horton Smith Award

Carl Alexander of Bedford, N.Y., whose leadership within the Metropolitan PGA Section resulted in showcasing both model programs and inspiring new audiences to the game, has been named the recipient of the 2012 Horton Smith Award for outstanding and continuing contributions to professional education.

Alexander, 46, is PGA director of golf at The Golf Club of Purchase (N.Y.), and a 16-year member of The PGA of America. He is the fourth member of the Metropolitan PGA Section to receive the Horton Smith Award, which was established in 1965, and named for the late PGA Past President and inaugural Masters Champion.

Born in New York City, Alexander is the son of renowned golf photographer Jules Alexander, and attended Rollins College in Orlando, Fla., before transferring to the University of Arizona. He turned professional in 1992, and joined the Grand Cypress Academy of Golf staff in Orlando, Fla. In 1997, Alexander accepted a teaching and assistant professional position at Pine Hollow Country Club in East Norwich, N.Y. In 1999, he was recruited to join GlenArbor Golf Club in Bedford Hills, N.Y., as PGA head professional to help build the new private golf club.

In 2005, Alexander joined The Golf Club of Purchase, where he has built successful teaching programs, and managed a first-class golf club with high-end services. Throughout his career, Alexander has hired and trained many assistants, several of whom have gone on to their own head professional positions in the Metropolitan PGA Section.

Alexander was introduced to golf at age 6, encouraged to join his neighborhood friends, and would take his first formal lessons from then-Westchester Country Club assistant professional Jim McLean, who went on to become one of the country’s most celebrated instructors and the 1994 PGA Teacher of the Year.

Previous Metropolitan PGA Professionals receiving the Horton Smith Award were Andy Nusbaum (1978) of Bronxville, N.Y., Mike Hebron of St. James, N.Y. (1990), and John Kennedy Jr. of Rye, N.Y. (2010).

Since 2003, Alexander has served as a member of the Metropolitan PGA Board of Directors; was Section vice president from 2007 to 2011; and has been a member of the Section Education Committee since 2004, and chair of the committee since 2009. He also is co-chair of the Section Communications and Public Relations Committee, serving in those capacities since 2008.

Alexander was the 2006 Metropolitan PGA Teacher of the Year and the 2010 Section Horton Smith Award recipient, and the 2000 Westchester Golf Association Player of the Year.

Among Alexander’s endeavors of the past several years include teaming with LPGA Tour player Jane Blalock and other LPGA Tour professionals for a women’s executive golf clinic; and developing a junior golf program at The Golf Club of Purchase, which pairs junior golfers for clinics, contests, and on-course competition with professional staff.

In 2009, Alexander met with and recruited Stuart Levine, formerly of Dale Carnegie, and together they developed a leadership and governance program for the Metropolitan PGA Educational Programs and the Board. In 2010, Stuart Levine was one of several keynote speakers at the Met PGA Spring Educational Forum along with Barry Hyde of the USGA and PGA Chief Executive Officer Joe Steranka. The PGA of America’s Education Department later created four regional educational conferences and teamed with Stuart Levine Associates to create the Power of Fundamentals Executive Program.

Alexander later served on the committee to develop the Met PGA Head Professional Handbook, which featured more than 400 pages of materials and outlines designed to help professionals in every phase of their operations, business, and personal development. Alexander created the Teaching Center at Purchase, a year-round state-of-the-art facility offered to players of all skill levels.

He used that experience to promote opening of learning centers at clubs throughout the Metropolitan PGA Section, and along with PGA Professional Michael Breed (the 2012 PGA Teacher of the Year) hosted a Winter Teaching Program instructing other professionals on how to develop winter teaching programs with indoor facilities that range from cart barns, to the golf shop and local practice ranges.

As a means of networking to build future golf endeavors with the state, Alexander has coached New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and given a series of lessons to Larry Schwartz, chief of staff to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Additionally, Alexander hosts a Teaching Tips seminar that has expanded to local newspaper weekly circulation, and has worked to attract a wide-ranging group of speakers and topics to address Section members.

Alexander and his wife, Anne, live in Bedford, N.Y., and are the parents of sons Jack and Will.

MARK HOLIDAY – PGA Player Development Award

Mark Holiday, the owner and PGA director of golf at Bridger Creek Golf Course in Bozeman, Mont., and a promoter of growth of the game initiatives that engage a host community, has been named the recipient of the 2012 PGA Player Development Award.

Holiday, 60, is a 20-year member of The PGA of America and is the first member of the Rocky Mountain PGA Section to be named recipient of the PGA Player Development Award, (formerly The President’s Plaque), which was established in 1982, and in 2006 became a special award that supports Play Golf America initiatives.

Born in Valley City, N.D., Holiday picked up golf when a neighborhood friend suggested that they play the local nine-hole Valley City Town Country Club. Holiday went on to attend the University of North Dakota from 1971-72 before transferring to the University of Kansas, where he graduated in 1974.

It was at that point in life that Holiday made a decision to expand his horizons. He joined the Peace Corps, and from 1974-77 worked in India as an agricultural village level worker with residents in Bahala, a small village some 90 miles southwest of Delhi.

Holiday is serving his sixth year as chair of the Rocky Mountain PGA Growth of the Game Committee. He is a four-time (2005, ’07, ’09, ’11) Rocky Mountain PGA President’s Plaque Award recipient; and was the 2003 and 2011 Section Merchandiser of the Year and the 2005 Section Bill Strausbaugh Award recipient.

Holiday says his work is energized by the more than 94,000 golfers in a state of 1 million people, who utilize 121 total golf facilities.

Growth of the Game initiatives that Holiday has promoted at Bridger Creek Golf Course attracted more than 1,100 participants to a schedule of events ranging from youth lessons and family fun nights to novice nights, a junior lease program, leagues, junior golf academy and adult group lessons – the cornerstone of Holiday’s adult program since 1995. Adult lessons are scheduled Monday through Friday, with one session each month April through August. Attendance has ranged from 155 through 180 golfers per summer over the past five seasons, with 85 percent women participants.

The junior lease program, which began in 2006, involves leasing junior sets matched to participants in the club’s junior lesson program.

The shortened golf season in Montana, a northern tier state, is not a roadblock for Bridger Creek Golf Course access and heightening community image. Holiday hosts events year-round that attract thousands of non-golfers to experience open space and beauty, including Montana State University invitational cross-country meets, and the Montana Junior AAU cross-country championships. In the winter, the course hosts the Bridger Ski Foundation’s Nordic ski trails; and the largest single-day event ever on site – a 2009 Journey Church Easter egg hunt that featured 40,000 plastic eggs planted on the practice range. More than 2,200 attended the event.

Holiday and his wife, Kate, live in Bozeman, Mont. They are the parents of daughters Maria, Rikka, and a son, Henry. Rikka is a graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn., where she was a three-year letter winner for the school’s NCAA Division III women’s golf program.

JOHN KENNEDY JR. – Patriot Award

John Kennedy Jr. of New Canaan, Conn., whose leadership within the Metropolitan PGA Section extended to establishing a foundation for supporting the men and women of the military along with affiliation with the VA to help instruct disabled veterans, has been named the recipient of the 2012 Patriot Award.

First presented in 2008, the Patriot Award honors a PGA Professional who personifies patriotism through the game of golf and demonstrates unwavering commitment and dedication to the men and women who have valiantly served and protected the United States of America.

The 61-year-old Kennedy is in his 22nd year as PGA head professional at Westchester Country Club in Rye, N.Y., and is a 36-year member of The PGA of America. He is the second Metropolitan PGA Section member to receive the Patriot Award, following John Hines of Calverton, N.Y., in 2011.

Kennedy established Golfers in Support of the Troops Foundation in 2008, which has raised more than $90,000 over a four-year period to distribute more than 20,000 articles of clothing to U.S. troops and their families. Clothing was sent to Baghdad, Iraq; Fort Benning, Ga.; Fort Hood, Texas; Fort Collins, Colo.; and Fort Drum, N.Y. Kennedy contributed 50 percent of the clothing that he purchased for his own golf shop.

In addition to Westchester Country Club serving as a strong supporter of Patriot Golf Day since the initiative began in 2007, it also has supported Kennedy’s efforts to build an alliance between the New York VA Hospital Prosthetics Device Department and 2010 Patriot Award recipient Jim Estes of Olney, Md., founder of the Salute Military Golf Association. Together with 2011 Patriot Award recipient John Hines, the group are working to expand training of PGA Professionals to give golf instruction to disabled veterans.

Born in Fairfield, Conn., Kennedy graduated from Fairfield University in 1972 and turned professional that year. He was elected to PGA membership in 1976, during which time he was an assistant professional at Sleepy Hollow Country Club in Scarborough, N.Y. In 2010, he became the third member of the Metropolitan PGA Section to be named a recipient of the national Horton Smith Award, which recognizes an individual PGA member for outstanding and continuing contributions to professional education.

Kennedy also was the 1997 Metropolitan PGA Golf Professional of the Year; and recipient of the 2005 Section Bill Strausbaugh Award; the 1985, ’88 and 2009 Section Horton Smith Award; and the 1983 and ’91 Section Merchandiser of the Year for Private Facilities.

Kennedy and his wife, Eileen, live in New Canaan, Conn., and are the parents of a son, John III, and a daughter, Sarah.

NEW JERSEY PGA SECTION – Herb Graffis Award

The New Jersey PGA Section, comprised of 452 members and apprentices, 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.

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.

Founded in 1931, the New Jersey PGA Section currently has PGA members employed in 66 percent of the 262 total golf facilities with the Section’s boundaries. Section headquarters staff includes a three-person staff guided by Executive Director Scott Kmiec, and a six-month New Jersey Golf Foundation employee. The Section staff oversees three primary endeavors – Juniors, Women and Family Golf.

The New Jersey PGA’s Golf In Schools expanded in 2012 to 168 schools with more than 95,000 students participating in the program. Golf In Schools is funded by the charitable arm of the Section, the New Jersey Golf Foundation (NJGF), at no cost to school districts. PGA Professionals provide equipment and train physical education instructors on how to incorporate golf into their classes.

The NJGF demonstrated its commitment to growth of the game in the state in 2011, by raising nearly $200,000 in one day at its fifth annual Golf Classic at Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, N.J.

Golf In Schools is one of three endeavors within Junior Golf in the Section, which also hosts four Youth Golf Open House at public access golf facilities throughout the year and a High School Junior Varsity program to retain participation for prep golfers who did not make their respective high school team.

The New Jersey PGA Section also conducts Junior Golf Tours that include a US Kids Tour for youngsters ages 5 to 14; and a NJPGA Junior Tour for juniors ages 11 to 18. New Jersey has ranked as the No. 1 US Kids Golf summer tour for the past five seasons, with an average of 120 members per event.

The Section and the NJGF also host a series of Free Lesson Days to bring golf to local events ranging from minor league baseball, the Tri-State Health and Wellness Fair and LPGA and PGA Tour events conducted in the state.

The NJGF funded its first Golf for Women Day in 2011, which led to three additional events in 2012 featuring golf skills clinics, on-course instruction and capped by a wine tasting event. Additionally, the Hunterdon YMCA and the NJGF partnered to offer women’s golf clinics over a six-week period.

Family Golf expanded in the Section to feature Play Golf America Days and Youth Open Houses, with on-course access and guest presenters. The NJGF also funded a Parent-Child Series at the Woodbridge YMCA to attract more families to play golf together.

AMY PENDERGAST – PGA Merchandiser of the Year – Resort Facilities

Amy Pendergast, PGA head professional at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Bandon, Ore., has been named the recipient of the 2012 PGA Merchandiser of the Year Award for Resort Facilities.

Pendergast, 36, is the second member of the Pacific Northwest PGA Section to be honored with a PGA Merchandiser of the Year Award since the award was established in 1978 to recognize PGA Professionals who excel as businesspersons/merchandisers in the promotion of golf.

A graduate of Portland State University, where she competed on the women’s golf team, Pendergast was elected to PGA membership in December 2010, the same year that she was named PGA head professional at Bandon Dunes. Prior to that, she had served as director of retail since joining the seaside resort facility in 2000. Following her first full year as PGA head professional, she was recognized as the 2011 Pacific Northwest PGA Section Merchandiser of the Year for Resort Facilities.

Pendergast said a key to the success of Bandon’s retail operation is the emphasis that is placed on training and motivation of staff led by PGA Director of Golf Jeff Simonds. Included in that is a monthly newsletter she produces, which contains selling tips and product information specifically for educating the sales staff. In addition, she schedules monthly training sessions with vendors to enhance the expertise of her team.

Another key is the emergence of Bandon Dunes as premier golf destination. Since joining the staff only 10 months after the resort opened, Pendergast has seen it grow from 18 holes and one 800-square-foot golf shop to 85 holes and approximately 5,000 square feet of retail space. In 2011, Golf Digest named Bandon Dunes the country’s best golf resort, adding to the allure of wearing one of its logos.

Pendergast and her husband, Tyler, live in Bandon, Ore., and are the parents of a daughter, Allee, and a son, Mason.

DALE SMIGELSKY – PGA Merchandiser of the Year – Public Facilities

Dale Smigelsky, PGA director of golf at Collindale Golf Club in Fort Collins, Colo., has been named the recipient of the 2012 PGA Merchandiser of the Year Award for Public Facilities. Smigelsky, 52, is one of two Colorado PGA Section members to be named a 2012 PGA Merchandiser of the Year, and one of four in Section history since the award was established in 1978 to recognize PGA Professionals who excel as businesspersons/merchandisers in the promotion of golf.

Smigelsky, who attended Central Florida University, declared professional in 1979, and was elected to PGA membership in 1994. He said that the award is a testament to his staff, which includes his wife, Anne, and the hard work they put in as a team.

Smigelsky was previously honored for his merchandising skills as the 2010 Colorado PGA Section Merchandiser of the Year for Public Facilities. He returned to Collindale in 2009, roughly 15 years after he began his career there as an assistant golf professional. In between, he served at two other municipal golf facilities – as PGA head professional at City Park Nine Golf Course in Fort Collins, and as PGA head professional and PGA director of golf at Southridge Golf Club, also in Fort Collins.

Smigelsky owns the merchandise concession at Collindale, which has helped him better understand the wants and needs of his clientele at the municipal facility.

Smigelsky and his wife, Anne, live in Fort Collins, Colo., and are the parents of daughters Kali and Casi, and a son, Alex.

GEORGE KAHRHOFF – PGA Merchandiser of the Year – Private Facilities

George Kahrhoff, PGA head professional at The Country Club at Castle Pines in Castle Rock, Colo., has been named the recipient of the 2012 PGA Merchandiser of the Year Award for Private Facilities.

Kahrhoff, 47, is one of two Colorado PGA Section members to be named a 2012 PGA Merchandiser of the Year, and one of four in Section history since the award was established in 1978 to recognize PGA Professionals who excel as businesspersons/merchandisers in the promotion of golf.

A 1988 graduate of the University of Nebraska-Kearney, Kahrhoff achieved PGA membership in 1992.

Kahrhoff has twice been named a Colorado PGA Section Merchandiser of the Year – for Resort Facilities in 2006 while at Sonnenalp Golf Club in Vail, Colo., and for Private Facilities in 2010 while at Castle Pines. He began his PGA Professional career as an assistant professional at the Country Club of Colorado in 1988, where he remained for a decade before moving on to Cherry Hills Country Club.

After five years as an assistant professional at Cherry Hills Country Club, he was named director of golf and club operations at Sonnenalp in 2003. He has been at Castle Pines and served as the club’s general manager and head professional from 2008 to January 2012.

Located just south of Denver, The Country Club at Castle Pines is known as one of Colorado’s premier private facilities, featuring a Jack Nicklaus Signature Championship course woven into the natural contours of the land. With the golf shop facing stiff competition from big-box retailers, Kahrhoff and his staff have combatted that challenge through creative thinking and follow-through, such as converting to an “all-women’s” shop to coincide with a pair of annual women events held at the club.

Kahrhoff and his wife, Aimee, live in Castle Rock, Colo., and are the parents of sons Trey and Mitchell.

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. 

Europe announces team for Junior Ryder Cup

The European team for the 2012 Junior Ryder Cup, which takes place at Olympia Fields Country Club in Illinois, USA from September 24-25, has been finalised.

The team, comprising two under-16 boys, two under-16 girls, four under-18 boys and four under-18 girls, will attempt to regain the trophy from the USA after a 13 – 10 defeat at The Gleneagles Hotel in 2010.

The Junior Ryder Cup was formally introduced in 1997, following an exhibition match between teams of boys and girls from Europe and the United States in 1995. It traditionally takes place just before The Ryder Cup.

Spaniard Covadonga Sanjuan earned automatic selection for the 2012 European team after her victory in the European Young Masters at Royal Balaton Golf and Yacht Club in Hungary last month, as did Italy’s Renato Paratore, who won the boys’ competition.

Emily Pedersen of Denmark and Germany’s Dominic Foos, both under-16s, were also chosen by a selection committee comprising European Captain Stuart Wilson, Assistant Captain Kristin Gunhildrud and representatives from the European Golf Association and The European Tour.

The committee was present at a number of key junior events, including the European Boys’ and Girls’ Team Championships, and also took into account performances in national championships plus standings in national and European Amateur Golf Rankings.

Austrian Matthias Schwab, who played on The European Tour as a 15 year old in the 2010 Austrian Golf Open, was selected, and is joined in the boys’ under-18 category by England’s Toby Tree, Ireland’s Gavin Moynihan, who was the youngest player ever to win the Irish Amateur Championship this year, and Sweden’s Victor Tarnstrom.

The girls are represented by Linnea Strom of Sweden, who has dominated junior golf in her country, Quirine Eijkenboom of Germany, Harang Lee from Spain and England’s Bronte Law.

The Junior Ryder Cup celebrates the progress and hard work taking place at the grass roots level of golf, which helps talented young players develop into national team amateurs and some even to The Ryder Cup itself. The collaboration between PGA professionals and junior organisers at club level and PGAs and governing bodies at a national level help these youngsters develop into Junior Ryder Cup players. The Junior Ryder Cup promotes friendship and good sportsmanship between the best junior golfers from the US and Europe.

It has been the platform from which successful professional careers have been launched for numerous players. Spaniard Sergio Garcia played in the 1995 exhibition match and four years later was part of the full European Team at The Country Club in Brookline, while Suzann Pettersen played in the Junior Ryder Cup in 1997 and 1999 before becoming Norway’s top female golfer and taking part in six Solheim Cups.

Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy was in the victorious 2004 team, since when he has won two Major Championships and will represent Europe for a second time in The 2012 Ryder Cup. For the Americans, Hunter Mahan, having been in the 1999 junior team, has progressed to become a US PGA Tour winner and was part of the 2008 and 2010 US Ryder Cup teams.

Other notable past Junior Ryder Cup players are Matteo Manassero, who played in 2008 and has since become one of golf’s hottest properties, and Carly Booth, who also played in 2008 and has won twice on the Ladies European Tour this season.

European team:

Quirine Eijkenboom (GER)
Dominic Foos (GER)
Bronte Law (ENG)
Harang Lee (ESP)
Gavin Moynihan (IRL)
Renato Paradore (ITA)
Emily Pedersen (DEN)
Covadonga Sanjuan (ESP)
Matthias Schwab (AUT)
Linnea Strom (SWE)
Victor Tarnstrom (SWE)
Toby Tree (ENG) 

PGA.com touts two new partnerships designed to help grow the game

Of the thousands of great products, initiatives, seminars and announcements that came out of last week’s PGA Expo in Las Vegas, two in particular will resonate significantly here at PGA.com and hopefully in your golf life.

PGA.com is partnering with two well-known organizations to help foster more players learning and playing golf and also providing golfers with the most secure, confident and authentic buying experience of golf equipment online.

The first announcement has to do with the creation of The Pro Shops, a creation of the PGA Trade-In Network and eBay, where golfers can view, research and bid on golf merchandise within a designated PGA Trade-In Network branded shop on eBay. This means golfers such as yourself will be browsing through and potentially buying golf clubs, apparel and other merchandise that has been inspected, sourced and authenticated by PGA Professionals.

“It’s very significant that buyers can have full confidence that the golf merchandise — including clubs — they are bidding on, and ultimately receiving, via the world’s largest auction site have been authenticated and listed by the PGA Professional, the experts in the game and business of golf,” said Leigh Bader of the PGA Trade-In Network.

“This model works because it’s a simple, effective and needed program. Its requirement from the PGA Professional is something they already do everyday. They will encourage golfers to trade in their clubs (for sale in the The Pro Shops), use their expertise to ensure authenticity and integrity, and to share their knowledge and passion for the game. This three-step “Play It On!” pledge will create the large and diverse inventory that we already know golfers are searching for — combined with their trust that their delivered product is what they purchased.

Andy Feierfeil, the Business Lead for Sporting Goods eBay, North America, echoed the enthusiasm.

“It’s in eBay’s DNA to enable connections across commerce,” Feierfeil stated. “And this partnership will further strengthen our lead in the online golf purchases industry by helping connect buyers to PGA Professionals. Anytime we can help golf enthusiasts of all playing levels get direct access to the right golf equipment for their game, it’s a winning proposition for everyone. And of course, more options for more golfers will only help grow the game.”

Golfers will be able to access The Pro Shops from multiple channels on PGA.com. Visitors on PGA.com will have the ability to see the latest products, read reviews or stories about them and further research them and purchase directly from a PGA Professional — all with a few simple clicks. Items, including merchandise, lessons and perhaps other services such as club fittings, will be available on both an auction and a “Buy It Now” option.

The second announcement concerned PGA.com’s partnership with the ACTIVE Network, the leader in cloud-based activity and participation management solutions.

This new program will allow PGA Professionals to easily list their instruction programs, junior golf camps, Get Golf Ready clinics, Play Golf America days and even tournaments to play in to an exponentially larger audience. For the golfer, this means a one-stop shop to search for these golf events in their area, sign up for ones that interest them and pay prior to arriving at the course.

“While we were looking at the game of golf from a consumer perspective, looking at how we could attract more golfers, we found that one of the biggest barriers to growing the game was the difficulty that many potential players faced in simply finding ways to become active participants,” said Allen Wronowski, President of the PGA of America. “Now with PGA.com and ACTIVE Network’s registration solution for PGA Professionals, golfers have an easy access to the resources and events in their area that can get them started in this wonderful game.”

ACTIVE Network, with over 8 million unique visitors to ACTIVE.com each month, is showing great enthusiasm and confidence in getting into the golf space.

“Through our strategic partnership with the PGA.com and this new directory and registration solution, we hope to create great experiences for people that are interested in getting active in the sport of golf,” said Ron Ward, general manager of Golf at ACTIVE Network. “Our technology is designed to help PGA Professionals manage their events more efficiently, promote them to a large audience of golfers and help grow participation by making it easy for those golfers to find and register for these programs.”

Both initiatives are designed in large part to help grow of the game — where a more robust marketplace will hopefully create easier solutions for golfers to find affordable golf equipment and the ease of signing up for golf events will mean increased participation in all facets of golf. PGA.com will continue to seek out initiatives and partnerships to serve all golfers — and more golfers; these two significant steps are a strong foundation for that goal.  

PGA.com touts two new partnerships designed to help grow the game

Of the thousands of great products, initiatives, seminars and announcements that came out of last week’s PGA Expo in Las Vegas, two in particular will resonate significantly here at PGA.com and hopefully in your golf life.

PGA.com is partnering with two well-known organizations to help foster more players learning and playing golf and also providing golfers with the most secure, confident and authentic buying experience of golf equipment online.

The first announcement has to do with the creation of The Pro Shops, a creation of the PGA Trade-In Network and eBay, where golfers can view, research and bid on golf merchandise within a designated PGA Trade-In Network branded shop on eBay. This means golfers such as yourself will be browsing through and potentially buying golf clubs, apparel and other merchandise that has been inspected, sourced and authenticated by PGA Professionals.

“It’s very significant that buyers can have full confidence that the golf merchandise — including clubs — they are bidding on, and ultimately receiving, via the world’s largest auction site have been authenticated and listed by the PGA Professional, the experts in the game and business of golf,” said Leigh Bader of the PGA Trade-In Network.

“This model works because it’s a simple, effective and needed program. Its requirement from the PGA Professional is something they already do everyday. They will encourage golfers to trade in their clubs (for sale in the The Pro Shops), use their expertise to ensure authenticity and integrity, and to share their knowledge and passion for the game. This three-step “Play It On!” pledge will create the large and diverse inventory that we already know golfers are searching for — combined with their trust that their delivered product is what they purchased.

Andy Feierfeil, the Business Lead for Sporting Goods eBay, North America, echoed the enthusiasm.

“It’s in eBay’s DNA to enable connections across commerce,” Feierfeil stated. “And this partnership will further strengthen our lead in the online golf purchases industry by helping connect buyers to PGA Professionals. Anytime we can help golf enthusiasts of all playing levels get direct access to the right golf equipment for their game, it’s a winning proposition for everyone. And of course, more options for more golfers will only help grow the game.”

Golfers will be able to access The Pro Shops from multiple channels on PGA.com. Visitors on PGA.com will have the ability to see the latest products, read reviews or stories about them and further research them and purchase directly from a PGA Professional — all with a few simple clicks. Items, including merchandise, lessons and perhaps other services such as club fittings, will be available on both an auction and a “Buy It Now” option.

The second announcement concerned PGA.com’s partnership with the ACTIVE Network, the leader in cloud-based activity and participation management solutions.

This new program will allow PGA Professionals to easily list their instruction programs, junior golf camps, Get Golf Ready clinics, Play Golf America days and even tournaments to play in to an exponentially larger audience. For the golfer, this means a one-stop shop to search for these golf events in their area, sign up for ones that interest them and pay prior to arriving at the course.

“While we were looking at the game of golf from a consumer perspective, looking at how we could attract more golfers, we found that one of the biggest barriers to growing the game was the difficulty that many potential players faced in simply finding ways to become active participants,” said Allen Wronowski, President of the PGA of America. “Now with PGA.com and ACTIVE Network’s registration solution for PGA Professionals, golfers have an easy access to the resources and events in their area that can get them started in this wonderful game.”

ACTIVE Network, with over 8 million unique visitors to ACTIVE.com each month, is showing great enthusiasm and confidence in getting into the golf space.

“Through our strategic partnership with the PGA.com and this new directory and registration solution, we hope to create great experiences for people that are interested in getting active in the sport of golf,” said Ron Ward, general manager of Golf at ACTIVE Network. “Our technology is designed to help PGA Professionals manage their events more efficiently, promote them to a large audience of golfers and help grow participation by making it easy for those golfers to find and register for these programs.”

Both initiatives are designed in large part to help grow of the game — where a more robust marketplace will hopefully create easier solutions for golfers to find affordable golf equipment and the ease of signing up for golf events will mean increased participation in all facets of golf. PGA.com will continue to seek out initiatives and partnerships to serve all golfers — and more golfers; these two significant steps are a strong foundation for that goal.  

PGA.com touts two new partnerships designed to help grow the game

Of the thousands of great products, initiatives, seminars and announcements that came out of last week’s PGA Expo in Las Vegas, two in particular will resonate significantly here at PGA.com and hopefully in your golf life.

PGA.com is partnering with two well-known organizations to help foster more players learning and playing golf and also providing golfers with the most secure, confident and authentic buying experience of golf equipment online.

The first announcement has to do with the creation of The Pro Shops, a creation of the PGA Trade-In Network and eBay, where golfers can view, research and bid on golf merchandise within a designated PGA Trade-In Network branded shop on eBay. This means golfers such as yourself will be browsing through and potentially buying golf clubs, apparel and other merchandise that has been inspected, sourced and authenticated by PGA Professionals.

“It’s very significant that buyers can have full confidence that the golf merchandise — including clubs — they are bidding on, and ultimately receiving, via the world’s largest auction site have been authenticated and listed by the PGA Professional, the experts in the game and business of golf,” said Leigh Bader of the PGA Trade-In Network.

“This model works because it’s a simple, effective and needed program. Its requirement from the PGA Professional is something they already do everyday. They will encourage golfers to trade in their clubs (for sale in the The Pro Shops), use their expertise to ensure authenticity and integrity, and to share their knowledge and passion for the game. This three-step “Play It On!” pledge will create the large and diverse inventory that we already know golfers are searching for — combined with their trust that their delivered product is what they purchased.

Andy Feierfeil, the Business Lead for Sporting Goods eBay, North America, echoed the enthusiasm.

“It’s in eBay’s DNA to enable connections across commerce,” Feierfeil stated. “And this partnership will further strengthen our lead in the online golf purchases industry by helping connect buyers to PGA Professionals. Anytime we can help golf enthusiasts of all playing levels get direct access to the right golf equipment for their game, it’s a winning proposition for everyone. And of course, more options for more golfers will only help grow the game.”

Golfers will be able to access The Pro Shops from multiple channels on PGA.com. Visitors on PGA.com will have the ability to see the latest products, read reviews or stories about them and further research them and purchase directly from a PGA Professional — all with a few simple clicks. Items, including merchandise, lessons and perhaps other services such as club fittings, will be available on both an auction and a “Buy It Now” option.

The second announcement concerned PGA.com’s partnership with the ACTIVE Network, the leader in cloud-based activity and participation management solutions.

This new program will allow PGA Professionals to easily list their instruction programs, junior golf camps, Get Golf Ready clinics, Play Golf America days and even tournaments to play in to an exponentially larger audience. For the golfer, this means a one-stop shop to search for these golf events in their area, sign up for ones that interest them and pay prior to arriving at the course.

“While we were looking at the game of golf from a consumer perspective, looking at how we could attract more golfers, we found that one of the biggest barriers to growing the game was the difficulty that many potential players faced in simply finding ways to become active participants,” said Allen Wronowski, President of the PGA of America. “Now with PGA.com and ACTIVE Network’s registration solution for PGA Professionals, golfers have an easy access to the resources and events in their area that can get them started in this wonderful game.”

ACTIVE Network, with over 8 million unique visitors to ACTIVE.com each month, is showing great enthusiasm and confidence in getting into the golf space.

“Through our strategic partnership with the PGA.com and this new directory and registration solution, we hope to create great experiences for people that are interested in getting active in the sport of golf,” said Ron Ward, general manager of Golf at ACTIVE Network. “Our technology is designed to help PGA Professionals manage their events more efficiently, promote them to a large audience of golfers and help grow participation by making it easy for those golfers to find and register for these programs.”

Both initiatives are designed in large part to help grow of the game — where a more robust marketplace will hopefully create easier solutions for golfers to find affordable golf equipment and the ease of signing up for golf events will mean increased participation in all facets of golf. PGA.com will continue to seek out initiatives and partnerships to serve all golfers — and more golfers; these two significant steps are a strong foundation for that goal.  

PGA.com touts two new partnerships designed to help grow the game

Of the thousands of great products, initiatives, seminars and announcements that came out of last week’s PGA Expo in Las Vegas, two in particular will resonate significantly here at PGA.com and hopefully in your golf life.

PGA.com is partnering with two well-known organizations to help foster more players learning and playing golf and also providing golfers with the most secure, confident and authentic buying experience of golf equipment online.

The first announcement has to do with the creation of The Pro Shops, a creation of the PGA Trade-In Network and eBay, where golfers can view, research and bid on golf merchandise within a designated PGA Trade-In Network branded shop on eBay. This means golfers such as yourself will be browsing through and potentially buying golf clubs, apparel and other merchandise that has been inspected, sourced and authenticated by PGA Professionals.

“It’s very significant that buyers can have full confidence that the golf merchandise — including clubs — they are bidding on, and ultimately receiving, via the world’s largest auction site have been authenticated and listed by the PGA Professional, the experts in the game and business of golf,” said Leigh Bader of the PGA Trade-In Network.

“This model works because it’s a simple, effective and needed program. Its requirement from the PGA Professional is something they already do everyday. They will encourage golfers to trade in their clubs (for sale in the The Pro Shops), use their expertise to ensure authenticity and integrity, and to share their knowledge and passion for the game. This three-step “Play It On!” pledge will create the large and diverse inventory that we already know golfers are searching for — combined with their trust that their delivered product is what they purchased.

Andy Feierfeil, the Business Lead for Sporting Goods eBay, North America, echoed the enthusiasm.

“It’s in eBay’s DNA to enable connections across commerce,” Feierfeil stated. “And this partnership will further strengthen our lead in the online golf purchases industry by helping connect buyers to PGA Professionals. Anytime we can help golf enthusiasts of all playing levels get direct access to the right golf equipment for their game, it’s a winning proposition for everyone. And of course, more options for more golfers will only help grow the game.”

Golfers will be able to access The Pro Shops from multiple channels on PGA.com. Visitors on PGA.com will have the ability to see the latest products, read reviews or stories about them and further research them and purchase directly from a PGA Professional — all with a few simple clicks. Items, including merchandise, lessons and perhaps other services such as club fittings, will be available on both an auction and a “Buy It Now” option.

The second announcement concerned PGA.com’s partnership with the ACTIVE Network, the leader in cloud-based activity and participation management solutions.

This new program will allow PGA Professionals to easily list their instruction programs, junior golf camps, Get Golf Ready clinics, Play Golf America days and even tournaments to play in to an exponentially larger audience. For the golfer, this means a one-stop shop to search for these golf events in their area, sign up for ones that interest them and pay prior to arriving at the course.

“While we were looking at the game of golf from a consumer perspective, looking at how we could attract more golfers, we found that one of the biggest barriers to growing the game was the difficulty that many potential players faced in simply finding ways to become active participants,” said Allen Wronowski, President of the PGA of America. “Now with PGA.com and ACTIVE Network’s registration solution for PGA Professionals, golfers have an easy access to the resources and events in their area that can get them started in this wonderful game.”

ACTIVE Network, with over 8 million unique visitors to ACTIVE.com each month, is showing great enthusiasm and confidence in getting into the golf space.

“Through our strategic partnership with the PGA.com and this new directory and registration solution, we hope to create great experiences for people that are interested in getting active in the sport of golf,” said Ron Ward, general manager of Golf at ACTIVE Network. “Our technology is designed to help PGA Professionals manage their events more efficiently, promote them to a large audience of golfers and help grow participation by making it easy for those golfers to find and register for these programs.”

Both initiatives are designed in large part to help grow of the game — where a more robust marketplace will hopefully create easier solutions for golfers to find affordable golf equipment and the ease of signing up for golf events will mean increased participation in all facets of golf. PGA.com will continue to seek out initiatives and partnerships to serve all golfers — and more golfers; these two significant steps are a strong foundation for that goal.  

PGA.com touts two new partnerships designed to help grow the game

Of the thousands of great products, initiatives, seminars and announcements that came out of last week’s PGA Expo in Las Vegas, two in particular will resonate significantly here at PGA.com and hopefully in your golf life.

PGA.com is partnering with two well-known organizations to help foster more players learning and playing golf and also providing golfers with the most secure, confident and authentic buying experience of golf equipment online.

The first announcement has to do with the creation of The Pro Shops, a creation of the PGA Trade-In Network and eBay, where golfers can view, research and bid on golf merchandise within a designated PGA Trade-In Network branded shop on eBay. This means golfers such as yourself will be browsing through and potentially buying golf clubs, apparel and other merchandise that has been inspected, sourced and authenticated by PGA Professionals.

“It’s very significant that buyers can have full confidence that the golf merchandise — including clubs — they are bidding on, and ultimately receiving, via the world’s largest auction site have been authenticated and listed by the PGA Professional, the experts in the game and business of golf,” said Leigh Bader of the PGA Trade-In Network.

“This model works because it’s a simple, effective and needed program. Its requirement from the PGA Professional is something they already do everyday. They will encourage golfers to trade in their clubs (for sale in the The Pro Shops), use their expertise to ensure authenticity and integrity, and to share their knowledge and passion for the game. This three-step “Play It On!” pledge will create the large and diverse inventory that we already know golfers are searching for — combined with their trust that their delivered product is what they purchased.

Andy Feierfeil, the Business Lead for Sporting Goods eBay, North America, echoed the enthusiasm.

“It’s in eBay’s DNA to enable connections across commerce,” Feierfeil stated. “And this partnership will further strengthen our lead in the online golf purchases industry by helping connect buyers to PGA Professionals. Anytime we can help golf enthusiasts of all playing levels get direct access to the right golf equipment for their game, it’s a winning proposition for everyone. And of course, more options for more golfers will only help grow the game.”

Golfers will be able to access The Pro Shops from multiple channels on PGA.com. Visitors on PGA.com will have the ability to see the latest products, read reviews or stories about them and further research them and purchase directly from a PGA Professional — all with a few simple clicks. Items, including merchandise, lessons and perhaps other services such as club fittings, will be available on both an auction and a “Buy It Now” option.

The second announcement concerned PGA.com’s partnership with the ACTIVE Network, the leader in cloud-based activity and participation management solutions.

This new program will allow PGA Professionals to easily list their instruction programs, junior golf camps, Get Golf Ready clinics, Play Golf America days and even tournaments to play in to an exponentially larger audience. For the golfer, this means a one-stop shop to search for these golf events in their area, sign up for ones that interest them and pay prior to arriving at the course.

“While we were looking at the game of golf from a consumer perspective, looking at how we could attract more golfers, we found that one of the biggest barriers to growing the game was the difficulty that many potential players faced in simply finding ways to become active participants,” said Allen Wronowski, President of the PGA of America. “Now with PGA.com and ACTIVE Network’s registration solution for PGA Professionals, golfers have an easy access to the resources and events in their area that can get them started in this wonderful game.”

ACTIVE Network, with over 8 million unique visitors to ACTIVE.com each month, is showing great enthusiasm and confidence in getting into the golf space.

“Through our strategic partnership with the PGA.com and this new directory and registration solution, we hope to create great experiences for people that are interested in getting active in the sport of golf,” said Ron Ward, general manager of Golf at ACTIVE Network. “Our technology is designed to help PGA Professionals manage their events more efficiently, promote them to a large audience of golfers and help grow participation by making it easy for those golfers to find and register for these programs.”

Both initiatives are designed in large part to help grow of the game — where a more robust marketplace will hopefully create easier solutions for golfers to find affordable golf equipment and the ease of signing up for golf events will mean increased participation in all facets of golf. PGA.com will continue to seek out initiatives and partnerships to serve all golfers — and more golfers; these two significant steps are a strong foundation for that goal.  

PGA Trade-In Network + eBay launch The Pro Shops

Tuesday, August 21, marks the launch of The Pro Shops by PGA Trade-In Network + eBay, a new consumer retail experience allowing golfers to purchase equipment directly from PGA Professionals. The Pro Shops, an online storefront – available via PGA.com and eBay – provides the full inventory of equipment and services available through the eBay marketplace which have been listed by PGA Professionals.

The Pro Shops is a one-stop destination for equipment – both used and new – which PGA Professionals have sourced and inspected. PGA Professionals participating in the initiative agree to a “Play It On” pledge guaranteeing they will use their expertise to ensure authenticity and integrity; share their knowledge and passion for the game; and encourage the trade-in and resale of golf equipment.

The PGA Trade-In Network and PGA.com are managed by Turner Sports in partnership with the PGA of America. PGA Professionals will be identified with select badges used to designate their expert level and PGA Trade-In Network affiliation.

“The PGA Trade-In Network is a great opportunity for golfers to access equipment directly from PGA Professionals, the experts in the game and the business of golf,” said PGA of America President Allen Wronowski. “Golfers want the best available equipment from a trusted source. To have eBay assist in the transaction makes it an easy and enjoyable path to enjoying the game that much more.”

Christopher Payne, Head of eBay North America, said, “This is more than just a brand bringing a store on eBay; we view the PGA Trade-In Network as key partners in driving positive change in the world. I couldn’t be more pleased that we’re working together to create positive business and social impact.”

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 eBay Inc.
Founded in 1995 in San Jose, Calif., eBay Inc. (NASDAQ:EBAY) is a global commerce platform and payments leader connecting millions of buyers and sellers. We do so through eBay, the world’s largest online marketplace, which allows users to buy and sell in nearly every country on earth; through PayPal, which enables individuals and businesses to securely, easily and quickly send and receive digital payments; and through GSI, which facilitates ecommerce, multichannel retailing and digital marketing for global enterprises. X.commerce brings together the technology assets and developer communities of eBay, PayPal and Magento, an ecommerce platform, to support eBay Inc.’s mission of enabling commerce. We also reach millions through specialized marketplaces such as StubHub, the world’s largest ticket marketplace, and eBay classifieds sites, which together have a presence in more than 1,000 cities around the world. For more information about the company and its global portfolio of online brands, visit www.ebayinc.com.

About Turner Sports
Turner Sports, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., is an industry leader in televised and online sports programming, airing championship-level sporting events on TBS, TNT and truTV, and managing some of the most popular sports sites on the Internet. Turner Sports’ television lineup includes the NBA, Major League Baseball, the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, NASCAR and professional golf. The company’s digital portfolio includes Bleacher Report, NASCAR.COM, NCAA.com and March Madness Live, PGATOUR.COM and PGA.com, as well as an accompanying collection of mobile websites and connected device apps. Turner Sports and the NBA also jointly manage NBA Digital, which includes NBA TV, NBA.com, NBA LEAGUE PASS, NBA Mobile, the NBA Game Time App, NBADLEAGUE.com and WNBA.com. Visit the Turner Sports online pressroom for additional press materials; follow Turner Sports on Twitter at @TurnerSportsPR. 

2012 PGA Expo

2012 PGA Expo
August 20-22, 2012
The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino
Las Vegas, Nevada

Attendees: Click here for PGA Expo details
Twitter: Use hashtag #PGAE12

PHOTO GALLERIES
Monday: Demo Night | Tuesday: Opening Day

Scene and Heard: Tuesday
PGA.com Coordinating Producer John Kim is in Las Vegas to check out all the happenings at the PGA Expo. For his second report, he spent Tuesday roaming the Show floor and reporting on everything from the opening ceremony to new clothes and accessories that caught his eye.

2012 PGA Expo set to inspire golf industry
The 28th edition of the PGA Expo tees off Tuesday, with thousands of influential PGA Professionals, buyers and industry leaders joining 200-plus top golf companies and brands to build a marketplace of inspired solutions for merchandising top new products, learning effective business-building strategies and sharing best practices in growing the game.

Scene and Heard: Monday
PGA.com Coordinating Producer John Kim is in Las Vegas to check out all the happenings at the PGA Expo. For his first report, he braved the heat (for a little while, anyway) and dropped in on Demo Night (which actually began in the daylight).

PGA EXPO PREVIEW COVERAGE

PGA Expo attracts top vendors and buyers to Las Vegas
Thousands of industry professionals representing top golf destinations, resorts, golf clubs, retail stores, mass merchandisers and golf organizations from 47 U.S. states and 28 countries are expected to take advantage of a robust schedule of exhibits from more than 200 top golf companies and brands, indoor and outdoor product testing, fashion programs, education seminars, industry presentations and professional networking events.

PGA Expo adds new business resources to complement exhibits
PGA Professionals, golf retailers, apparel buyers and golf executives will be able to take advantage of a multitude of new product introductions, demonstrations, equipment testing opportunities, featured speakers, fashion programs, education seminars, professional networking events and business resources to create an industry environment that is a sure-bet investment in building business.

PGA Expo to begin with new Demo Night at Callaway Golf Center
The PGA Expo will kick off with an all-new Demo Night featuring product testing, instruction workshops, professional networking and a social golf outing at the Callaway Golf Center, just off the Las Vegas Strip, on Monday, Aug. 20. The PGA Expo Demo Night complements a full schedule of exhibits, main stage presentations, demonstrations, education seminars and professional networking events at the annual industry business gathering.

New Fashion Designer Panel identifies trends and crossover marketing
Leading golf and lifestyle fashion designers will discuss the latest trends and crossover merchandising opportunities during a new Fashion Designer Panel on the main stage in the Las Vegas Venetian Ballroom. The panel will be moderated by Golf Digest Fashion Director Marty Hackel and Win McMurry, Golf Channel reporter and resident fashion expert.

New instruction workshops set to be introduced at 2012 PGA Expo
PGA Professional Eric Alpenfels will present two new high-impact instruction workshops on Monday,  just prior to the PGA Expo Demo Night. A widely-recognized PGA teaching professional and director of the Pinehurst Golf Academy and instruction at Pinehurst Resort, Alpenfels will offer proven training techniques used to motivate, encourage and develop skills and participation of junior and women golfers in the workshops “The Players of Tomorrow” and “Connecting with Her.”

 

Elite 12-member U.S. Team announced for 2012 Junior Ryder Cup

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — An elite group of junior golfers representing seven states will host their European counterparts in the 8th Junior Ryder Cup, Sept. 24-25, at Olympia Fields (Ill.) Country Club.

The 2012 U.S. Team includes reigning Junior PGA Champion Robby Shelton of Wilmer, Ala., who captured boys’ title in the 37th Junior PGA Championship presented by Under Armour and Heritage Food Service Group, Aug. 3, at Sycamore Hills Golf Club in Fort Wayne, Ind.

Cameron Champ of Sacramento, Calif., and Samantha Wagner of Windermere, Fla., the respective runners-up in the boys’ and girls’ divisions of the 2012 Junior PGA Championship, also earned automatic spots.

The United States Team, comprised of six boys and six girls who are U.S. citizens and graduating high school in 2013, or younger, will face a European squad of junior golfers in the biennial competition.

PGA Past President Roger Warren of Kiawah Island, S.C., and fresh from serving as general chairman of the 94th PGA Championship, will Captain the U.S. Team.
Warren, the president of Kiawah Island (S.C.) Golf Resort, will guide an American team that is attempting to capture the Junior Ryder Cup for a third consecutive time.

“I am really excited about the team this year. Their experience and quality of play is tremendous,” said Warren, who served as PGA president from 2004-05. “They are all great young players I know they will perform well.”

Warren said that he wants to ensure that each junior has both an unforgettable experience and develops relationships with both the U.S. and European Teams.
“I know that both teams will play hard, and the quality of play from both teams will be at an extremely high level,” said Warren. “But we also want to make sure this is a way for them to get to know each other, become friends, and have a great life experience.”

Shelton, who claimed the 2012 Junior PGA Championship title by three strokes, said that he was keeping a berth on the Junior Ryder Cup Team in the back of his mind.

“I have never been on a team like this before and just to have a spot on the team is great,” said Shelton, 17. “It will be a huge honor and something I will never forget.”

Wagner, 15, also is looking forward to competing for her country in September.

“I played well all week at the Junior PGA Championship and put myself in a position to make the team,” said Wagner, a 2015 high school graduate, who was making her second appearance in the Junior PGA Championship. “And now I get to play in the Junior Ryder Cup. I am so excited about that opportunity.”

Joining the automatic qualifiers from the Junior PGA Championship are Beau Hossler of Mission Viejo, Calif., and Alison Lee of Valencia, Calif., who were first on the U.S. Junior Ryder Cup points list in the boys’ and girls’ rankings.

Hossler has competed in the last two U.S. Open Championships, finishing in a tie for 29th in 2012 at The Olympic Club in San Francisco. The 17-year-old finished in a tie for seventh in the 2011 Junior PGA Championship, and tied for 9th in 2012.

Lee, who was a member of the 2012 U.S. Junior Ryder Cup team, finished third in the 2012 Junior PGA Championship and was runner-up in the 2012 U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship.

Warren also announced his seven Captains’ picks, four in the girls’ division and three in the boys’ division.

Warren’s selections in the girls division were: Casie Cathrea of Livermore, Calif., a quarterfinalist in the 2012 U.S. Girls’ Championship who finished in a tie for sixth in the 2012 Junior PGA Championship; Karen Chung of Livingston, N.J., the runner-up in the 2008 U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship; Casey Danielson of Osceola, Wis., a quarterfinalist in the 2011 U.S. Women’s Amateur who finished third in the 2011 Junior PGA Championship; and Esther Lee of Los Alamitos, Calif., who tied for 8th in the 2012 Junior PGA Championship and was a member of the 2011 Junior Solheim Cup Team.

The boys’ Captain selections were: Gavin Hall of Pittsford, N.Y., the 2011 Junior Players Champion and three-time Junior Boys Amateur Champion, Jim Liu of Smithtown, N.Y., a member of the 2010 U.S. Junior Ryder Cup team who in 2010 became the youngest U.S. Junior Amateur Champion in the events history; and Scottie Scheffler of Dallas, Texas, the 2012 Texas State Boys 4A Champion who finished in a tie for 15th at the 2012 Junior PGA Championship.

Participants in the 2012 Junior Ryder Cup will also play a “Friendship” Match on Sept. 26, at Medinah (Ill.) Country Club, site of the 39th Ryder Cup.
The match will feature a combined mixed four-ball, with six groupings of four players that includes one girl and one boy from both Europe and the United States. The teams will play a composite course, blending both front-nine and back-nine holes.
2012 U.S. Junior Ryder Cup Team

Girls
Casie Cathrea – Livermore, Calif.
Karen Chung – Livingston, N.J.
Casey Danielson – Osceola, Wis.
Alison Lee – Valencia, Calif.
Esther Lee – Los Alamitos, Calif.
Samantha Wagner – Windermere, Fla.

Boys
Cameron Champ – Sacramento, Calif.
Gavin Hall – Pittsford, N.Y.
Beau Hossler – Mission Viejo, Calif.
Jim Liu – Smithtown, N.Y.
Scottie Scheffler – Dallas, Texas
Robby Shelton – Wilmer, Ala.

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.