Archives for November 2013

2013 PGA of America Annual Meeting

By john.holmes

2013 PGA Annual Meeting

Montana Pritchard/The PGA of America

Southern California PGA Executive Director Tom Addis; Honorary President Allen Wronowski; Steven Hill, Chief of Staff for San Diego Interim Mayor Todd Gloria; and San Diego Chapter President Susan Roll pose for a photo during the San Diego Golf Festival on Wednesday.

More than 350 PGA Professionals have gathered at the San Diego Hotel & Marina for the 97th PGA Annual Meeting. Delegates, comprised of PGA Board members, Past Presidents and representatives of all 41 PGA Sections, will bring into focus the plans that The PGA is developing to further advance golf and empower PGA Professionals to grow the game.

Following the theme of “Charting Our Course,” delegates will experience a highly interactive and engaging Annual Meeting through such new elements such as a PGA Annual Meeting App (which delegates can download in advance), and a live Twitter feed. PGA leaders also will hear from former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who will focus his keynote address on leadership, and PGA member Lee Trevino, the recipient of the 2013 PGA Distinguished Service Award.

Lynn Swann, who helped lead the Pittsburgh Steelers to four Super Bowl wins in the 1970s and 1980s, has been named the new Independent Director on the PGA of America Board of Directors. Swann, who sits on the Board of Directors of several corporations and owns a marketing and consulting company, replaces John Jacob and will serve a three-year term.

San Diego Golf Day kicked off the PGA of America’s 97th Annual Meeting on Wednesday. San Diego Interim Mayor Todd Gloria issued a proclamation declaring Nov. 20 as “San Diego Golf Day” at the Balboa Park Festival, and many activities were available for all ages, including SNAG, Birdieball and the PGA Sports Academy, and the Mercedes-Benz Performance Center.

Source: http://www.pga.com/news/pga/2013-pga-america-annual-meeting

Brian Cairns at Champions Tour Q-School

Bobby Clampett earns PGA Master Professional status in Teaching & Coaching

By john.holmes

Bobby Clampett

Getty Images

Bobby Clampett has become the first PGA Tour or Champions Tour player to earn the designation of PGA Master Professional in Teaching and Coaching.

Most of us know Bobby Clampett for his 15 years on the PGA Tour player and, more recently, a couple years on the Champions Tour, along with his work as a golf analyst for CBS, TNT and the Golf Channel. Now, though, he’s added a new achievement: He’s a PGA Master Professional in Teaching and Coaching.

Clampett, 53, has become the third PGA Professional to graduate from the new PGA Master Professional Program 2.0 – the highest educational designation a PGA member can attain. He is also the first PGA Tour or Champions Tour player to be certified in instruction through this advanced program.

“It is a distinct honor, as a member of the PGA Tour, to receive the PGA Master Professional designation, particularly since instruction is so close to my heart,” said Clampett. “This also is a significant milestone for me, one that commemorates my development of Impact-Based teaching, as presented in my book, ‘The Impact Zone,’ and my new video series, ‘The Impact-Zone Training System, ‘ which started me on the path to completing the PGA Master Professional program.

”My primary goal is for all golfers to understand how to improve faster and easier and enjoy the game more.”

TIP OF THE DAY: PGA’s Ron Philo Jr. on how to hit a bunker shot from an uneven lie

The PGA Master Professional Program is available to PGA Professionals who have earned advanced certification through the PGA Certified Professional Program, which was launched in 2004. After a PGA member obtains PGA Certified Professional status, he or she is eligible to work toward a Master Professional designation by preparing a special project approved by a panel of examiners from the PGA Education Department. The applicant then presents the project to a panel and defends his or her methodology.

The curriculum is comprised of an extensive project based on the specific certification that the PGA member has acquired. The project includes a detailed demonstration overseen and evaluated by PGA Master Professionals, PGA Subject Matter Experts and professional testing consultants. A PGA member becomes a Master Professional upon approval of the project and successful completion of a presentation (which includes a Live Lesson for the Teaching & Coaching Certification).

The program requires a minimum of eight years of PGA membership in order to be eligible to earn PGA Master Professional status.

Source: http://www.pga.com/news/golf-buzz/bobby-clampett-earns-pga-master-professional-status-in-teaching-coaching

2013 PGA Annual Meeting will focus on strategic plan for growing golf

By john.kim

2013 PGA Annual Meeting

Montana Pritchard/The PGA of America

Southern California PGA Executive Director Tom Addis, Honorary President Allen Wronowski, San Diego Interim Mayor Todd Gloria and San Diego Chapter President Susan Roll pose for a photo Wednesday during the San Diego Golf Festival at the 97th PGA Annual Meeting at Balboa Park.

SAN DIEGO – More than 350 PGA Professionals are expected to gather this week (Nov. 21-23) at the San Diego Hotel & Marina for the 97th PGA Annual Meeting. Delegates, comprised of PGA Board members, Past Presidents and representatives of all 41 PGA Sections, will bring into focus the plans that The PGA is developing to further advance golf and empower PGA Professionals to grow the game.

Following the theme of “Charting Our Course,” delegates will experience a highly interactive and engaging Annual Meeting, through such new elements such as a PGA Annual Meeting App (which delegates can download in advance), and a live Twitter feed. PGA leaders also will hear from former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who will focus his keynote address on leadership, and PGA member Lee Trevino, the recipient of the 2013 PGA Distinguished Service Award.

“To be able to glean insight from such notable figures as Mayor Giuliani and Lee Trevino is a rare opportunity for our delegates,” said PGA of America President Ted Bishop. “It’s exciting to hear from high-profile figures and I also want our delegates to be heard and know that their input is part of the collaborative effort to better serve our members and the game.”

Joining Bishop and Chief Executive Officer Pete Bevacqua are Vice President Derek Sprague and Secretary Paul Levy. In San Diego, they will call upon the delegates, representing the 27,000 men and women PGA Professionals, to produce greater dialogue and conversation at the Association’s largest governance event.

In addition to the remarks from Giuliani on Saturday, Nov. 23, seven new members of the PGA Board of Directors will be sworn in, including Pro Football Hall of Famer Lynn Swann, who will become one of two Independent Directors on the Board. The others to be sworn in (all serve three-year terms):

” District 1 Director: Donnie Lyons, PGA general manager and director of golf, Town of Lynnfield (Mass.) – Reedy Meadow Golf Course & King Rail Golf Course. (Connecticut, New England, Northeastern New York)

” District 2 Director: Dan Pasternak, PGA general manager, Panther Valley Golf and Country Club, Allamuchy, N.J. (Metropolitan, New Jersey, Philadelphia)

” District 5 Director: Chad Seymour, PGA head professional, Westfield Group Country Club, Westfield Center, Ohio (Michigan, Northern Ohio, Southern Ohio)

” District 10 Director: Rick Murphy, Rick Murphy Golf & Practice Center, Greensboro, N.C. (Carolinas, Kentucky, Middle Atlantic)

” District 13 Director: Jack Binswanger, owner/manager, Village Green Golf Club, Sarasota, Fla. (Georgia, North Florida, South Florida)

” District 14 Director: Dan Hill, PGA Master Professional, Broadmoor Golf Club, Seattle, Wash. (Pacific Northwest, Southwest)

Bob Beach, PGA head professional at Braintree (Mass.) Municipal Golf Course, will receive the fifth annual Patriot Award, honoring a PGA Professional who personifies patriotism through the game of golf and demonstrates unwavering commitment and dedication to the industry.

The Tennessee PGA Section will be honored with the Herb Graffis Award for extraordinary and exemplary contributions in Player Development whether by conducting or supporting Play Golf America initiatives.

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.

Source: http://www.pga.com/news/pga/2013-pga-annual-meeting-will-focus-strategic-plan-growing-golf

Michigan Golf Hall of Fame Finds a Future Home at Ferris State University

BIG RAPIDS, Mich. – As the birthplace of the Professional Golf Management academic program, Ferris State University is already well respected in the golf industry. That well-earned reputation was just one of the reasons it was selected as the future home of the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame.

For more than a year, hall of fame staff searched for a permanent location to display its collection of plaques, portraits and memorabilia commemorating its 101 members, a roster that includes such notables as Elaine Crosby, Walter Hagen, Dave and Mike Hill, Chuck Kocsis, Meg Mallon, Horton Smith, Rick Smith and Al Watrous. As part of that search, the state’s golf community responded with proposals to partner with the Michigan Golf Foundation, a nonprofit corporation with a mission to preserve the legacy of the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame.

After careful study of the submitted proposals, the Michigan Golf Foundation focused on a plan presented by Ferris. The foundation saw Ferris’ proposal as an ideal collaborative opportunity that was mutually beneficial.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for both organizations,” said Fritz Balmer, president of the Michigan Golf Foundation and chair of the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame Committee.“What better place to exhibit the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame portraits, plaques and memorabilia, in an interactive manner, than at Ferris State University, the birthplace of the Professional Golf Management curriculum. Putting the students in touch with golf history and the people who made that history is a perfect fit. We are extremely fortunate.”

Praise for the new partnership was echoed by university officials. Fritz Erickson, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, saluted the teaching and learning opportunities this collaborative effort will create.

“We are delighted to host the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame at Ferris State University,” Erickson said.“The Michigan Golf Hall of Fame will provide an exceptional teaching and learning opportunity for our PGM students and visitors to our campus.

“We look forward to using the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame to help us celebrate the golf industry and inspire our students who are passionately pursuing careers in this important industry for our state,” he added.

Bob McMasters, a past foundation president, made establishing a home for the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame a top priority during his leadership. Along with late founder Ken Janke, McMasters helped transition the hall of fame from its original home, at Indianwood Golf and Country Club in Lake Orion, to its most recent location, in Troy.

“It is wonderful news that the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame has found a permanent home at Ferris State University,”McMasters said. “Ferris has the resources and contacts to ensure a sustainable and successful future for the hall of fame.”

Dan Pohl, a Mount Pleasant native, is one of the state’s most successful competitive golfers. He was elected to the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame in 2004 and is among the inductees who are excited about a new home.

“With its long association with the game, Ferris is an ideal home for the hall of fame,” Pohl said. “I’m very pleased to learn of this exciting news.”

Aaron Waltz, director of Ferris’PGM program, appreciates what this opportunity means for the university’s golf management students.

“I am extremely excited about the relocation of the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame to Ferris State University,”said Waltz, director of a program that was the first of its kind sanctioned by the Professional Golfers’ Association of America in 1975. “This not only allows the hall of fame to have a new home, but gives all of the Ferris PGA Golf Management students the opportunity to understand the rich history and tradition of excellent golf in Michigan.”

Janke, with the support of Indianwood owner Stan Aldridge, started the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame in 1982. The hall’s first class included Hagen, a legendary showman golfer; Kocsis, Michigan’s own version of Bobby Jones; and Watrous, who was runner-up to Jones in the 1926 British Open.

The Michigan Hall of Fame Committee, a subset of the Michigan Golf Foundation, includes 17 members representing a cross-section of the major golf organizations and media, and conducts an annual election for the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame. The Hall recognizes the achievements of competitive Michigan players, but also those of individuals who have contributed to the growth of the game. Find out more at http://www.michigan-golf-foundation.com/.

Annika Sorenstam receives 2013 PGA First Lady of Golf Award

By john.kim

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – PGA/LPGA Professional Annika Sörenstam, who followed one of the most decorated careers in women’s golf history by becoming a spokesperson for improving the health of the next generation, has been named the recipient of the 2013 PGA First Lady of Golf Award.
The PGA First Lady of Golf Award, inaugurated in 1998 and presented biennially since 2011, is bestowed upon a woman who has made significant contributions to the promotion of the game of golf.

Sörenstam, 43, will be honored at The PGA of America Awards, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014, during the 61st PGA Merchandise Show at the Orange County Convention Center’s Chapin Theater in Orlando, Fla.

Born in Bro, Sweden, Sörenstam is the first internationally born golfer to be named PGA First Lady of Golf and is the third award recipient with dual PGA of America and LPGA membership, following Renee Powell (2003) and Carol Mann (2008). Sörenstam was elected to PGA membership on April 19, 2013, and is a member of the North Florida PGA Section.

“Annika’s impact upon women’s golf in the modern era has been remarkable, setting a standard that may never be touched,” said PGA of America President Ted Bishop. “Her commitment to fitness and excellence made her a legend on the course, but her legacy in the game also includes a sincere dedication to growing a healthy next generation and inspiring future young women through golf. The PGA is honored to now call her the 2013 PGA First Lady of Golf.”

The winner of 89 worldwide professional events on the LPGA and Ladies European Tour, including 10 major championships, Sörenstam owns 29 top-10 finishes in 57 lifetime major appearances. In 2003, she was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame and stepped away from competitive golf in May 2008. She remains the LPGA’s all-time money leader ($22 million).

Sörenstam has since devoted her off-course career to being a mother and building her ANNIKA-branded businesses. They include a teaching academy, golf course design firm, financial-planning group, apparel collection, signature wines and a charitable foundation, which teaches children how to live a healthy, active lifestyle through fitness and nutrition while also inspiring junior female golfers with playing opportunities.

“I have been so fortunate throughout my life to have people who helped pave the way for me to work hard and exceed my goals on and off the course,” said Sörenstam. “I truly feel like I am living a dream and want to help the next generation do the same. It’s gratifying that The PGA of America has taken notice of our programming that offers junior girls the opportunity to play first-class tournaments around the world, while also educating them about the importance of health and wellness. I’m flattered to be named the 2013 PGA First Lady of Golf.”

Sörenstam was a nationally ranked junior tennis player and standout skier before turning her attention to golf at age 12, sharing her first set of clubs with her sister, Charlotta, who also became an LPGA Tour Professional. Sörenstam became a highly successful amateur player and attended the University of Arizona, where she became the first foreign-born freshman to win the NCAA national championship, in 1991. She earned All-American honors in 1991-92, and finished runner-up in the 1992 U.S. Women’s Amateur and the NCAA national championship.

She turned professional in 1992, missing her LPGA Tour card in Qualifying School by one stroke and competed on the Ladies European Tour. Sörenstam played in three 1993 LPGA Tour events, earning more than $47,000, a season in which she had four runner-up finishes on the Ladies European Tour and was that Tour’s 1993 Rookie of the Year.

She earned her LPGA Tour card in 1994 and won her first professional title at the 1994 Holden Women’s Australian Open. That same season, Sörenstam was the LPGA Rookie of the Year after three top-10 finishes, including a share of second in the Women’s British Open. She also made her Solheim Cup debut that year.

In 1995, Sörenstam began her march to golf history by making the U.S. Women’s Open her first victory on the LPGA Tour. She finished No. 1 on the LPGA money list and became the first non-American winner of the Vare Trophy for season scoring excellence. She became the second player ever to be Player of the Year and Vare Trophy winner the year after being Rookie of the Year.

Her victory in the 1995 Australian Ladies Masters, and two other wins on the Ladies European Tour (LET), put her atop the LET Order of Merit. Sörenstam became the first player to top both the European and LPGA Tour money lists in the same season.

She is a two-time recipient (1995, 2003) of the Jerringpris, Sweden’s most prestigious sports award. In October 2003, Sörenstam became the first international player to be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame through the LPGA criteria.

In 2001, Sörenstam advanced her fitness regimen and won eight LPGA Tour events, including the Standard Register PING Championship where she recorded a 59 in the second round. She thus became the first and only woman professional to accomplish the feat. In 2003, Sörenstam won 11 LPGA events to match the single-season record of legend Mickey Wright. That same year, she competed in the Colonial, thereby becoming the first female professional to play in a PGA Tour event since Babe Zaharias in 1945. Also in 2001, Sörenstam won the LPGA Championship and the Women’s British Open, becoming the sixth player to complete the LPGA Career Grand Slam.

Sörenstam competed on eight European Solheim Cup Teams, posting a 22-11-4 record. She is the No. 2 all-time point-winner (24) in event history. In 2008, she won the Michelob ULTRA Open at Kingsmill, which was her 72nd and final win on the LPGA Tour.

After stepping away from the tour, Sörenstam combined golf, fitness and charitable works into various businesses under the ANNIKA brand with the tagline, “Share My Passion.” Her golf course design business has taken her to Asia, South Africa and Europe. In 2007, she opened the ANNIKA Academy at Reunion Resort in Orlando, Fla.

“The tagline, ‘Share My Passion,’ pertains to all my businesses, but also my life in general,” said Sörenstam. “I think it is so important to be 100 percent committed to everything you do while also sharing your experiences with others. I am passionate about many things like my family, having balance in life, good food and wine, growing the game of golf, living a healthy active lifestyle, my businesses and helping children. Empowering the next generation to follow their dreams is extremely gratifying and my way of giving back and paying tribute to those who were there before me.”

Sörenstam is the International Ambassador for The First Tee’s Nine Healthy Habits, and sponsors an American Junior Golf Association invitation-only event featuring the top-72 junior girl players from around the world. It is one of four global competitions hosted by the ANNIKA Foundation for junior female golfers.

Sörenstam and her husband, Mike McGee, live in Orlando, Fla., and are parents of a daughter, Ava 4, and a son, William, 2.

PGA First Lady of Golf Recipients
1998 Barbara Nicklaus
1999 Judy Rankin
2000 No recipient
2001 Judy Bell
2002 Nancy Lopez
2003 Renee Powell
2004 Alice Dye
2005 Carol Semple Thompson
2006 Kathy Whitworth
2007 Peggy Kirk Bell
2008 Carol Mann
2009 Donna Caponi-Byrnes
2010 No recipient
2011 Mary Bea Porter-King
2013 Annika Sörenstam

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.

Source: http://www.pga.com/news/pga/annika-sorenstam-receives-2013-pga-first-lady-golf-award

PGA and PGA TOUR increase collaboration

By jeremy.friedman

On Tuesday, Novemeber 6th, PGA of America President Ted Bishop and PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem announced exciting new initiatives that will expand collaboration, increase prize money purses, and improve efforts to grow the game of golf for years to come.

Source: http://www.pga.com/news/news-feature/pga-and-pga-tour-increase-collaboration-video

Frank Bensel wins PGA Assistant Champ’ship record-tying third time

By john.holmes

Frank Bensel at the PGA Assistant Championship

Megan Blank/The PGA of America

Frank Bensel became just the second player to win three PGA Assistant Championship titles on Sunday, adding this one to his victories in 2010 and 2011.

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. – Frank Bensel of Purchase, N.Y., made history Sunday at PGA Golf Club, becoming just the second player to win three PGA Assistant Championship titles.

Under blustery conditions on the Wanamaker Course, Bensel closed with a 3-under-par 69 for a 10-under-par 278 total and cruised to victory by six strokes in the 37th National Car Rental PGA Assistant Championship presented by COBRA PUMA GOLF.

2013 NATIONAL CAR RENTAL PGA ASSISTANT CHAMPIONSHIP

Click here to return to our complete coverage of the 2013 National Car Rental PGA Assistant Championship.

Bensel, who previously won the Championship in 2010 and 2011, joined Kyle Flinton of Edmond, Okla., who captured the National Championship in 2002, ’03 and ’05.

“All three victories have been very different,” said Bensel, PGA assistant professional at Century Country Club in Purchase, N.Y. “It was great to win my first in 2010. I finished an hour before the leaders in 2011. And this one feels good because I was in the final group and played really well.”

Charles Frost of Charlotte, N.C., finished second after a final-round 76 for a 284 total. Jeff Seavey of Homosassa, Fla., and Ray Franz Jr. of Mt. Pleasant, S.C., tied for third at 286.

Bensel, 45, trailed Frost and Jeff Schmid of Columbia, Mo., by one stroke heading into the final round. But an eagle on the par-5 first hole and a birdie on the par-4 second hole gave him the lead for good.

“I hit some good shots and got in the right position on the first two holes,” said Bensel, who celebrated his sixth wedding anniversary on Sunday in style. “The greens were absolutely perfect. I got a good feel for them throughout the week. Obviously an eagle-birdie start is not quite what you would expect, but it worked out well.”

Though Bensel would have earned an automatic spot in the 47th PGA Professional National Championship, June 22-25, 2014, in Myrtle Beach, S.C., by winning the PGA Assistant Championship, he already had earned a berth by finishing in a tie for fifth at the 2013 Metropolitan PGA Professional Championship earlier this year.

“I feel fortunate to have played this well this many times in such a great event,” said Bensel. “I love this golf course and I really love playing in Florida.”

Frost, PGA assistant professional at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, N.C., was not able to overcome a pair of double bogeys on his front nine, but did battle back with two birdies on the back nine to finish alone in second.

“I’m proud of how I played this week, for the most part,” said Frost, 37. “I’m not happy about how I finished, but it still feels good to finish second.”

Frost was very impressed by the play of Bensel in the final round.

“Frank’s front nine was probably the best nine holes of golf I’ve ever seen,” said Frost. “I’ve played golf with guys who have shot 59 before. He made it from everywhere and hit it close seemingly on every hole. And the wind was howling and really tough. It was cool to watch.”

Schmid, the 36- and 54-hole leader, finished in a tie for seventh place.

Ashley Grier of Hagerstown, Md., the first female to compete in the Championship since 2011, shot 76 in the final round and finished in a tie for 33rd place.

The 126-player field for the National Championship featured three of the top four finishers from last year’s Championship as well as 123 players who advanced through their PGA Section Championships.

Source: http://www.pga.com/news/pga/frank-bensel-wins-pga-assistant-championship-record-tying-third-time

2013 PGA Jones Cup presented by High Definition Golf

By john.holmes

Campbell University

Montana Pritchard/The PGA of America

Campbell University won the PGA Jones Cup for a record-tying third time and by a whopping 17-shot margin in 2012.

2013 PGA Jones Cup presented by High Definition Golf
When: Nov. 5-6
Where: PGA Golf Club, Port St. Lucie, Fla.
Defending Champion: Campbell University
Format: The 36-hole tournament features the top five players from each PGA Golf Management University. All participating schools are accredited by The PGA of America to offer the 4 1/2 to 5-year PGA Golf Management University Program for aspiring PGA Professionals.
What’s at Stake: Possession of the PGA Jones Cup
2012: Relive Campbell’s victory

Who’s in the field: Full list of players and teams (.pdf)
Join the conversation: Use hashtag #PGAJonesCup on Twitter

PREVIEW COVERAGE
Field for 12th PGA Jones Cup set, with 19 universities set to compete
A total of 19 teams from across the country will contest the PGA Jones Cup presented by High Definition Golf. The 36-hole National Championship for PGA Golf Management Universities will feature 95 players (five from each school), with both Defending Champion Campbell University and Mississippi State University vying for a record fourth title.

PGA Jones Cup announces High Definition Golf as presenting sponsor
High Definition Golf (HD Golf) has been named the presenting sponsor of the 2013 PGA Jones Cup, the national championship for the 19 PGA Golf Management Universities nationwide, at PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Fla., Nov. 5-6.

Source: http://www.pga.com/news/pga/2013-pga-jones-cup-presented-high-definition-golf

The PGA of America hosts a special guest from Egypt

By john.kim

PGA mentors Hayam Essam

Photo: Courtesy The PGA of America

The PGA of America’s Sandy Cross (left) and Christine Garrity (center) helped host and mentor Egypt’s Hayam Essam.

For three weeks in September and October, The PGA of America hosted one of the 16 women from around the world who participated in the U.S. Department of State and espnW Global Sports Mentoring Program. Now in its second year, this program supports the United States global commitment toward advancing the rights and participation of women and girls globally, using sports as a vehicle towards greater opportunity and inclusion.

Christine Garrity, chief administrative officer & general counsel, and Sandy Cross, director of women’s & new market initiatives for The PGA, served as mentors to Hayam Essam of Egypt. They provided Essam with valuable skills, experience, and access to networks that can lead to future opportunities back in her home community. The mentors also helped construct a strategic action plan with Essam, in an effort to create additional sports opportunities for underserved women and girls in Egypt.

Essam, 32, has played basketball at the highest levels in Egypt, representing both her university and the national team. A former captain of Egypt’s Shooting Club premier women’s team, Essem is currently supervising two women’s basketball teams in her home country and is the only female serving on the governing basketball committee.

Through this program, Essam is looking to provide opportunities for girls and women to become leaders in the predominately male sports environment in Egypt. While her initial focus will utilize basketball to provide life and social skills for girls ages 9-11, Essam hopes to expand her efforts to eventually include other sports.

To help shape her action plan, Essam met with nearly every department at PGA headquarters in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

The U.S. Department of State and espnW Global Sports Mentoring Program is consistent with The PGA’s strategic focus on making the game more inclusive for women and girls, as well as golf’s increasing international relevance as the sport prepares to return to the 2016 Olympic Games.

In addition to The PGA, other entities participating in the program include: ESPN, NCAA, NHL, Proctor & Gamble, United States Olympic Committee and WNBA.

PGALinks.com sat with Essam at the end of her stay to talk about her first visit to the United States and her participation in the Global Sports Mentoring Program …

Q: Why did you want to become involved in the Program?

The Global Sports Mentoring Program provided a unique opportunity for me to help underserved girls in Egypt. There is definitely a need in my country to help young girls learn life and social skills in a stable, secure, supervised environment, something that would not have been possible two short years ago.

Q: How long was the process; what did you have to do to be accepted in the program?

I found out about this program through a friend in March 2013, and submitted my application about an hour before the deadline. I went through interviews at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and two-to-three interviews via Skype with the University of Tennessee, which coordinates the program. I found out I was accepted into the program just a few weeks before I was scheduled to come to the United States.

Q: What did you know about golf prior to your visit? Where you assigned to The PGA?

I had no prior golf experience, but based on the program I want to establish in Egypt, The PGA was the perfect fit for me. I was able to take a golf lesson while in South Florida and enjoyed it more than I thought I would. I’ve already talked to friends back home about taking lessons and playing golf when we can.

Q: You arrived in Washington, D.C., a week prior to coming to The PGA. Tell us what that was like?

It was my first experience in the United States, so I was pretty nervous. I didn’t really know what to expect. I was able to meet the other woman in the program and learn a little of their goals.

Q: Having been in the United States for a month now, what are your impressions?

I am so impressed with the willingness of the staff at The PGA to share their knowledge. Everyone was so helpful and friendly, and I can tell everyone has a passion for what they do just by the way they speak about The PGA. I have made life-long friends and will be very sad to leave.

Q: Did you try anything new while in South Florida?

Oysters. Nobody thought I would try this and it wasn’t until I posted a picture on Facebook did they believe me. I also tried paddle boarding for the first time; at home, we have “sand boarding” which is just like snowboarding except on sand!

Q: Tell us about your typical day at The PGA …

I was able to participate in several meetings each day, listening to many PGA staff members as they talk about their programs and initiatives. I would also work on the strategic plan I’m developing for my program, and talk to people about how to implement it.

Q: You spent a day at The First Tee in St. Augustine, Fla. Why did you go there and what did you learn?

I was able to spend several hours at The First Tee, meeting with a number of people. Their program is a perfect model for me, as they look to empowers youngsters through sports by teaching them life and social skills in a stable, secure, supervised environment.

Q: How do you believe your experience at The PGA of America can assist you with your goals back home?

For me, it was a life-changing experience, both personal and for my career. Meeting new people and trying new things have given me added confidence to go back to Egypt and begin to implement my program. I now realize there are people out there who can help and who care about what I want to do in my country. By playing sports, you learn a lot about what can help you in life.

Source: http://www.pga.com/pga-america/pga-feature/pga-hosts-guest-egypt