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/.

Cairns rallies, wins his third Michigan PGA Professional Championship

ROCHESTER – Brian Cairns at age 49 has learned to finish golf tournaments in the proper fashion, as in a 12-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole of the Katke course at Oakland University to take his first lead of the tournament.

   “With the age and the experience there’s a certain peace,” he said after winning the 93rd Michigan PGA Professional Championship presented by Club Car, Mercedes-Benz and OMEGA Wednesday.Cairns Trophy pic

  “This is good, just a good feeling. I birdied four of the last five holes, and that’s the way to finish.”

   The closing 3-under-par 69 for 7-under-par 209 earned him the Gilbert A. Currie Trophy for the third time in his career (1996, 2000 and 2013), the $6,000 first-place check and sends him off to the PGA Professional National Championship once again. The top nine finishers who were otherwise not exempt earned spots in the national championship for club and teaching professionals next may in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

    Cairns, a professional from Fox Hills Golf & Banquet Center in Plymouth, rushed from six shots back, but his rally was late and for a while overshadowed by the rally defending champion Scott Hebert fashioned. Hebert, who has won six of the last eight Michigan PGA Professional Championships, shot a 66 with nine birdies in the first 14 holes and had just 23 putts for his round. He posted his 6-under-210 total and watched the final groups finish.

   “I didn’t push it any more than I normally do, I just made more putts,” said Hebert, who is exempt for the national championship as the 2008 winner. “I had just 23. I don’t think I’ve ever had just 23. Where I goofed up was on the last three holes. They are all possible birdies and not to make one in there, well, it’s just not good enough to win.”

   Matt Pesta of Beacon Hill Golf Club Chesterfield, co-leader starting the final round with Jack Seltzer, was at 8-under-par through 12 holes of play, but carded a pair of double-bogey 6 scores at Nos. 13 and 17 to shoot 73 for 211 and third place.

   Brent Goulding, the head pro at Prestwick Village in Highland, was 9-under-par with six holes to play but made five bogeys on the way in for a 73 and 212. Gary Lewandowski of St. Ives Golf Club in Stanwood also finished at 212 with a closing 72.

  Cairns, Pesta, Goulding and Lewandowski will be joined at the national championship by Frank McAuliffe of the Kendall Golf Academy at Miles of Golf in Ypsilanti, who shot 67 for 213, Ron Beurmann of the Country Club of Jackson, who shot 71 for 214, David Tokarsky of Saginaw Country Club, who shot 71 for 214, Christopher Johnson of Thousand Oaks Golf Club in Grand Rapids, who shot 71 for 216 and Tom Harding of the Kendall Golf Academy, who shot 74 for 216.Cairns pic

  Cairns said he didn’t know the scoring situation until standing on No. 18 tee.

  “We had been passing scoreboards and saw the lead at 9-under at one point,” he said. “Once I heard that I had a chance, I was jacked up. It was time to finish with a birdie.”

  He said the final putt had one-cup of break and his older brother and caddie Kevin agreed.

  “It was a perfect one cup,” Cairns said. “And it’s perfect to win this. This is the pinnacle of the (Michigan PGA) section. This is what I really want to win every year. To me this is bigger than the (Michigan) Open, bigger than everything else.”

For Final Results and Payout click HERE

For live scoring please click HERE


 The Michigan PGA Professional Championship is presented by Club Car, Mercedes-Benz and OMEGA with supporting sponsors Titleist/Footjoy, Nike Golf, TaylorMade-adidas, Ashworth Golf and the PGA Tour. Justin Phillips of the Michigan PGA is the tournament director. He can be reached at 517-641-7421 or JPhillips@michiganpga.com. The media contact for the event is Greg Johnson. He can be reached at 616-560-8995 or greggie24@hotmail.com.


Rose becomes second to qualify for PGA Grand Slam of Golf

Before the start of the 113th U.S. Open, many thought that Merion Golf Club — a short course by U.S. Open standards — wouldn’t be too stern a test for the best players in the world.

Boy, were the critics ever wrong.

When it ended, England’s Justin Rose earned his first major victory on a brutal Sunday at Merion. Rose shot a final-round, even-par 70. His 1-over 281 total was two shots better than Jason Day and Phil Mickelson, who tied for second at 3 over.

With his amazing victory — the first for an Englishman since Tony Jacklin in 1970 — Rose earned the second spot in the field for the 2013 PGA Grand Slam of Golf at Port Royal Golf Course in Southampton, Bermuda, Oct. 14-16, alongside Masters champion Adam Scott.

The PGA Grand Slam of Golf features a $1.35 million purse, with the winner receiving $600,000, second place $300,000, third place $250,000 and fourth place $200,000.

TNT’s prime-time broadcast of the event reaches a worldwide audience of 88.9 million U.S. homes and international viewers in more than 100 countries.The PGA Grand Slam of Golf is hosted by the Bermuda Department of Tourism, Port Royal Golf Course, and the Fairmont Southampton Hotel.

Established in 1979, the PGA Grand Slam of Golf has grown from an 18-hole, single-day charity event to a 36-hole annual showdown that matches professional golf’s best against each other.

The remainder of the foursome for the 2013 PGA Grand Slam of Golf features the winners of the Open Championship, July 18-21 at Muirfield; and finally, the 95th PGA Championship, August 8-11, at Oak Hill.


Idoki wins Senior PGA Championship in his first visit to United States

ST. LOUIS — Kohki Idoki’s eyes welled with tears as he putted for the Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid, and again in the interview room Sunday. Everything about his first appearance in the event, and first trip to the United States, was perfect. 

“It is one of the greatest things to win in this game, so I cannot imagine more,” Idoki said Sunday through a translator. “I can’t believe that I am the champion.” 

To see our complete coverage of the 2013 Senior PGA Championship, click here.

Kenny Perry can’t believe he let another major tournament title slip away. 

“Well, it was going good for the first 13 holes or whatever,” Perry said. 

Idoki erased a five-stroke deficit against Perry with room to spare, charging to a two-stroke victory at Bellerive Country Club. 

It was the third bitter final-round major tournament failure for the 52-year-old Perry, who led by three strokes with six holes to play but settled for a second-place tie with Jay Haas. 

Perry spoke briefly after trudging off the 18th green, noting that he’d been “shell shocked” by a crucial double bogey. 

“It didn’t seem like he was sharp from the beginning,” Haas said. “I just don’t think he was as sharp. If he was, he would have been 14 or 15 under, I think, with no problem.” 

For the first 12 holes, it appeared to be a two-man contest between Perry and Haas, a two-time champion and hometown favorite from nearby Belleville, Ill. To Haas, the 5-foot-5, 136-pound player from Osaka, Japan, tracking them down was a mystery man. 

“I’ve never seen Idoki hit a shot or anything, so I don’t know much about him,” Haas said. “But obviously he’s a hell of a player. A great round, and he did what he had to do.” 

The 51-year-old Idoki closed with a 6-under 65 to finish at 11 under and become the first player to win the tournament on his first attempt since Michael Allen in 2009, and the first Asian male to win a senior major tournament. 

Idoki led the Japan PGA Tour in driving accuracy for a decade but has just four career victories. He won once on the Japan Senior Tour last year and won two titles on the Japan PGA Tour, in 1990 and ’93. 

Last year, Idoki finished a distant 65th in the Senior British Open after a final round of 81. 

Idoki got a beer shower from fellow Japanese players Joe Ozaki and Kiyoshi Murota after finishing ahead of Perry’s final group. Idoki said Ozaki, who invited Idoki to accompany him to the tournament, is a mentor. 

Idoki wasn’t sure about a title defense, saying “I prefer to just stay in Japan.” 

Perry shot a 72, and Haas had a 70. Perry squandered a two-stroke lead with two holes to go in the 2009 Masters and also let victory slip away in the 1996 PGA Championship. 

Mark O’Meara was fourth, three strokes back after 65 including an eagle on No. 17. Murota was another shot behind after a 67. 

Perry staggered to the finish line, beginning with that double bogey on No. 13 that dropped him into a tie with Idoki. Another bogey on No. 16 dropped him out of the lead he held or shared since the end of the second round and he bogeyed No. 17 after shooting sideways out of deep rough in trees on No. 17. 

Perry lost his lead three-putting from the fringe up against the edge of the rough on No. 13, running it past the cup from about 3 feet before holing out to put him at even par for the day. He arched his back in disappointment after leaving a long birdie putt just short on No. 14. 

Idoki climbed into contention with four birdies and no bogeys on the front nine, and added two more birdies in a flawless finish. 

Jim Rutledge closed with a 64 for the best round of the tournament. He tied for sixth with fellow Canadian Rod Spittle, Russ Cochran, Kirk Triplett and Duffy Waldorf. Rutledge had seven birdies, five on the front nine, with no bogeys and no long putts to save par. 


PGA of America names Dawes Marlatt Senior Director, Education and Employment Departments

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — PGA Master Professional Dawes Marlatt has been promoted to Senior Director, Education and Employment, following his four-and-a-half year stint as The PGA of America’s Director of Education.

During his tenure overseeing The PGA’s Education Department, Marlatt led several significant enhancements and new program additions to the Association’s educational services, including: Professional Golf Management curriculum, Certified Professional Program 2.0, and Golf 2.0/Player Development education.

Marlatt will now take charge of The PGA’s Education and Employment departments, both vital to the delivery of important programs and services to PGA Professionals and the golf industry. His expanded role will include working closely with the 12 PGA Employment Consultants who are regionally based throughout the country to assist PGA Professionals and employers in filling key positions at both the green grass and administrative levels.

“I am honored that The PGA of America would entrust me to take on this expanded role of leading the Employment department as well as the Education department,” said Marlatt, 41, a PGA member since 1997. “I believe it is truly a testament to all the dedicated individuals whom I have had the pleasure of working closely with over the past several years as we strived to enhance the education services The PGA provides to its member professionals.”

“We are thrilled to elevate Dawes Marlatt to the position of Senior Director, Education and Employment,” said PGA of America Chief Executive Officer Pete Bevacqua. “His track record of taking the lead on enhancing The PGA’s educational offerings provides us with great confidence that he will have similar success with enhancing the employment services that our more than 27,000 PGA Professionals have come to rely upon.”

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. 

Jimmy Terry named new General Manager of PGA Village

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Jimmy Terry—whose more than a quarter-century of management experience includes recently serving as PGA Senior General Manager for PGA Tour Golf Course Properties at both TPC San Antonio and TPC Harding Park, in San Francisco—has been named the new General Manager at The PGA of America’s flagship facility, PGA Village. He assumes his new role on June 1, 2013.

Terry, 52, will be responsible for managing all programs, sales, marketing and community relations plans to fulfill the mission and objectives of The PGA’s only owned-and-operated golf resort destination. Located in Port St. Lucie, Fla., PGA Village encompasses 54 holes of championship golf designed by legends Tom Fazio and Pete Dye at PGA Golf Club; the 35-acre PGA Center for Golf Learning and Performance golf practice, instruction, fitness and technology park; the onsite PGA Museum of Golf, home to golf’s four major Championship trophies; and the nearby private PGA Country Club.

While at TPC San Antonio, Terry oversaw a private resort that is the crown jewel of the $600 million JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort and Spa, which annually hosts the PGA Tour’s Valero Texas Open and the ATT Championship on the Champions Tour. TPC San Antonio was also named by GOLF Magazine as one of its “Best New Golf Courses You Can Play for 2010,” and on Golfweek’s “2011 Best Courses You Can Play” list.

As well, TPC Harding Park is considered one of the top municipal courses in the country, with a breathtaking layout that has hosted The Presidents Cup, American Express Championship and several Charles Schwab Cup Championships.

“In order to launch an exciting and new era at PGA Village, we searched across the country for the most qualified person to lead our facility and elevate its stature in being recognized as one of the top golf destinations in America,” said PGA President Ted Bishop. “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Jimmy Terry, who brings an award-winning track record of customer service, sales, marketing and revenue development in support of highly successful programs for resort, private and public facilities.”

A former Officer and Board of Director for the Southern Texas PGA Section, Terry is a highly decorated PGA member, having been awarded the Section’s 2004 Bill Strausbaugh, 1997 Horton Smith and 1995 Junior Golf Leader Awards. He is a two-time Section Merchandiser of the Year (1990, ’93), who earned the 2012 TPC Network Platinum and the 2010 TPC Special Recognition Awards. Under his leadership, TPC San Antonio was recognized among America’s Top 100 Golf Shops in 2010, ’11 and ’12 by Golf World.

“To serve as General Manager of my Association’s own facility is a dream come true and an honor for me,” said Terry. “As The PGA of America’s flagship golf destination, PGA Village must serve as a source of pride for each and every PGA member and apprentice, while our club, staff and operations must be considered as the very pinnacle of our industry.”

Previously, Terry served as PGA general manager and director of golf at: The Club at Waterford in Marble Falls, Texas (2005-’08); Falconhead Golf Club in Austin, Texas (2002-’04); The Club at Comanche Trace in Kerrville, Texas (2000-’02); and The TPC of Tampa Bay in Lutz, Fla. (1999-2000). Through these roles, Terry brings to PGA Village extensive and thorough experience in all aspects of golf operations and course construction management—from membership to budgeting to financial modeling to design planning.

A 1982 graduate of Tarelton State University in Stephenville, Texas, Terry holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration.

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

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

2013 PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship presented by Brown Capital Management


Dates: May 10-12, 2013
Site: PGA Golf Club, Port St. Lucie, Fla.
Teams and players (.pdf)
Facts Format: General information (.pdf)
Last Year: Relive the 2012 tournament

FOLLOW THE TOURNAMENT ON TWITTER: Use hashtag #2013MinorityChamp

Watkins returns in pursuit of second straight title in independent division

Justin Watkins, a PGA Golf Management University student at the University of Central Oklahoma, is the defending Men’s Independent Division Champion. And not only is he hoping to repeat, he’s looking to improve on his winning score from last year, a 54-hole total of 10-over-par 226.
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2013 PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship field is announced 
The field for the 2013 PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship features more than 200 participants. Four division champions will look to defend their titles: The University of Texas-Pan American (Division I Men’s), Bethune-Cookman University (Women’s) and Fayettville State University (Division II Men’s), along with Justin Watkins from the University of Central Oklahoma (Men’s Individual).
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2013 PGA Scholarship recipients announced as part of PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship
Eight student-athletes have been selected to receive a PGA Scholarship, and they will be presented during the Welcome Dinner. Each year, students from participating schools can apply to receive scholarship awards for their academic excellence at their respective institutions.
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Contestants must be students of a university or college, and who have met all the academic requirements of their respective institution governing participation in intercollegiate athletics.

Celebrating its 27th year, the PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship presented by Brown Capital Management originated in November 1986 and has elevated golf in minority colleges and universities by providing opportunities to more players to compete in a national championship.

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

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

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


PGA of America special, "Beyond the Green," set to air Sunday on CBS

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – “Beyond the Green,” a look at how golf and PGA Professionals have nurtured future leaders and transformed lives, will be presented in a series of documentary-style profiles by CBS Sports, Sunday, May 5, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. ET. The hour-long special features the ambitious drive of youths and adults to overcome family struggles, illness and injury and discover golf’s healing powers and a path to a happier life.

“Beyond the Green,” produced by The PGA of America and narrated by CBS Sports commentator Bill Macatee, precedes coverage of the Wells Fargo Championship.

“Beyond the Green” spends the opening 30 minutes chronicles stories of “Building Future Leaders”:

Houston’s United Team – A showcase of the values of the PGA Junior League takes viewers to Houston, Texas, with profiles of juniors Kenlie Barrett and Nick Pursell; their coach, PGA/LPGA Professional Aurora Kirchner-McLain and the inspiration applied by apprentice professional Zach Winkler, who lost an arm in an automobile accident.

The Journei Daniels Story – From Flint, Mich., 9-year-old Boys Girls Club member Journei Daniels is the product of a single-parent home, encountering many issues interacting with others. Through the mentoring of PGA Professional Joe Simpson and the golf instruction she has received, Daniels has overcome the social and emotional challenges she previously faced.

A New Member of the Family – A heartwarming success story of Lester Bell of Dallas, Texas, who attempted to make sense of living in poverty and unsafe conditions at home. At age 13, Bell would discover a love for golf, but more importantly a bond with Ira McGraw Jr., the PGA general manager and director of golf at Cedar Crest Golf Course in Dallas. Now 18, and captain of his high school golf team, Bell has found peace at home. McGraw and his wife, Yesenia, are his legal guardians.

Heart of a Lion – Meet John Paul George of Juno Beach, Fla., the son of Champions Tour coach/caddie Derek George, who was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome – that is one-half of a developed heart. Inspired by his infant son’s fight for life, overcoming multiple surgeries and complications, Derek George wrote “Heart of a Lion” in 2010. Today, John Paul will soon celebrate his 19th birthday, and enjoys playing golf daily with his father.

A Wave Carried Him Back to Shore – PGA teaching professional Will Robins of Citrus Heights, Calif., and his bride, Amanda, were on their honeymoon Dec. 26, 2004, when they were swept out to sea by a tsunami generated by the Sumatra earthquake. The tsunami resulted in the deaths of 238,000 in Southeast Asia, including more than 3,000 on Ko Phi Phi Don, the island where the Robins were vacationing. Robins outlines how he dedicated his career to those that did not survive the tragedy, and developed a remarkably successful golf instruction program.

Golf’s Healing Powers – Turner Fordham was stricken with leukemia at age 12, and turned to golf as a therapeutic activity. The non-contact sport served as her escape from the endless treatments and hospital visits. Fordham capped her prep career in Georgia as a member of the girls’ public Class 4A high school state champion golf team. In remission for several years, Turner’s leukemia returned in 2012. She is undergoing regular chemotherapy treatments. Fordham shares how golf, along with Georgia PGA Hall of Famer Lowell Fritz, helped inspire her ongoing recovery.

From the Battlefield to the Tee – Marine Lance Cpl. Tim Lang of Ann Arbor, Mich., lost a leg as a result of serving in Iraq in 2006. Today, he is an ambassador for the Salute Military Golf Association, co-founded by PGA Professional Jim Estes of Olney, Md. Lang is inspiring countless others through the game that helped him heal. An outstanding prep athlete prior to his military service, Lang endured 48 surgeries, including 28 before losing his leg below the right knee. Lang has become an accomplished golfer, and was honorary captain for the 2011 U.S. Solheim Cup Team. He is completing a degree in criminology at Eastern Michigan University.

Get Golf Ready Spells Success – PGA Professional Ed Ibarguen, the general manager and director of golf at Duke University Golf Club in Durham, N.C., ignites the passion in students through Get Golf Ready, the industry’s nationally branded program to bring new golfers to the game and attract those who have left the sport. Businessman Bryan Lach, a lapsed golfer, resurrects his love for the game and shares how staying on the course helped close a business deal. Laurie Hyland, an employee of Duke University, shares how not learning the game left her out of family activities, but now joins her husband – an avid golfer – on the golf course.

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

PGA Professionals open their doors for Welcome to Golf Month in May

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – May has been designated “Welcome to Golf Month” and PGA Professionals across the country are helping make golf more fun and accessible for golfers of all abilities, as well as celebrating how easy it is to enjoy the game.

“Whether you’re just starting out or seeking a new way to approach the game, Welcome to Golf Month and the programs offered by our PGA Professionals are the perfect option at the perfect time,” said PGA of America President Ted Bishop. “The PGA of America is committed to making golf fun, affordable and accessible for anyone interested playing, and May is the month we really emphasize these programs on a national level.”

The opportunities offered by PGA Professionals include Get Golf Ready (GetGolfReady.com), which provides five lessons over five weeks that concentrate on basic skills and instruction for just $99; Welcome to Golf Days, which are single-day programs; and Bring-a-Friend initiatives that allow free or discounted play for new players. These programs also emphasize the social benefits of golf as participants can meet other new golfers and learn the game together.

For lapsed golfers interested in playing again or those seeking more enjoyment from the game, May is a great month to explore TEE IT FORWARD, a joint effort between the USGA and The PGA of America that encourages golfers to play from shorter tees. Players can TEE IT FORWARD at any course, and some courses have created special tees just for golfers who wish to play their approach shots from closer distances.

The PGA of America is also stressing the health and wellness benefits of golf as May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. A round of golf can consist of more than 10,000 steps, five miles traveled and between 1,300 and 2,000 calories burned. Exposure to sunshine and a beautiful landscape also contributes to a healthier overall wellbeing.

Interested golfers can search for available programs in their area, and learn more about the health benefits of golf by visiting PlayGolfAmerica.com.

Annika Sorenstam becomes PGA of America member

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Ten-time LPGA major winner and World Golf Hall of Fame Member Annika Sorenstam has elected to join The PGA of America as a member of the North Florida PGA Section.

Sorenstam, who has lifetime eligibility to become a PGA member based on her major championship victories and participation in the Solheim Cup, was formally elected to PGA membership on April 19.

Sorenstam’s decision to pursue PGA membership is part of her passion for growing the game and promoting the health and wellness benefits of golf. She follows many other current and former PGA and LPGA Tour players who have opted into PGA membership. As a North Florida PGA Section member, Sorenstam will participate with both the Section and Sheila Johnson, owner of Reunion Resort in Orlando (which houses the ANNIKA Academy), on special events and future projects. At a press conference today at Reunion, the North Florida PGA Section announced it is also relocating its headquarters to the resort by June 3, 2013.

“I am excited to elevate my relationship with the North Florida PGA Section and its 1,500 Professionals, who work so diligently to promote and teach the game,” said Sorenstam, a resident of the Orlando area.

“Since my playing days, I have dedicated myself to growing the game through my ANNIKA Academy and Foundation. Now, this relationship with the Section and Reunion Resort presents a new path to help expand the game to even greater heights.”

In recent years, Sorenstam has appeared on behalf of the North Florida PGA Section at several Golfest events across the region, including Orlando and Tampa. The Section and Sorenstam share a common interest in growing, enhancing and improving the game, and they are currently formulating plans to promote future endeavors, including junior golf development, diversity and women’s golf.

“The PGA of America is delighted to welcome Annika Sorenstam to the ranks of PGA membership,” said PGA President Ted Bishop. “Annika’s commitment to giving back to the game has been evident for years, and I am very pleased that the North Florida PGA Section has developed and nurtured such a strong working relationship with her. Annika is truly one of golf’s great ambassadors and trendsetters.”

“Annika Sorenstam is such an iconic figure in golf,” said Rich Smith, executive director and CEO of the North Florida PGA Section. “We are so proud that she has become a member of The PGA of America and the North Florida PGA Section, and we are excited about the opportunity we have to work with Annika to grow our game.”

Under the PGA Constitution and Bylaws, current exempt playing professionals on the LPGA, PGA and Champions Tours; past major Championship winners; and participants in national team events, such as the Ryder Cup and Solheim Cup, are eligible to become PGA members.

LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan remarked about Sorenstam’s choice to carry membership in the two Associations. “The LPGA congratulates Annika on her decision to also become a PGA member. We are pleased that she will carry dual membership in both the LPGA and The PGA of America, in order to continue her long-term commitment to expand the reach of the game of golf.”

A native of Sweden, Sorenstam has been an LPGA member since she joined the Tour in 1994, when she was named LPGA Rookie of the Year. During her career, she won 89 events worldwide and made history when she played in the 2003 Colonial, becoming the first woman golfer to appear in a PGA Tour event since Babe Zaharias in 1945. Considered one of the greatest women’s golfers of all time, Sorenstam stepped away from the game in 2008, to pursue a family and also expand her business and charitable interests.

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 Annika Sorenstam
In her 15 years as a professional, Annika became a golf legend and transcended her sport to become a prominent mainstream athlete. Throughout her storied career, she rewrote the LPGA and Ladies European Tour record books — winning 89 events worldwide (72 on the LPGA Tour), 10 major championships and eight Rolex Player of the Year awards – and brought unprecedented attention to women’s golf. Her career changed how women’s golf is played, watched and covered, and she continues to have a positive impact on all women’s sports.

About the ANNIKA Academy
The ANNIKA Academy (www.theannikaacademy.com) is a state-of-the-art, “boutique” golf school at Reunion Resort, near Orlando, Fla. It opened in 2007 as a way to share Annika’s passion for golf, fitness and nutrition, along with her personal team of coaches. Their simple techniques allow players of any age, gender or skill level to reach their potential by transferring more energy and power from the gym to the course. The Academy is a Certified Callaway Performance Center with two spacious hitting booths that offer custom club fitting and video swing analysis. Complete with a modern fitness facility, conference room, and full-service locker rooms, the Academy provides individualized golf instruction, personalized fitness and nutrition programs, and custom corporate packages. Guests can play with Annika or learn the proven winning approach she established with her world renowned team of instructors.