Club Car / Mercy Elite Spring Scramble Results

Congratulations the team of professionals: Dominick Izzo, Jeff Rachar, Justin Pollock and amateur Brandon Horrocks (a) who took home the top honors with a very impressive score of 56 (-16 under). This round included 16 birdies and 2 pars and was good enough for a one shot victory over 2 teams at (-15 under ).

Finishing tied second place at (-15 under) were the teams of Marlon Gisi, Matt Pesta, Andrew Dodson, Travis Dodson and the team of Steve Vecellio, Frank McAuliffe, Andrew Mogg and Aaron Bush.

Any team shooting a score of 60 or better finished in the money. Please see the final results and payout attached to this email and also on the website by clicking HERE  For those of you that have amateurs on your team that finished in the money please respond and let me know what facility those amateur gift certificates should be applied to.

There were no actual skins yesterday so the money goes hole with the fewest low score. The following two teams that made eagle (3) on hole #15 will receive $1,296 per team:

  • Steve Vecellio, Frank McAuliffe, Andrew Mogg , Aaron Bush
  • Brian Dice, Aaron McMaster, Jordan Weigner, Mark Lahnala

We would like to thank The Orchards Golf Club for  hosting this event. Their staff does a great job hosting and really made for a nice event. The golf course was in great shape ,especially for this early in the year.

We would also like to thank our sponsors – Club Car and specifically the team from Midwest Golf & Turf. This was the 26th  year that Club Car has been a  sponsor of this event. We greatly appreciate their support of the Section Tournament program and this event.

We would also like to thank Mercy Elite Sports Performance for joining Club Car and sponsoring this event for the first time .It was great to have their support and their team onsite for the event.

Max VanderMolen Takes 2nd Place at Augusta in the National Drive, Chip & Putt Competition

Max VanderMolen Takes 2nd Place at Augusta in the National Drive, Chip & Putt Competition

Max VanderMolen from Gull Lake Country Club took home the second place trophy for boys age 7-9 in the National Drive, Chip & Putt Competition! Max took second place in the Driving competition, 7th place in the chipping and 1st place in the putting to land him a total of 21 points.

Max had to go through three stages of qualify to get to Augusta  

LOCAL QUALIFYING SITE: The Moors Golf Club

SUBREGIONAL QUALIFYING SITE: Battle Creek Country Club

REGIONAL QUALIFYING SITE: Medinah Country Club

Max was very determined to get to the National Championship this year. This was his first time at Augusta National. Last year he missed qualifying at the Regional site by one point. Max practiced all season to get ready for the competition & his hard work surely did pay off.

Max got interested in the game of golf by watching Tiger Woods on TV with his Dad every weekend. As soon as he could walk, he started swinging a toy club. Max loves to play golf with his dad. He also plays a variety of other sports including hockey, football, snowboarding/skiing, little league baseball, basketball, wakeboard surfing, tennis and mountain biking. Max wants to be a Professional Golfer when he grows up. His lowest scores are 31 (for 9 holes) & 64 (for 18 holes). Max will return to the Local Drive Chip and Putt competitions this summer to attempt to qualify again. If you would like a chance to compete sign up for your local Drive, Chip & Putt Qualifier today! Registration is open and completely free!! Sign up at drivechipandputt.com!

 

Max Vandermolen reacts to his putt in the Boys 7-9 group on No. 18 during the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals at Augusta National Golf Club, Sunday, April 2, 2017.

Masters Champion Ben Crenshaw stands with Boys 7-9 division participants after the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals at Augusta National Golf Club, Sunday, April 2, 2017.

PGA Junior League Golf-Michigan at the Regional Finals!

pgajlg-fun-regional

The PGA Junior League team representing Michigan and captained by MIPGA Member Marc White played in the Regional Finals at The Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio this past week-end. Inverness was a great host and the kids got to play on a course that has hosted 4 U.S. Opens and 2 PGA championships (including Bobby Jones and Jack Nicklaus’s first US Opens). 

Although we did not move on to the National Finals, our team played well and represented our Section with pride! Good job Marc and the team!!

For more Player Development News check out our Facebook group! Click here or search Michigan PGA Player Development in Facebook and request to join!  

 

Drive Chip & Put Finalist- Maxwell Vandermolen

Congratulations to Maxwell Vandermolen of Richland, MI!!

Max has completed the Road to Augusta! Max will be representing Michigan in the 2017 Drive Chip and Putt Finals at Augusta National. Max competed in our first Drive Chip ad Putt Local Qualifier at The Moors. He placed first in his division (boys 7-9). Max scored: Drive- 32,Chip- 36, Putt- 25 for a total of 93. Max then moved on to compete at the Sub-Regional Qualifier at Battle Creek Country Club. At Battle Creek Country Club Max Scored: Drive- 40, Chip- 27, Putt- 45  for a total of 112 where his score lead him to another first place finish! Max moved on to Medinah Country Club on September 17th. At Medinah Max got off to a good start with a 10 point lead after the driving station. Max had a total of 39 points! Leandro Pinili of Rochester Hills, MI was in second place with a total of 29 points. Leandro also a Michigan representative has been in friendly competition with Max this season through the South East Michigan US Kids Local Tour and at Battle Creek Country Club’s Sub Regional where Leandro placed second overall to advance. During the Chipping competition at Medinah Leandro was able to score big, a whopping 50 points! Here he jumped ahead of Max, who scored 31. It all came down to putting. Max had to make up 9 points to tie Leandro. Max was up first; sunk the first two putts the 6 & 15 footer, he stood over the 30 foot putt and got it close, 2-3 feet away from the cup scoring him 10 points. Overall Max walked away with 60 points. Leandro was up next he had a 9 point lead going into putting. Leandro sunk the 6 foot putt, he left the 15 footer within 1-2 feet and 30 footer 4-5 feet away. Leandro scored 42 in putting. Max was able to putt his way into the Finals. Both boys displayed an amazing amount of talent and skill! We are proud to have had them represent Michigan in the Boys 7-9 division and we look forward to their years ahead with them! Max is our only Michigander advancing to Augusta. We had a strong show of talent at both Regional qualifiers. Many of our Michiganders took second place overall which will land them the first alternate position is an amazing feat! The list of overall second place finishers include:

Medinah Country Club Second Place Finishers:

Boys 7-9: Leandro Pinili 

Boys 14-15: Joseph Kowatch

Girls 14-15: Kay Zubkus

Girls 10-11: Kyla Layman

Oakmont Country ClubSecond Place Finishers:

Boys 7-9: Damon Watson

IMA Brookwood to Represent Michigan in PGA Junior League Golf

Congratulations to the PGA Junior League All-Star Team from IMA Brookwood, Dunham Hills, Oakhurst, Orchard Lake for winning the State Championship. IMA Brookwood will represent Michigan in the Midwest Regional event at Inverness in Toledo, Ohio on September 24-25th. 

The 2016 and 2017 PGA Junior League Golf Championships will be held at picturesque Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona. This year’s Championship will be played Nov. 19-21, on the Raptor course.

Eight PGA Junior League Golf Teams that advance out of the Regional Championships in September and October will contend for the title. The 10-player teams, matching East vs. West regions, will compete in a two-person-scramble format, with coaches allowed to substitute players every three holes, so that all team members can participate.

2014 PGA Fashion & Demo Experience

By john.holmes

Venetian Resort

The Venetian in Las Vegas is the home base for the 2014 PGA Fashion & Demo Experience.

2014 PGA Fashion & Demo Experience
A
ugust 18-20, 2014
The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino
Las Vegas, Nevada

Exhibitors/Attendees: Click here for details

PREVIEW COVERAGE

Inaugural PGA Fashion & Demo Experience Pro-Pro event offers $25,000 purse
PGA and LPGA Professionals have the opportunity to compete in the inaugural PGA Fashion & Demo Experience Pro-Pro Tournament, presented by health and wellness company, Magic Nutrition, on Monday, Aug. 18, at the top-ranked Cascata Golf Club just outside of Las Vegas in Boulder City, Nevada. The tournament features a $25,000 total purse.
Top equipment companies in PGA Demo Experience at Cascata Golf Club
The PGA Demo Experience, presented by health and wellness company, Magic Nutrition, opens the all-new PGA Fashion & Demo Experience with a full day of golf events including a pro-pro tournament, short-game workshops, new equipment and technology testing, an indoor golf product marketplace and industry reception.
PGA Demo Experience offers full day of golf events at Cascata Golf Club
The 2014 PGA Fashion & Demo Experience will begin on Monday, Aug. 18, at the renowned Cascata Golf Club with the all-new PGA Demo Experience featuring a pro-pro invitational, short-game workshops, new equipment and technology testing, an indoor golf product marketplace and industry reception.
National Retail Federation presents keynote industry conference in Las Vegas
National education opportunities spanning merchandising, instruction and business leadership tracks, plus a keynote industry conference by the National Retail Federation, are available to PGA Professionals and industry executives attending the 2014 PGA Fashion & Demo Experience, August 18-20, in Las Vegas.
All-new PGA Fashion & Demo Experience debuts in Las Vegas in August
The PGA of America and PGA Worldwide Golf Exhibitions will launch an all-new PGA Fashion & Demo Experience, exclusively for golf industry professionals and golf lifestyle apparel retailers at The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino in Las Vegas and Cascata Golf Club in Boulder City, Nevada. It will offer a modern, sophisticated marketplace where PGA Professionals and industry executives will have valuable access to the newest golf innovations, fashions and expert instruction.

Source: http://www.pga.com/news/pga/2014-pga-fashion-demo-experience

PGA Championship to Harding Park, along with Match Play, Presidents Cup

By john.holmes

SAN FRANCISCO – The southwest corridor of San Francisco is going to get all the golf it can handle over the next decade.

TPC Harding Park will host the Match Play Championship in 2015, the PGA Championship in 2020 and the Presidents Cup in 2025. The announcement was made Wednesday by PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem, PGA of America President Ted Bishop and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee at a swanky City Hall news conference.

Speaking on the second-floor balcony outside the mayor’s office to a crowd that included about 100 leaders and golf officials, Finchem said the coordination between the PGA Tour and PGA of America to stage all three events at the same venue is unprecedented. He said he hopes similar collaboration can be done in the future to benefit both organizations and their fans.

“Today is an announcement of a lot of firsts,” Finchem said.

The trio of tournaments adds to an aggressive schedule in the area.

The Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic, which was held on the last weekend of April this year, is set to return to Lake Merced just down the road in Daly City in 2015. And the inaugural U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship is scheduled from April 30 to May 6 at The Olympic Club, where the U.S. Open was last held in 2012.

Organizers are counting on the sports-saturated Bay Area market – loaded with corporate dollars from San Francisco to Silicon Valley – to provide support behind the ropes and on sponsorship banners.

The PGA Tour’s commitment to hold the Match Play at Harding Park is only for one year. The tournament had typically been held in February the past eight years at Dove Mountain outside Tucson, Ariz. But the PGA Tour’s contract with title sponsor Accenture ended after this year’s event, leaving the event’s future uncertain.

The tournament is set for April 29 to May 3 – the week before The Players Championship – next year to improve the chances of dry conditions at Harding. The title sponsor for the 2015 tournament remains unclear.

The Match Play’s debut at Harding also will feature a new format. The tournament will have a similar structure to the World Cup, with group play leading into single-elimination matches.

The reconfiguration will ensure that all 64 players – determined by the Official World Golf Ranking, as in the past – are around for at least three days. Previously, single-elimination from the outset often led to quick exits for top players and fan favorites.

“It’s a lot more golf,” Finchem said. “It’s a ton of golf. We know the fans here will relish the opportunity to have that much more golf.”

Finchem, Bishop and Lee all credited Frank “Sandy” Tatum for bringing the events to Harding. Tatum, a longtime San Francisco attorney and former president of the U.S. Golf Association who turns 94 on Monday, spearheaded a renovation of the course and clubhouse, which now bears his name.

Finchem also quoted players such as Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson as being excited about the announcements. He said Johnny Miller told him he honed his famed putting skills on Harding’s practice greens.

Bishop said there was never any discussion of holding the PGA Championship at another club in San Francisco, which has never hosted the event. He also said the season’s final major in 2020 might also be reworked on the schedule because of the Olympics that year.

After going more than 40 years without being played on a public course, the PGA Championship is now headed to two in a row.

The 2019 event will be played at Bethpage Black on New York’s Long Island. The last PGA Championship on a municipal course was in 1974 at Tanglewood Golf Course in North Carolina.

The PGA Championship has not been played on the West Coast since 1998 at Sahalee Country Club outside Seattle. The 2020 event at Harding Park also gives California majors in three consecutive years, with the U.S. Open going to Pebble Beach in 2019 and Torrey Pines in 2021.

Harding Park has never hosted a major, but it was the site of the 2009 Presidents Cup won by the U.S. The Presidents Cup features 24 of the world’s top golfers – 12 from the U.S. and 12 from around the world, excluding Europe – in a team match-play competition.

TPC Harding Park in San Francisco will host the Match Play Championship in 2015, the PGA Championship in 2020 and the Presidents Cup in 2025.

PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem, PGA of America President Ted Bishop and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee made the announcement at a City Hall news conference Wednesday.

The Match Play, which has been held the last eight years in Arizona, will begin the last week of April under a new format. The tournament will offer a similar structure to the World Cup, with group play leading into single-elimination matches.

The reconfiguration will ensure that all 64 players are around for at least three days. In the past, single-elimination from the outset often led to quick exits for top players and fan favorites.

The trio of tournaments adds to an aggressive schedule in San Francisco’s southwest corridor.

The Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic, which was held on the last weekend of April this year, is set to return to Lake Merced in nearby Daly City in 2015. And the inaugural U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship is scheduled from April 30 to May 6 at The Olympic Club, where the U.S. Open was last held in 2012.

After going more than 40 years without being played on a public course, the PGA Championship is now headed to two in a row.

The 2019 event will be played at Bethpage Black, a public course on New York’s Long Island. The last PGA Championship on a public course was in 1974 at Tanglewood Golf Course in North Carolina.

The PGA Championship has not been played on the West Coast since 1998 at Sahalee Country Club outside Seattle. The 2020 event at Harding Park also gives California majors in three consecutive years, with the U.S. Open going to Pebble Beach in 2019 and Torrey Pines in 2021.

The PGA Tour’s commitment to hold the Match Play at Harding Park is only for one year. The tournament had typically been held in February the past eight years at Dove Mountain outside Tucson, Ariz. But the PGA Tour’s contract with title sponsor Accenture ended after this year’s event, leaving the Match Play’s future uncertain.

The tournament is set for April 29 to May 3 – the week before The Players Championship – next year to improve the chances of dry conditions at Harding. The title sponsor for the 2015 tournament remains yet to be determined.

As in the past, the top 64 players in the World Golf Ranking will qualify for the event. Starting next year in San Francisco, the field will be divided into 16 groups of four players.

There will be round-robin match play on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at the tournament. And the winner of each group will advance to the round of 16 on Saturday morning.

Head-to-head results will be used to break two-way ties, with sudden-death playoffs for three-way ties. The quarterfinals will be played Saturday afternoon, the semifinals Sunday morning and the championship match and consolation match Sunday afternoon.

Harding Park, the site of the Presidents Cup in 2009, has never hosted a major. The Presidents Cup features 24 of the world’s top golfers – 12 from the U.S. and 12 from around the world, excluding Europe – in a team match-play competition.

Source: http://www.pga.com/news/pga/pga-championship-harding-park-along-match-play-presidents-cup

Errie Ball inspired generations of golfers both amateur and professional

By john.holmes

Samuel Henry “Errie” Ball, the last of the inaugural Masters field of 1934 and the PGA of America’s oldest and longest-serving member, died July 2 at Martin Hospital South in Stuart, Florida, surrounded by his family. He was 103.

A native of Wales, Ball began his PGA career through the encouragement of legendary golfer Bobby Jones. Ball was elected to PGA membership on June 20, 1931, and his 83 years of service is a PGA membership record. In 2011, Ball was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame.

Ball appeared in 25 major championships, including the first Augusta National Invitation Tournament, which in 1939 became the Masters. He also competed in 19 Senior PGA Championships, sharing runner-up honors in 1962.

Ball taught generations of players and inspired young professionals to pursue careers as PGA members. As PGA Professional Emeritus at Willoughby Golf Club in Stuart, he often gave lessons well past his centennial birthday.

“The PGA of America is saddened by the passing of Errie Ball, a professional in all aspects of life,” said PGA of America President Ted Bishop. “Errie’s amazing career spans the legends of the game – from Harry Vardon through Tiger Woods. His longevity, according to those who knew him best, was founded upon a love of people. Each day, like each step he took on the course, was spent with purpose. We will miss him dearly, but his legacy continues to shine through the many PGA Professionals he inspired to grow our game.”

Born in Bangor, Wales, to one of Great Britain’s famed golf families, Ball was introduced to the game by his father, William Henry Ball, who spent 50 years as golf professional at Lancaster Golf Club. Ball’s great uncle, John Ball, was the first amateur to win the Open Championship (1890), along with eight British Amateur Championships.

Ball began playing golf at age 10, and turned professional at age 17. Many could never correctly pronounce his nickname, so he was quick to share a family story.

“My father’s name was William Henry Ball. Back in those days, Henry became ‘Harry,’” said Ball, prior to his 100th birthday party. “My mother, from what they tell me, didn’t like the fact that they would be calling my father Old Harry and me Young Harry. We had a French maid at that time, and she said, ‘Why don’t you call him ‘Errie?’ And I’ve gone by that ever since. I wouldn’t turn around if you called me Sam.”

Ball’s connection to Jones began in 1930, when he met the famed Georgian at the Open Championship in Hoylake, England, where Jones would win one leg of his Grand Slam. The relationship continued the day Ball arrived in America – Sept. 27, 1930 – just as Jones clinched the Grand Slam with a victory in the U.S. Amateur.

Ball’s first job was serving for his uncle, Frank Ball, then the PGA head professional at East Lake Country Club in Atlanta. Ball later assisted George Sargent, who became PGA of America president. In 1933, Ball received a letter of recommendation from Jones that elevated him to his first head professional post at Mobile (Alabama) Country Club.

Ball also received his invitation from Jones to be part of the 72-player field at Augusta in 1934.

“I thought it [the Masters] was the greatest, the best place that I could be in golf,” said Ball, as he watched this year’s Masters broadcast from his living room. “Because it was associated with Bob Jones, I knew it would be a success. I loved playing golf with Bob because he had such a great golf swing and I wanted to copy it. I learned to be gracious from him. He seemed like he shook hands with everybody with a smile.”

Ball competed again at Augusta National Golf Club in 1957, the longest span for any Masters competitor.

Ball won the 1931 Southeastern Section PGA Championship and the 1932 Atlanta Open. In 1936, Ball tied for 23rd in the Open Championship at Royal Liverpool in Hoylake. A few weeks later, on July 21, Ball was a passenger aboard the M.V. Britannic. During the eight-day voyage, he met Maxwell “Maxie” Wright of Richmond, Virginia, in a game of doubles deck tennis. They were each engaged, but by the time the ship docked in New York, their plans were set. They married two months later, and were together for 77-plus years.

He served as PGA head professional from 1937-42 at Farmington Country Club in Charlottesville, Virginia, before being drafted by the U.S. Navy. Following World War II, Ball became PGA head professional at Oak Park (Illinois) Country Club, and would serve there for 24 years, while spending 20 winters teaching at Tucson (Arizona) Country Club. He spent one winter (1962) as PGA director of golf at John’s Island in Vero Beach, Florida.

In 1972, Ball became the first PGA head professional and later PGA director of golf at Butler National Golf Club in Oak Brook, Illinois. PGA Professional Bruce Patterson, who worked briefly for Ball, succeeded him as PGA director of golf at Butler National in 1982.

“That ‘tree line’ of developing future professionals was very important to him,” said Patterson, a former member of the PGA Board of Directors. “Everyone Errie touched came away feeling better about themselves. If you had a bad day, just being around Errie, your day became better. Golf has suffered one of its big losses. He was one of the game’s treasures.”

Ball qualified for the U.S. Open 10 times, competed in 12 PGA Championships, along with two Masters and the 1936 Open Championship. He also won three Illinois PGA Championships, the Illinois Open, and the Illinois PGA Senior Open and Match Play Championship.

In addition to his national honor, Ball was inducted into the Illinois Golf Hall of Fame in 1990.

Ball is survived by his wife, Maxie, a daughter, Leslie, of Miami; brothers Tom, of South Africa and John, of Lancaster, England; and two granddaughters and a great grandson.

Source: http://www.pga.com/news/pga/pga-professional-errie-ball-inspired-generations-golfers-both-amateur-and-professional

President Bill Clinton receives 2014 PGA Distinguished Service Award

By mark.aumann

Bill Clinton

“President Clinton shares the mission of the PGA of America to encourage our country’s young people to develop a healthier lifestyle through golf,” said PGA of America President Ted Bishop.

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — The PGA of America has awarded President Bill Clinton, founder of the Clinton Foundation and 42nd President of the United States, its 2014 PGA Distinguished Service Award recipient for his lifetime love of golf and his commitment to health and wellness.

Begun in 1988, the PGA Distinguished Service Award honors outstanding individuals who display leadership and humanitarian qualities, including integrity, sportsmanship and enthusiasm for the game of golf. President Clinton will receive the Association’s highest annual honor in conjunction with the 96th PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky. Previous honorees include Bob Hope, Byron Nelson, Arnold Palmer, Patty Berg, Jack Nicklaus, and Presidents Gerald Ford (1991) and George H.W. Bush (1997).

“President Clinton’s life in public service is a study in making a difference in people’s lives. His own journey to achieve wellness has resulted in a passion that involves the game of golf,” PGA of America President Ted Bishop said. “President Clinton shares the mission of the PGA of America to encourage our country’s young people to develop a healthier lifestyle through golf. For his work and the example he sets to motivate young people, we are honored to present this year’s PGA Distinguished Service Award to President Clinton.”

After leaving the White House, President Clinton established the Clinton Foundation with the mission to improve global health, strengthen economies, promote health and wellness, and protect the environment. In addition to his Foundation work, President Clinton has served as the top United Nations envoy for the Indian Ocean tsunami recovery effort and as the UN Special Envoy to Haiti.

Since 2012, the Clinton Foundation has partnered with Humana, the PGA Tour and the Desert Classic Charities to present the Humana Challenge. The Humana Challenge has showcased the long-term health benefits of simple lifestyle and behavioral changes.

PGA Distinguished Service Award Recipients

  • 1988 Herb Graffis
  • 1989 Bob Hope
  • 1990 No recipient
  • 1991 Hon. Gerald R. Ford
  • 1992 Gene Sarazen
  • 1993 Byron Nelson
  • 1994 Arnold Palmer
  • 1995 Patty Berg
  • 1996 Frank Chirkinian
  • 1997 Hon. George H.W. Bush
  • 1998 Paul Runyan
  • 1999 Bill Dickey
  • 2000 Jack Nicklaus
  • 2001 Mark McCormack
  • 2002 Tim Finchem
  • 2003 Vince Gill
  • 2004 Pete Dye
  • 2005 Wally Uihlein
  • 2006 Fred Ridley
  • 2007 Jack Burke Jr.
  • 2008 Dennis Walters
  • 2009 William Powell
  • 2010 Billy Casper
  • 2011 Larry Nelson
  • 2012 Dave Stockton
  • 2013 Lee Trevino
  • 2014 Hon. Bill Clinton

Source: http://www.pga.com/pga-america/pga-feature/president-bill-clinton-receives-2014-pga-distinguished-service-award

Message from the PGA President on the state of golf in the United States

By john.holmes

One of my favorite Westerns when I was a kid growing up in northern Indiana back in the 1960s was “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.” The movie starred Jimmy Stewart and John Wayne. It was a great John Ford film and the most famous line of the movie was uttered near the end, “When legend becomes fact, print the legend.”

In the past few weeks, the sport of golf has been bullied around similar to the townsfolk of Shinbone who were victim to Liberty Valance, the gunfighter who was brilliantly portrayed by Lee Marvin. Enough is enough. Golf is not “in a hole” nor is the “golf market stuck in a bunker,” and those inside the sport are addressing the issue of “where are the next golfers?”

Weather

As an outdoor sport, golf is dependent on weather. The year 2012 was a banner one for weather, with an average of 288 playable days for golf in the United States. Favorable weather contributed to the highest average rounds played per course since the last recession. Given that 2013 had the fewest days open for golf (268 days) in the past seven years, it was encouraging to see that golfers played more rounds of golf per day open than they had in the previous years. There were a total of 37 states with consistent or increased rounds played per day open in 2013 compared to 2012.

There is no question that the winter of 2014 was one of the worst in U.S. history and it has impacted courses in many ways, most notably a slow developing spring and widespread winter kill affecting turf conditions. These are circumstances beyond the control of course operators and they will no doubt impact rounds played in 2014, but it is not a reflection of the health of the sport. Rounds played are up this spring in areas of the U.S. not affected by the weather.

Growth Segments

According to PGA PerformanceTrak, golf facility operators reported growth in three of four key performance revenue indicators from 2012 to 2013, including golf merchandise sales (up 2.2%); food and beverage revenue (up 2.0%); and total facility revenue (up a modest 0.3%). Despite the recent financial news regarding Dick’s Sporting Goods, green grass facilities have seen increases in merchandise sales.

Through PGA PerformanceTrak, we have documented four consecutive years of same-store sales growth for golf merchandise at green grass facilities, with a 15.5% increase since 2009. Food and Beverage revenue at America’s golf courses follows a similar trend, with four consecutive years of same-store sales growth, for a combined 12.2% increase since 2009.

Growth of the Game

Get Golf Ready offers golfers five lessons for $99. There are currently 4,053 GGR certified facilities across the country. There were nearly 86,000 GGR participants in 2013, which reflects a 13% growth over the previous year. Through this past weekend, we have seen a 10.7% increase in overall GGR consumer registration, which is pretty incredible given the weather in the North.

PGA Junior League is golf’s version of Little League Baseball. It is for boys and girls ages 7-13 and the format is a 9-hole Scramble played in three-hole segments. Players are provided golf shirts with numbers on the back to promote a team concept. There was a 490% growth in PGA Junior League from 2012 (1,500 kids) to 2013 (8,900 kids). In 2014 the numbers have more than doubled (1,500 teams and 18,000 kids) compared to 2013 (740 teams and 8,900 kids).

The Drive, Chip and Putt (DCP) competition was so successful in 2013 that it has been expanded this year from 11 PGA Sections and 19 States to all 41 Sections and 50 States. We are very proud that Lucy Li, the inaugural DCP 10-11 year-old girls division champion, qualified for the U.S. Women’s Open last week with scores of 74-68. We expect more success stories from DCP participants.

In the past eight years, The First Tee program doubled its participants compared to its first eight years of existence. Twelve First Tee chapters are hosting Drive, Chip and Putt competitions in 2014. Many First Tee chapters have PGA Junior League teams. It’s unprecedented to see this kind of overlap and structure in junior golf initiatives and speaks to the collaborative efforts of the PGA of America, the United States Golf Association, the PGA TOUR, the Ladies Professional Golf Association and The Masters Foundation.

PGA Growth of the Game Task Force

In addition to the traditional approaches designed to grow the game, the PGA is very excited about the progress of the PGA Growth of the Game Task Force that we launched in March of this year. We have called upon leaders inside and outside of golf to explore ways to grow the game through non-traditional means.

Through annual golf participation studies conducted by the National Golf Foundation we note that 3.5 million to 3.7 million new and former golfers took up the game in each of the last five years. We also note that recent declines in participation have offset gains in our sport. As such, a stagnant industry is clearly not the goal and that is why our Task Force is exploring innovative ways to bring new people into golf.

FootGolf is a phenomenon that combines soccer and golf using a 21-inch hole and a soccer ball. Since January, FootGolf has spread from 25 golf courses in 10 states to nearly 150 courses in 31 states. Since May 3 at my facility, The Legends GC, we have had more FootGolfers on our par-3 course than we have had regular golfers. FootGolf is a way to get new people into golf and expose our sport to those who play soccer, the fastest growing sport in America.

The PGA Task Force has implemented a pilot program in the Midwest utilizing time clocks and a fee structure that charges golfers by the minute rather than by the hole. The intent is to allow consumers with limited recreational budgets to fit golf into their schedules. This is part of our goal to redefine or broaden the golf experience.

We advocate new ideas such as 15-inch holes, which will make the game more fun and enjoyable for new players. The Task Force sees no problem with providing beginning players with equipment that will make the game easier and more inviting. The goal is to allow our PGA teachers to convert the beginners into core golfers. We should find some creative ways to make that transition fun and easier.

Conclusion

The PGA TOUR provides the most visible product in golf each week. The number of hours that the TOUR is broadcast on television increases every year. So far this year, 124 million television viewers have watched the PGA TOUR on television – that number is nearly identical with 2013 even without Tiger Woods playing most of the current season. PGA TOUR sponsorships are at an all-time high. Additionally, the LPGA’s telecast hours are up 15% over last year. And, ratings for their North American tournaments on Golf Channel are up 27% from 2010 to 2013.

Much has been written about Millennial (ages 18-35) participation in the sport. The fact is that today there are 6.3 million Millennials playing more than 100 million rounds of golf. This represents 25% of the golfing population in the U.S. There are more non-Caucasians in this group than there were 20 years ago, demonstrating a greater diversity in golf today.

Golf has a tremendous impact on the nation’s economy. Golf is roughly a $69 billion annual industry responsible for roughly 1.98 million jobs with total wage income of $55.6 billion. Golf has a profound impact on every one of our 50 states and its charitable impact across this nation is by far the greatest in all of sports. A total of $3.9 billion is raised annually through golf for charities. Twelve million people participated in 143,000 golf-related charity events in 2013.

Finally, Golf Channel had its most viewers ever in April of this year and its viewership has set all-time records in the past three years.

We have our legends. They are names like Bobby Jones, Ben Hogan, Babe Didrikson Zaharias, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus. And we have our facts. I am not suggesting for even a moment that golf does not have its challenges. We have plenty, including time, diversity and difficulty. Interestingly, 90% of golf played in the U.S. is on public courses at an average of $28 per round, dispelling the notion that golf is unaffordable.

It is time that the facts became the legend … print the facts. Liberty Valance is dead and as the script said, “Nothing’s too good for the man who shot Liberty Valance.”

Source: http://www.pga.com/news/pga/message-pga-president-state-golf-in-united-states