USGA Increases Purses, Including $1 Million To This Week's U.S. Women's Open Champ

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With all the player whining about USGA purses in Golf Digest’s U.S. Open confidential, it’s noteworthy that the U.S. Open’s will both have the largest prize funds in championship golf (the $12.5 million for the men ties the Players). The PGA Championship did not increase its purse this year, sticking with $11 million, while the R&A has not announced an increase to the 2019 Open fund that will already be low with a weakened pound.

On the women’s side, the KPMG LPGA jumped to $3.5 million in 2017 and has seen bumps each year, now sitting at $3.85 million in 2019.

For Immediate Release:

USGA Solidifies Largest Purses Among All Major Championships

Prize money to be raised by $500,000 for 2019 U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open

 LIBERTY CORNER, N.J. (May 28, 2019) – The United States Golf Association (USGA) today announced that it will increase the purse for both the 119th U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links and the 74th U.S. Women’s Open at the Country Club of Charleston by $500,000, furthering its commitment to provide competitors with an unmatched championship experience.

The purse for the 2019 U.S. Open will be $12.5 million, making it the largest of all major championships. This year’s U.S. Women’s Open purse will total $5.5 million, positioning it as the largest in women’s golf and ensuring that its champion – provided that she is a professional – will receive $1 million for the first time.

The announcement builds on substantial investments the USGA has made in all of its Open championships. Along with the debut of the U.S. Senior Women’s Open in 2018, which provides the largest purse in senior women’s golf at $1 million, the organization hosts the U.S. Senior Open, which also leads its demographic with $4 million in total prize money.

The USGA also provides a portion of the purse to all professionals who miss the cut at all four Opens. Amateurs in the field, a number that nears 30 in this week’s U.S. Women’s Open, receive reimbursement for travel expenses incurred during the championship week.

“The USGA is committed to providing an unparalleled experience to every player competing in its championships,” said John Bodenhamer, senior managing director, championships. “Through strategic investments in our player relations program, we are continuing the effort to create a competitor experience commensurate with the game’s most prestigious championships, and that includes an increased purse and a continued commitment to make playing in an Open championship unforgettable for the world’s top amateur players.” 

In March, longtime PGA Tour player and four-time U.S. Open competitor Jason Gore was hired as the association’s first senior director, Player Relations. His primary role focuses on interacting with professional and elite amateur players across the game, particularly competitors in the USGA’s Open and amateur championships. He also leads a full-time staff dedicated to player relations, including Liz Fradkin, who in her new role primarily focuses on women’s championships.

Back To The Black In Five Years, What To Do With 18?

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Not much needs to be done at Bethpage Black for the 2024 Ryder Cup. 

Take down the rough cut for the bomb-and-gouge loving American team, more concession stands and way more grandstand seating, then convince presumptive Captain Phil Mickelson to talk the fans into a little bit more restraint when it comes to shouting out the first inappropriate thing that comes to mind.

Sure, some improvements are easier to accomplish than others. 

The most complicated of all involves the oft-discussed, widely loathed par-4 18th hole.

Tweaks were made this time around, more bunkers added to the already excessively-trapped, straightaway mess and a dreadful finishing hole remained so. The last time a major was played at Bethpage, the USGA tried to improve 18 by moving up tees and that just led to the regrettable sight of 6-iron lay ups and a sense that the hole was no better.

In the past, consideration was given to creating a hybrid hole utilizing the righthand bunker complex, the first fairway on the Red, and the current 18th green. Many others have advocated that players be asked to take a walk from the par-3 17th to the Red Course’s 18th tee.

For the 2009 PGA, the 18th played slightly over par but still offered a bizarre ending to the round. The bomb-and-gouge mindset, combined with a slight fairway widening, had players smacking driver and hoping for the best. 

I asked Brooks Koepka in his post-round press conference if he considered laying back with a two stroke lead. Never a consideration, he said. Koepka drove in the left bunkers, drew an awful, potentially calamitous lie, but managed a fine recovery out to the fairway. A wedge and putt sealed the victory. 

Koepka’s mindset on the hole was shared by nearly all of the field. As a match play finishing hole in Ryder Cup play, it’s hard to imagine an intriguing scenario where a player with the honor and a lead makes the decision to play safe, daring their opponent into a more aggressive play. Or any other interesting match play scenarios.

Because Bethpage Black’s 18th is not a good hole.

As Adam Scott noted when I asked him how he plays it, the 18th is the only driving hole at Bethpage Black that lacks some twist or turn to the fairway shape. That’s a trademark Tillinghast touch that remained part of the Black’s design despite his limited involvement and the erosion of shot values created by major championship manipulations.

The 18th hole’s design clashes with the rest of the Black in every way: strategically, visually and in the minds of players. Old photos show a little more twisting and rhythm to the landing area, but still not enough to make today’s players shape a shot to gain an advantage.

A reconsideration of the fairway bunkering could make a player shape a ball right-to-left around the bunkering to open up a better angle to the green. But in today’s game, such playing for angles is a lost art and there is little sign it will be restored with a rollback by 2024. 

A consolidation of the 13 bunkers to a more manageable number would be nice, too.

Which brings us back to the Ryder Cup question: should they fix the hole or just leave it since so few matches get to the home hole?

Doing nothing is likely to be the PGA of America’s conclusion to avoid controversy. Yet it was impossible not to ponder a much better option while walking the meandering, soulful and challenging Red Course finishing hole. It sat adjacent to the Black’s tent village on top of the Red’s first hole. The hole is close enough to the Black and finishes just as close to the clubhouse. Anyone could envision a Ryder Cup crowd in the beautiful amphitheater setting and matches concluding in far more satisfying fashion with real decision to be made off the tee and genuine reward for skill. Well, almost anyone.

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You Could Have Watched Tiger Woods Play In A Major For $6 Today (Plus Service And Handling Fees)

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GolfDigest.com’s Joel Beall noted the incredibly small crowds for Bethpage practice rounds, a stunning contrast to 2018 at Bellerive where fans were lining fairways before the tournament even began.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, many of the holes boasted more volunteers than spectators, a sight especially true on the remote part—holes six through 12—of the property. A beverage vendor mentioned sales were "about 30 to 40 percent" off from their weekly forecast. And a fan noted on the fifth hole, “It’s more crowded out here on a normal Saturday.”

On Monday sports business writer Darren Rovell Tweeted about the low resale market prices, calling the lowest in recent major history. Make sure to read the replies if you want a laugh or insight into how the New York market sees things.

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A study of StubHub showed $6 prices Wednesday morning. Surely that would not happen again Thursday?

Despite Tiger Woods and Brooks Koepka going out early in absolutely perfect first round weather, the resellers were giving tickets away again for round one. The Forecaddie says by sometime around 9 am, the price had dropped from a low of $16 to $6, not including handling fees (around $6). Large chunks of tickets were available for prices in the single digits.

Prices are higher for the remaining three days, but well under the $110 face value for general admission.

In February, the PGA of America touted robust, near-sellout situation, then CEO Seth Waugh touted a boost to sales after Tiger’s Masters win.

The Man Who Saved Bethpage's Major Venue Status Isn't Here

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Former PGA President Ted Bishop is given his rightful credit for his role in the idea to bring the PGA Championship and a Ryder Cup to Bethpage Black after the USGA had decided to pass on future U.S. Opens here. Former PGA CEO Pete Bevacqua and his team also deserve credit for getting the deal done, but as Herrmann writes, the idea started with Bishop:

Bishop was the PGA of America’s secretary, in line to be president, in September 2010 when he met at the park with state officials. The U.S. Golf Association had given up on Bethpage after two rain-drenched U.S. Opens. The PGA Tour had yet to hold its two FedEx Cup playoff events there (which turned out to be poorly attended).

“The future of championships at Bethpage, at the point we started talking, was obviously in doubt,” Bishop said from The Legends, the club in Franklin, Indiana, that he runs, serves as head pro and now is superintendent, too. “I knew about the concerns that everybody who loves Bethpage had, with funding and maintaining conditions going forward.”

Despite the USGA having pulled out, Bishop chose to dive in. His confidence was confirmed during a practice round for the 2010 Ryder Cup in Wales, when he was on the 18th fairway with Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler. “Just out of the blue,” he said, “they started talking about Ryder Cup venues and Phil says to Fowler, 'Can you imagine the home course advantage that we would have if they ever played this Ryder Cup at Bethpage.' "

The piece goes on to explain why Bishop isn’t here this week—hint, hint, the hard working PGA Board of Directors stripped him of his PGA status and celebrated the brilliant idea to return to Bethpage with some Hampton’s golf.

Must Be Nice Files: PGA CEO, Board Of Directors Tees It Up At NGLA On Championship Eve

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Either things are running so smoothly at your first major in May in ages or the leadership really isn’t needed at all. But it’s still quite a look to have the CEO and Board off in the Hamptons for some golf and lobster while the PGA is at Bethpage . That’s what The Forecaddie says the PGA Board of Directors, including president Suzy Whaley, were able to do on Wednesday of the PGA Championship.

How important was this outing? The organization even moved their traditional Wednesday press conference to Tuesday just for some NGLA golf. President Suzy Whaley posted images from this important off-site executive time session.

PGA Of America CEO Seth Waugh On The Scariness Of Playing The Travis At Garden City, Club Pros As Cadillac-Driving Thought Leaders, And Polymer Sprays To Preserve Golf Courses

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If you like reading about member-guests, issues Hamptons golfers face and one downright scary thought, then you’ll love PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh’s “My Shot” as told to Guy Yocum in the latest Golf Digest. It’s accompanied by photos from what appears to be a shelved-for-campiness Vineyard Vines shoot by a photographer named, of course, Finlay Mackay.

Like the last lengthy sit-down he gave where he is still listing all of the clubs he’s a member at, Waugh comes off a bit out of touch with 99.9% of the golf world.

But two or three times a year, I'll tee it up individually, in tournaments—the club championship at Seminole, the singles events at National or, in the past, the Travis at Garden City. I like to feel on occasion that uncomfortable sensation that comes when you have to post a number, no Equitable Stroke Control, no excuses and nowhere to hide. It's a little scary, given my day job and a Handicap Index of 8.6, and there's always the possibility I could go completely off the rails toward Humiliation Station. But I like it. My friend Vinny Giles said it best: “Golf's a lot different when you've got a pencil in your hand.”

That’s why they invented Long Island Iced Tea.

The PGA professional is the most revered person in the game. He or she is admired and respected, much the way doctors, teachers and football coaches are in our communities. They come into contact with a lot of charities, civic leaders and business people. At its core, it's a noble profession, because they're always serving. They can have a huge influence, they're trusted and they care. They're sort of ministers with a different pulpit. I took this job for the opportunity to make 29,000 members' lives better, and because of how that can impact the lives of the millions of people that they touch every day. I'd like to utilize these traits more to their benefit.

Good solid sentiment even if we all know superintendents are the most revered and typically the best paid, but maybe such a view will help raise their profile nationally. Wait, what, there’s more?

It's just an idea, but say your PGA member drove a Cadillac. Could he or she, as a local thought leader, drive sales for the nearby dealer through club members and benefit from that in some way? Can we do this on a national scale? Everyone wins.

Like, you scratch my back, I’ll scratch your back scheme! Very, 21st century-friendly choice of Cadillac, too!

Oh but it gets worse…

A lot of ideas for improving the game are going to come from outside of golf. Arjun Chowdri, who we just named as the PGA of America's first Chief Innovation Officer, told us recently about a discovery prompted by the problem of waste in grocery stores. The amount and cost of produce going bad before it moves off the shelves is staggering. Arjun noted that scientists have developed a safe polymer that, when sprayed on fruit and vegetables, makes them last several days longer.

Yes, that shiny crap that sends people to buy from, say, the Southampton Farmer’s Market? Go on…

Arjun is wondering if there might be a use for that polymer on golf courses.

Does he now?

Could it mean less water usage, which we know is an increasingly critical issue in golf? Can it keep the azaleas in bloom at the Masters a week longer?

Ok, now that’s important in the grand scheme of things.

Maybe, maybe not.

Not.

But we're going to be encouraging and investing in that type of alternative thinking. One benefit of moving our headquarters to Frisco, Texas—we'll have golf courses and other state-of-the-art facilities—is to create a laboratory for the game in all forms. It will be the canvas to incubate ideas, and to test and develop concepts in real-world settings.

Polymer zoysia fairways, here we come! Just wash your hands a lot after playing at Incubator National.

State Of The Game 93: A.W. Tillinghast's PGA "Tour" With The PGA of America's Bob Denney, Plus Other Vital Stuff

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As we approach the PGA Championship there will be the inevitable discussion about A.W. Tillinghast’s role in the course’s final outcome. While that’s certainly a fun debate to have, the PGA of America’s first trip to Bethpage-Black offers a chance to revisit Tillinghast’s later-in-life work for the organization.

The PGA “Tour” started as a nice consulting job for the organization he was a longtime friend of, but became a major odyssey that sent the famed architect to around 500 courses to a wide variety of suggestions and assessments. You can read Tillinghast.net’s excellent description here with a list of courses.

I have worked with Golf Channel on a feature about this and Tillinghast’s fairly anonymous last years that will air a few times in the coming days, first on the CBS presentation of the “Road to the PGA.” That show re-airs Monday night on Golf Channel.

In the mean time, Rod Morri, Mike Clayton and I were joined by the PGA of America’s Bob Denney, who has preserved the bound volumes of Tillinghast correspondences and notes made by headquarters. These historic letters have moved around a lot and the golf world owes a debt of gratitude to Bob and the PGA for saving them (digital versions of most can be seen here thanks to the Tillinghast team of Wolfe, Wolfe, and Trebus!).

Here’s the pod! As always you can get it wherever fine pods are streamed, or here at the iTunes store.

Wells Fargo Extends For Five Years Except When Quail Hollow Hosts The Presidents Cup, Reminding Us Of News We'd Tried To Forget

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Congrats to all for extending Wells Fargo’s sponsorship of the Charlotte stop at Quail Hollow, the oft-remodeled and over-extended design that was probably once very charming.

In 2021, when Quail lulls us to sleep during the Presidents Cup, the Wells Fargo will go north to the TPC Potomac outside Washington D.C. where players will experience “Scottish style bunkering”.

Also note this extension takes Quail Hollow through 2024 as host of the Wells Fargo. Remarkably, the club is believed to be a candidate for the 2026 PGA Championship as well. Currently that date is open, which is saying something given that almost all PGA dates have been filled or penciled in until 2031.

Wells Fargo Extends Sponsorship of Wells Fargo Championship by Five Years
Quail Hollow Club remains host site of prestigious event in Charlotte 

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA – April 30, 2019 – Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC), the PGA TOUR and tournament host organization Champions for Education announced today that Wells Fargo has extended its sponsorship of the Wells Fargo Championship through 2024 after signing a five-year extension. The announcement was made today by leaders from Wells Fargo, the PGA TOUR and Champions for Education.

Quail Hollow Club, home to the Wells Fargo Championship since its PGA TOUR debut in 2003, will continue to host the event.

“Since 2003, the Wells Fargo Championship has established itself as a premier event in the sports-rich city of Charlotte, with a supportive fan base, outstanding host venue and highly engaged title sponsor,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan. “It also continues to impact the community through the charitable efforts of Champions for Education, for which Wells Fargo has played a major role. The Wells Fargo Championship is a favorite stop among our players, and we are excited to announce that this relationship will continue for an additional five years.”

The 2018 Wells Fargo Championship generated more than $1.5 million for Charlotte-area charitable organizations, raising the tournament’s all-time total to $22 million.

“The Wells Fargo Championship is one of the most engaging expressions of our brand, and we’re thrilled to continue to delight golf fans, Wells Fargo team members, PGA TOUR players and the greater Charlotte community with our sponsorship of this event,” said Jamie Moldafsky, Chief Marketing Officer of Wells Fargo. “We’re especially proud of the positive impact we are able to generate in the greater Charlotte community in support of organizations including the Championship’s three primary beneficiaries: The First Tee of Greater CharlotteLevine Children’s Hospital and Teach for America.”

Jason Day returns as defending champion, winning last year by two strokes over Aaron Wise and Nick Watney. It was his 12th career PGA TOUR victory.

“The Wells Fargo Championship is an important part of the fabric of the community and today’s announcement allows us to continue to support our charitable efforts,” said Wells Fargo Championship Tournament Director Gary Sobba. “It is also an exciting time for our 2,300 volunteers—many of whom are Wells Fargo team members. We are fortunate that our tournament has become a popular spring tradition for PGA TOUR players, our partners and fans throughout the Carolinas.”

Quail Hollow Club President Johnny Harris said, “Today’s announcement is special for Quail Hollow Club members and staff. From the beginning, our goal was to create an exciting environment for the players, patrons, and partners as we gather to celebrate the game of golf and incorporate the tremendous support of the community. We are so honored by the success of this annual event and are grateful for all who have helped us along the way. We have been fortunate to host the best players in the world and are looking forward to welcoming them back for years to come.”

Because of the Presidents Cup at Quail Hollow Club in 2021, the event will move for one year to TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm in Washington, D.C. Known for its natural rolling terrain and Scottish-style bunkering, this well-regarded venue has played host to past PGA TOUR events.

Has The Official World Golf Ranking Outlived Its Usefulness?

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Rex Hoggard examines the PGA Tour’s increasingly hostile view of the Official World Golf Ranking and suggests the best way to fix the ranking is to stop using it.

The PGA Championship uses its own points list, a one-year ranking based on official earnings, along with a variety of other criteria. Not included in the qualification for the year’s second major is a player’s position in the world ranking, although officials do historically dovetail special exemptions to those inside the top 100 to assure no one slips through the cracks.

The point remains valid, however. There are now endless ways to identify competitive merit without becoming mired in the world ranking weeds.

Perhaps the game’s best minds can conjure a solution to the current ranking problems, but if we’re being objective the entire analysis is starting to feel like an exercise in diminishing returns. Organizations like the PGA of America and R&A don’t need the world ranking to identify the best players any longer.

The point is a strong one assuming that any replacement in use to fill a field does attempt to weave in the entire planet. Or else we’ll just end up with a new ranking again.

PGA Rolls Out Plans, Timeline For It's Grow The Game Move To Frisco, Texas, Home To Future PGA's And Ryder Cups

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We’re making the world a better place! I mean, Grow the game!

It’s a tired mantra wheeled out to sell just about anything in golf, including, repeatedly by new PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh in lieu of just saying, “we got a great deal to develop a project in Texas that’s aligns perfectly with our organization’s history of partnering on projects and eventually walking away from them.”

I guess that doesn’t quite sing like grow the game and Silicon Valley, assuming he’s referring to the region and not the television show.

Anyway, the new development will have a monster Omni Hotel, offices to process those pricey PGA member dues and will serve as the 2027 PGA Championship host site. Also, a possible 2040 Ryder Cup is headed there, with the task force inevitably penciling in Captain Jordan Spieth in Frisco to play the 7,603 yard Gil Hanse course as the primary venue. The project breaks ground this winter and debuts three years later with the 2023 PGA Senior Championship.

Beau Welling will be doing the second course. (Awkwardly, Hanse recently renovated one of Welling’s biggest projects from the Fazio years, Pinehurst No. 4.)

Art Stricklin for Golf.com, explaining the inspiration for the Hanse design:

The East Course, measuring 7,603 yards from the back tees with a par of 72, has already been tapped to host two PGA Championships, the first in 2027 and another in ’34, along with a tentative Ryder Cup in 2040.

Hanse, who designed the Olympic Golf Course in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, has recently redone Pinehurst No. 4 and is currently working on a complete renovation at Oakland Hills GC, outside Detroit. But it was his recent redo of the Maxwell classic at Southern Hills CC in Tulsa, Okla., that motivated him for the PGA Frisco project.

“I think you saw a true restoration of the (original) Maxwell course at Southern Hills and you’ll see a lot of stylistic imports from Maxwell at the PGA course here,” Hanse said Monday a press event for the new PGA of America HQ. “I haven’t been to all the Maxwell courses, but you will see the deep bunkers around the greens and the smaller greens. That’s part of what I hope to see [here].”

This Tweet lists the championships committed to Frisco:

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A Tweeted map of the Hanse design:

They had a diverse group for the big rollout…some men in ties, some not in ties.

PGA Of America "Officials" Will Be Taking A Helicopter To Bethpage From New York City, And You Can Too For $4300!

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Thanks to reader John for this almost April 1-worthy PGA of America release proving more than ever that the officers and leadership are thinking of solutions for themselves.

The PGA membership?

If you can afford to stay in New York City, they’ve got a great way to commute to Bethpage State Park for this May’s PGA Championship. Maybe there will be post-PGA lessons included with Bethpage’s vast PGA-trained staff as well?

For Immediate Release…

PGA of America and Bell announces helicopter program for the 101st PGA Championship at Bethpage Black

The PGA of America today announced, in collaboration with Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. (NYSE:TXT) company, a new and innovative transportation solution to the 101st PGA Championship at Bethpage Black. The partnership between Bell and the 2019 PGA Championship will offer an unparalleled flight program that will transport key stakeholders - including C-Suite executives, corporate hospitality clients and PGA Officials – from multiple sites in Manhattan and surrounding New York Metro corporate centers to/from an on-site landing zone located at Bethpage State Park, just minutes from the PGA Championship.

Oh at the park, how charming! Can’t wait to hear that noise as we try to watch a major championship.

As part of the relationship, Bell will be the Official Helicopter Provider of the 2019 PGA Championship. This 2019 PGA Championship-specific flight program will utilize two types of aircraft, Bell’s class-leading 429 and Bell 407 models, both of which deliver a smooth ride, optimal comfort and unsurpassed visibility.

We want to make sure you can look down on the little people!

Bell will coordinate operations with their longtime customer, Zip Aviation and BLADE, the leading on-demand flight service in/around New York City.

 “The PGA is excited to be working with Bell in New York around the 101st PGA. Via this relationship, we’ll be providing an innovative transportation solution to the PGA Championship while also enhancing our corporate hospitality program,” said PGA of America Director of Championship Sales and Marketing John Handley. “To work with Bell, an industry leader in the aerospace sector, also aligns with our strategy of being a technological leader in the golf industry.”

When we think technology in golf, some might believe that means better helping all PGA of America professionals adapt to things like launch monitors and other tools of the trade, but really we’re about how to best move fat cats to and from our major. Handy though if an officer is battling a DUI!

“Bell is proud to provide aircraft to services like Zip Aviation and BLADE who give customers precious time back when traveling,” said Susan Griffin, executive vice president of Commercial Sales, Bell. “We are excited to offer customers attending the PGA Championship at Bethpage Black a one-of-a-kind experience and raise the bar for air travel in one of the world’s most popular corporate helicopters, the Bell 429.”

While tickets for the PGA are very much still available at $110 plus tax for each round, that looks like a bargain compared to the Zip Aviation-PGA costs.

Roundtrip tickets starting at $4276? But remember, you may get to sit next to a PGA official!

Note the locations as well.

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Bamberger To Suzy: Bring Back Ted!

Ah remember when the controversies were seemingly so petty? Michael Bamberger, in his weekly golf.com column of best things in golf, has several fun items, including this:

Ted Bishop, the outspoken former PGA of American president, came rushing back to mind last week when he wrote an insightful GOLF.com piece about Steve Stricker as the Ryder Cup captain. Bishop’s bio blurb noted that he was the 38th president of the PGA of America. As it happens, the Honda event this week is played at a course owned by the PGA of America, PGA National. The 41st and current PGA president, Suzy Whaley, is the first female president of the organization. Bishop’s two-year term has been all but wiped clean from PGA history and he enjoys none of the privileges that come from being a former president, like an invitation-for-life to the Ryder Cup! You might recall his offense: In a post Ryder Cup tweet in 2014, Bishop called Ian Poulter a “Lil girl.” Yes, it was an inane thing to write. But our language, via Twitter and otherwise, has been so debased since then if Bishop or anybody else wrote that today it would be a pebble in an ocean. The point here is this: isn’t it time for Bishop to be brought back into the fold, where he can have his place of honor among former PGA Presidents including George Sargent, Ed Dudley and Max Elbin? Suzy Whaley, an accomplished player and a bright leader in golf, would be the ideal person to do it, or at least initiate it. #rehabilitation.

Given that Whaley couldn’t wait to condemn former prez Bishop while standing by DUI-arrestee Paul Levy the last two years, don’t get your hopes up.

PGA CEO Waugh On Natural Cynicism, Becoming The United Nations Of Golf And Dropping The Pine Valley Membership

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New PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh sat down with Morning Read’s Adam Schupak to discuss his vision for the PGA as a the United Nations of golf and several other topics. He may have said too much, oh, throughout most of the chat.

There's a natural cynicism of the members about HQ. There's this feeling that we get to drive our courtesy cars and we're sitting down there in Florida and all this money is rolling in and, What's in it for me? I've got three kids going off to school, and my lesson book is going down, and I don't have any health care and whatever. They're right.

Well that’s why that cynicism has been natural all these years.

We have to figure that out if we want this to work. We have an army of 29,000 people who are the best army in the game to make it better. We need to figure out how to make their lives better and incent them to do the things to make that all happen. The selfish thing is, if we figure it out, we'll have a more passionate group to get it done for us. That's what I'm hoping, and that's why I'm here.

Don’t worry, the board will put a stop to this wonderful outlook! A little later on…

I think the PGA is in a unique position to be that United Nations of golf, if you will, the Switzerland of golf. We're for the game at every level. We just want everyone to play and like and have as much impact as we can. Being that objective observer on things and uniter around the game and sort of thinking at the end of the day we just need to cook the biggest turkey so we can all eat the most meat, right, and that's what we're about rather than, do we get the breast or the thigh or the leg? That's certainly how I'm approaching it.

We’ll remember that when the PGA of America and PGA Tour oppose any action by the USGA and R&A.

This wasn’t so hot…

AS: Anything you would've done differently handling former PGA president Paul Levy's being charged with driving under the influence of alcohol?

SW: I don't think so. I know everyone wants to compare it to Ted Bishop. I wasn't there for Ted, so I don't really have an opinion about that one. But for the one I was there for, I don't think it was a capital crime. He went out on a Saturday night, not on PGA business, wasn't representing the association, shouldn't have driven home, and he did. Thankfully, nobody was hurt, including himself. It's horrible. I'm not trying to justify a DUI.

Eh you kinda did.

It's totally unacceptable, but are you supposed to lose your life and job?

Actually, he’d already lost his job. The only PGA president to ever serve without one.

I don't think it's a capital crime. His reaction was one of total humility, total contriteness, total embarrassment, and threw himself on the cross with no excuses, no anything, and I think that's important, too.

Actually the organization hid him from public view until a trophy ceremony resurfacing at the PGA Championship.

I think our reaction was appropriate, not an overreaction, but a significant one to give him time to figure it out and come back a period of time later with what he learned with a chance to apologize, and so I think it was appropriate. I do.

The PGA membership is still waiting for that apology, or even an acknowledgement of what happened. That’s hardly contrite.

AS: I wouldn't term Ted Bishop's actions a capital crime, either. Do you agree?

SW: Having not been there and having taken a little time to try to understand it, I think the difference was it was an accumulation of things, No. 1, and No. 2, was his reaction was very different. He was not humble about it. He was aggressive about it, and he was representing the PGA. He was using his pulpit to say something, and while we may not judge it to be a capital offense, a lot of the world was judging it to be a capital crime in this environment. Not being there, it wasn't something that just blew over, and maybe it could've. He did a lot of great things for the association. I've never met him, but there are a lot of people who think the punishment didn't fit the crime.

So much for “I wasn't there for Ted, so I don't really have an opinion about that one.”

This was newsworthy given that many other golf executives and leaders are members at Pine Valley:

AS: What is your current roster of golf memberships?

SW: Seminole, Lost Tree and Old Marsh down here. I guess I'm a member at PGA National, too. Then there's Old Town in Winston-Salem [N.C., where his son played college golf, at Wake Forest]. I voluntarily gave up Pine Valley and Garden City because of the single-sex thing. I didn't think that would be fair to the clubs or the association if that came out. Deepdale, Westhampton, Quogue [Field Club], National [Golf Links], Shinnecock, Cypress Point and San Francisco Golf Club, Boston Golf Club, Lahinch in Ireland and Royal Aberdeen in Scotland. Too many.

Interesting to see the single-sex club issue impacting his thinking and noteworthy. Will others follow suit?

PGA Of America To Frisco, "To deliver innovative and differentiated experiences for our nearly 29,000 PGA Golf Professionals"

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You know it’s a questionable deal when the jargon is flowing concerning the question PGA of America members are asking: how does a headquarters move to Frisco, Texas make them a better members organization?

As evidenced by the tacky NASCAR rollout of logos (above), this is certainly a real estate deal that will benefit PGA of America members who get jobs at the new facility. Beyond that, there really is no obvious benefit for PGA members.

As for Championships, the unbuilt courses have been given two PGA’s, including the 2027 edition announced for Aronimink (which presumably moves up to the open 2026 date while Quail Hollow is likely to get the 2025 date).

So in just over four years from now, the Senior PGA will open the Frisco facility. Chop, chop!

Here are the tournaments committed to after the Frisco City Council approved this massive real estate cash-in job.

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For Immediate Release and let the b-speak begin:

PGA of America relocating headquarters to Frisco as part of innovative public-private partnership

Deal also links Omni Hotels & Resorts, Stillwater Capital, City of Frisco, FISD and Hunt Realty

Frisco, Texas (Dec. 4, 2018) -  The PGA of America is moving its headquarters from Palm Beach County, Florida to Frisco, Texas, the ‘2018 Best Place to Live in America,’* where it will anchor a 600-acre, mixed-use development with an initial investment worth more than half a billion dollars.

Today’s announcement follows votes by the Frisco City Council, its Economic and Community Development Corporations and the Frisco Independent School District (FISD) board of trustees. The PGA of America will initially employ at least 100 people at the Frisco-based headquarters.

Palm Beach staff, Merry Christmas.

Under this agreement, two PGA Championships, two KPMG Women’s PGA Championships and potentially a Ryder Cup will be held in Frisco. 

Potentially.

This groundbreaking agreement is estimated to have an economic impact of more than $2.5 billion over the next 20 years based on a city commissioned tourism feasibility study.** The study considered the economics of golf course activities, including tournaments, plus the additional impact from the new conference center.  

West Palm Beach or Frisco for a conference? Hmmm…

The PGA of America is teaming with Omni Stillwater Woods (OSW), a joint venture led by Omni Hotels & Resorts with Stillwater Capital  and Woods Capital; the City of Frisco, as well as its Economic and Community Development Corporations; and the Frisco Independent School District.                 

“Our move to Frisco will be transcendent for the PGA of America,” said Seth Waugh, CEO, PGA of America.  “Everything great starts with a dream. This is the beginning of a bold, new journey as we bring together world-class partners in a world-class location – to deliver innovative and differentiated experiences for our nearly 29,000 PGA Golf Professionals, golfers of all abilities and our staff.” 

Differentiated experiences. That’s some authentic, frontier malarkey.

Two championship golf courses, a short course, and practice areas totaling 45 holes; a clubhouse; Class AA office space; a 500-room Omni resort and 127,000-square-foot conference center; a technologically advanced retail village; parks and open space plus several miles of trails, will complement this unique, signature development.  

Signature. Now I’m on board. Townhouses probably on the rim too. At least we haven’t been subjected to a grow-the-game mention yet.

The PGA’s Northern Texas Section will also move to PGA Frisco, where state of the art connectivity will provide opportunities to pilot promising new growth-of-the-game programming for all 41 Sections of the PGA of America.  

Ok there you go. Growing the game.

A welcoming gateway at Frisco’s northern border, the upscale development will be located at Rockhill Parkway and Legacy Drive, approximately one-third of a mile south of U.S. 380.  The 600 acres are primarily situated within 2,500 acres being master planned by Hunt Realty Investments.  The development will be open to the public, as well as golfers.

I don’t even know what that means. Go on…

The entire project will have an initial, estimated public-private investment totaling more than $520 million.  The PGA of America will invest $30 million to build its 100,000-square-foot global headquarters and education facility.  OSW will invest $455 million to purchase the land, construct the hotel, conference center, retail space, parking facilities, and golf courses.  The golf courses, clubhouse, practice areas and associated public facilities will be owned by the city.  More than 300 FISD high school golfers will practice at the facility on a weekly basis.  

Finally, something that has some real meaning to the sport!

The agreement calls for the City of Frisco and its development corporations (each funded by a half-cent of Frisco’s sales tax) and FISD to contribute no more than $35 million toward development of the public facilities (City of Frisco, $13.3 million; Frisco Economic Development Corp. (FEDC), $2.5 million; Frisco Community Development Corp. (FCDC), $13.3 million; and FISD, $5.8 million)

The City of Frisco will also provide performance incentives, which include a portion of hotel occupancy, mixed beverage, sales and property taxes generated by the hotel and associated retail on the site for a 20-year-period.  These performance incentives are estimated to total between $52 million and $74 million.  Additionally, the State of Texas will contribute all the hotel and sales tax, along with a portion  of mixed beverage tax collected on the project for 10 years.  The state grant total, provided through Chapter 351 incentives, is valued at more than $62.5 million over 10 years.

FEDC is also investing $14.3 million over a 15-year period for the PGA of America’s headquarters relocation, job creation and PGA tournament incentives.  

The initial 25-year agreement calls for the land and conference center to be publicly owned by the City of Frisco and operated by OSW, which will pay $100,000 a year in rent to the city.  That lease will  increase two percent after the fifth year of the development agreement.  OSW is responsible for all maintenance and capital expenses while retaining revenues.  Omni Hotels & Resorts will own and operate the resort.   

“For years, the PGA of America has served its membership all across the nation where they engage their local communities, and help to raise over $4 billion annually,” said Governor Greg Abbott. 

Sure they do!

“The decision to relocate their headquarters to Texas because of our business-friendly climate is a welcome one.  I thank the PGA of America for the new jobs and investment that they will bring to the City of Frisco, wish them continued success, and welcome them to the Lone Star State, the home of champions.” 

“Today is both historic and transformational for the City of Frisco,” said Mayor Jeff Cheney.  “Not only will this signature development change the future of Frisco’s northern landscape, it will transform the sport, growing a new generation of pros, fans and golf enthusiasts. 

No it won’t.

“As Sports City, USA, we’re thrilled to partner with another world-class brand like the PGA of America.  We’re also honored Omni is, once again, committing such a huge investment in our community, recognizing the potential to grow entertainment, tourism and economic development in one of the fastest-growing cities in America.”  

Translation, they’re building yet another hole down the street from the one they already built.

“Partnering with the PGA of America and City of Frisco to build a brand new, luxurious golf resort in north Texas is an unprecedented move in the strategic growth of our company,” said Blake Rowling, president of TRT Holdings, Inc., parent company of Omni Hotels & Resorts.  “Omni is known for its elevated service and amenities, including golf, and this resort, alongside the headquarters of the PGA of America, promises to be a first-class development that will attract thousands of people per year.” 

“This is a tremendous opportunity for all of North Texas,” said Robert Elliott, co-founder, Stillwater Capital.  “Stillwater Capital is proud to play a part in conceiving and delivering a grand vision for this unique development.”          

“This is yet another example of the public entities in Frisco coming together with private partners to provide unprecedented experiences for young people,” said John Classe, Frisco ISD School Board President.  “The opportunities available to students in Frisco ISD are simply unmatched in Texas and across  the nation.  We’re excited about what this partnership means, not just for our students, but the community.” 

“As co-developers of Fields, Hunt Realty and Karahan Companies, along with our investors, are committed to creating a world-class, mixed-use planned community with the 2,500-acre Fields development, and we are proud to have facilitated the land sale for the new premier Omni Hotel, PGA of America headquarters and championship golf,” said Chris Kleinert, President of Hunt Realty Investments. “We are thrilled to play a part in this transformational project in Frisco, and we welcome the PGA and its employees to Fields.”

The golf courses are expected to open in summer 2022. 

They better!

The hotel, convention center, and other facilities are expected to open within six months of that date. 

Sure they will!

The development will host the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship in 2023.  

*Money Magazine named the City of Frisco the “2018 Best Place to Live in America”.

**Economic impact study for the proposed hotel and convention center. Hotel & Leisure Advisors, October 2017 study. 

And in case the first quotes weren’t enough….

SUPPLEMENTAL QUOTES

SETH WAUGH, CEO – PGA of America

“We welcome the opportunity to develop friendships and partnerships with the community and its residents, as well as across North Texas and throughout the state.  We are grateful to the City of Frisco, the State of Texas and Omni Stillwater Woods for embracing our vision of creating a transformational headquarters that, together with our world-class partners, helps us advance our mission of serving our Members and growing the game,” said Seth Waugh, CEO, PGA of America.   

RON PATTERSON, president, Frisco Economic Development Corporation

“Having another corporate presence, especially one with such a nationally and internationally recognized brand like the PGA of America, continues to enhance Frisco’s reputation as one of the most sought-after sports and business environments in the United States,” said Ron Patterson, president, Frisco Economic Development Corporation.  “The PGA will bring more jobs, as well as numerous PGA tournaments, to Frisco.  Additionally, the PGA becomes the eighth professional sports organization to be headquartered in the city.”

MIKE BARBER, vice chairman, Frisco Community Development Corporation

“We’re investing in this project because we recognize the value of bringing championship tournaments to Frisco, as well as providing our own residents the opportunity to play at a prestigious venue,” said Mike Barber, vice chairman, Frisco Community Development Corporation.  

CRAIG MOEN, chairman, Frisco Economic Development Corporation 

“This new partnership between Frisco and the PGA of America will bring new national and international sports and business focus to the city,” said Craig Moen, chairman, Frisco Economic Development Corporation.  “As a result, we expect to see additional corporations looking to relocate their national and regional headquarters to consider Frisco.  This is an exciting opportunity as we continue to position Frisco as one of the most dynamic cities for corporate relocation in the nation.” 

PETER STREBEL, president of Omni Hotels & Resorts

“We have been committed to investing in leading business and leisure destinations for a long time, but more specifically over the course of the last five years since acquiring six powerhouse resorts,” said Peter Strebel, president of Omni Hotels & Resorts.  “This new, luxury destination, in partnership with the PGA of America, will complement our already impressive portfolio of resorts and feature world-class golf, spa, retail and food and beverage amenities.” 

ROBERT ELLIOTT, co-founder, Stillwater Capital

“Texans are known for thinking big, and we understood early the potential for a mixed-use project anchored by the relocation of the PGA of America, and their commitment to bring major championships to this world-class golf destination,” said Robert Elliott, co-founder, Stillwater Capital. 

DR. MIKE WALDRIP, superintendent of schools, FISD 

“This partnership adds another level of exciting opportunities and experiences for our students,” said Dr. Mike Waldrip, superintendent of schools, FISD.  “The facility will be home to Frisco ISD golf and provide a number of unique learning opportunities for students in fields such as landscape architecture, hotel and restaurant management, and sports broadcasting.  The development around the golf courses will also add millions of dollars to our tax base, helping to keep the tax rate low.” 

Frisco City Council To Vote Tuesday On $500 Million Headquarters Move, Future PGA Venue

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Karen Robinson-Jacobs and Brad Townsend report for the Dallas Morning News on the PGA of America’s big move from Florida to Texas.

Of note is how little will be known until the council votes on the project that will include an Omni hotel, 100,000 square-foot headquarters and two 18-hole courses. With the PGA Championship signed up through 2030—except openings in ‘25 and ‘26—the tournament is now locked into a courses even more into the future.

From the story:

It will also include a guarantee that two PGA Championships, two Women's PGA Championships and multiple men's Senior PGA Championships will be played in Frisco, sources said.

The cost for creating the golf courses and a clubhouse is estimated to be about $80 million, one source said.

Art Stricklin, who first broke the news for Golf.com earlier this year, assesses a few more of the particulars from the latest story. Including this:

One of the investors in the Frisco site is Jonas Woods, who helped develop Trinity Forest golf course in South Dallas, the home of the AT&T Byron Nelson. Woods, who has been involved in the PGA project for years, said all signs point to the deal being approved.

“I believe what Seth says on this,” Woods told GOLF.com.

Suzy Whaley Wastes Little Time Cashing In On New PGA Presidency

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New PGA of America president Suzy Whaley has already been lauded for breaking barriers everywhere you read pure golf fluff. She’s growing the game, revealing a desire to make golf more accessible to more people and some other stuff about a funnel.

But in her role as head officer of the PGA of America, Whaley—proud defender of DUI arrestee Paul Levy and proud scolder of “lil girl” mentioner Ted Bishop—will spend two years playing golf, nodding her head, leaping head first to any live camera and, based on the first business day of her term, cashing in.

I get it. The job is ceremonial, exposes you to some of the game’s most wanton bores, and most people won’t mind if the PGA President gives a few paid talks. Or, jack up that rate for a lesson and maybe get a pay raise at the job, assuming you have one (Whaley’s predecessor, uh, gave up his early into his term, another first for the PGA).

But on business day one announcing a $1899 junket through a PR firm and resort? Guess Whaley has to strike while the barrier-breaking proclamations are hot.

For Immediate Release:

Casa de Campo Announces ‘Women’s Getaway with Suzy Whaley’

Renowned Master PGA Professional to Host Four-Day, Three-Night December Event

(LA ROMANA, Dominican Republic) – 
Casa de Campo Resort & Villas – home to the Caribbean’s premier, luxury golf experiences, including the iconic Teeth of the Dog course – will host its “Women’s Getaway with Suzy Whaley,” Dec. 7 – 10.
 
Whaley, recently elected as the first woman President of the PGA of America, is recognized as one of the country’s top instructors. She was an LPGA Tour member in 1990 and 1993. Most notably, she qualified for and took part in the 2003 Greater Hartford Open, becoming the first woman since Babe Zaharias in 1945 to qualify for a PGA TOUR event. She is the PGA Director of Instruction at Suzy Whaley Golf in Cromwell, Conn.

The four-day / three-night stay-and-play is all-inclusive and starts at $1,899 per person (double occupancy). The many highlights include unlimited green fees on all three of the resort’s classic Pete Dye-designed courses and personal instruction by Whaley for the attendees at the resort’s new state-of-the-art, PGA Tour-quality 
Golf Learning Center highlighted by Trackman and BODITRAK technology.
 
Also featured are three nights’ Elite Room accommodations (with one cart golf per room); breakfast, lunch and dinner in all resort restaurants (SBG and Minitas Beach Club & Restaurant excluded); unlimited drinks in all hotel bars, restaurants and Oasis bar as well as beverage carts out on the courses; one massage at the Casa de Campo Spa; souvenirs; and complimentary transfers from La Romana, Santo Domingo or Punta Cana airports.

Taxes and service charges are additionally included. For more information, call 809.523.8115 or email 
m.leonardo@ccampo.com.do.

“When I turned 50 two years ago, my husband surprised me with a trip to Casa de Campo and had our two daughters and a number of my friends meet us down there for one of the great vacations of my life,” says Whaley. “The property is incredible, the golf is outstanding, the setting is breathtaking, and the service is impeccable.”

‘It’s a true honor for us to partner with Suzy,” says Jason Kycek, Casa de Campo’s senior vice president of sales and marketing. “We invite women to join Suzy and us for this wonderful event and discover first-hand why we’re one of the premier golf resorts in the world.”

"What is the PGA of America trying to hide?"

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That’s the question Alex Miceli asks at MorningRead.com on the eve of Suzy Whaley’s expected election to the PGA of America Presidency. She will be the organization’s first female president. Yet at the PGA’s annual meeting in Palm Springs, media has been denied access despite requests to attend.

Miceli shares the PGA’s statement explaining why they are not welcoming coverage and then asks:

What is the PGA of America trying to hide?

During the past year, Morning Read has written about issues concerning the PGA’s outgoing president, Paul Levy (“PGA applies double standard in Levy case,” June 17). We also have written about PGA members’ concerns and questions about the board’s actions involving Levy before and during his presidency (“L.A. pro to PGA: Clean up Levy mess,” Aug. 2).

The issue was the same for those members as it is today: transparency.

Being transparent and being well-informed work in tandem. Open access to information allows voters, shareholders or members the best opportunity to make educated decisions.

The organization has had a dreadful year on the governance front, with current president Paul Levy arrested for driving under the influence and the organization resisting membership requests for transparency on Levy’s status.

Levy continues to helm PGA events to the very end according to the organization’s Facebook page.

Not Everyone Is Excited About Congressional's Restoration Program

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Congressional Country Club, soon slated to host a PGA of America event every other year for the rest of our lives, has a Keith Foster restoration of Devereux Emmet’s design in its immediate future. With that is tree removal apparently carried out in a questionable manner for Montgomery County, reports the Washington Post’s Jennifer Barrios.

After inspecting the grounds and comparing aerial photos with photos received as part of a complaint, authorities said the club appears to have removed roughly half an acre of tree cover in recent months — possibly in preparation for hosting several high-profile tournaments in coming years, including the PGA Championship and the Ryder Cup.

A club member, who triggered the investigation by tipping off a local environmental group, estimated that 1,000 trees were taken down on the 358-acre property. The member thinks it happened in the colder winter months, when the courses are less utilized.

“I am [upset] because they’re ruining my club,” said the member, who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of retribution from club officials, but added that dozens of fellow clubgoers are also concerned.

“I think they don’t want members to fuss,” the person said. “I think it [was] also quietly done so it didn’t draw attention from the county.”

Too late now!

Brilliant Move Or Fox Redux? Sorting Out PGA Of America's New TV Deal

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I had trouble not recalling the many apparent similarities with the USGA and Fox TV deal in reading today’s rollout of the PGA Championship’s CBS renewal/ESPN television deal.

There is the 11-year deal term, which remains confounding on so many levels given how much more lazily entities perform when not incentivized by an expiring contract.

There is the PGA of America turning to an organization—ESPN—that had all but given up doing golf except for the Masters rights, earned as much through their reach as their devotion to golf.

There is ESPN primarily looking to lock up new content deals to fuel a new product. In the PGA’s case it’s ESPN+ coverage. For Fox with the USGA, it was Fox Sports 1.

There are the usual proclamations of getting special attention to under-covered events like the PGA Junior League which, as we saw with the USGA-Fox deal now just doing 8 of 13 USGA events with no front or back end coverage, fizzled out as the cost and rating realities led to altered intentions.

There are the usual vapid statements about better opportunities to grow the game, etc. The USGA and Fox promised unprecedented opportunities to raise the USGA’s profile for the betterment of the game. The USGA has never been more anonymous or underserved.

And then there is the PGA price tag: a rise from around $22 million annually for the PGA Championship to $70 million according to multiple sources who I spoke to after the deal was announced. Furthermore, CBS has insisted that ESPN pay a higher share of the rights fee, an amazing thing given that CBS gets the prime weekend coverage. So let’s use basic logic and assume ESPN is paying $40 million or so annually to CBS’s $30 million.

So far, not a word has been uttered about how the extra cash in the coffers will benefit the PGA of America membership, nor was there any mention of reducing the horrible commercial and promo overload that has made the PGA Championship golf’s least appealing major on television.

Also intriguing to see will be how deep into the night both networks go for the PGA’s two West Coast playings during the 11 years. Will 60 Minutes have to wait on golf? Will NBA playoffs move to ESPN2?

John Ourand and John Lombardo report for Sports Business Daily on the deal’s known details and players, with the emphasis on ESPN+ and the PGA Championship as a key part of building the budding streaming service.

But ESPN also is looking for content to convince people to subscribe to its ESPN+ streaming service. “We’re building a new business in ESPN+. It was ideal for us to have a golf major available for acquisition.” Starting with the ’20 event at Harding Park in S.F., CBS and ESPN will have wall-to-wall coverage (more than 175 hours) during the tournament. CBS will carry weekend afternoon coverage, while ESPN and ESPN+ will carry the Thursday and Friday rounds exclusively. It also will carry weekend rounds before CBS goes on air. Interestingly, while CBS is on air on the weekend, ESPN+ will have live coverage from featured holes and featured groups.

Amazing to think that for 11 years, CBS will yield to ESPN on those digital fronts. Anyway…

There was also this:

ESPN+ also will carry practice rounds before the tournament, press conferences and driving range interviews. ESPN will produce “SportsCenter” from the event. Other aspects of the deal: ESPN will carry the PGA Jr. League Championship starting in Oct. ’20. “That could become a different version of the Little League World Series,” Waugh said.

It could. And probably won’t.

Where this deal could differ from USGA/Fox is in the partnerships: CBS loves golf and has been devoted to covering the game a long time, including the PGA Championship since 1991. The last year saw major technological enhancements to the PGA broadcast. Finally.

ESPN, while clearly stockpiling content ala Fox and FS1, has at times shown great interest in golf and as with its involvement in tennis, figures to go all in to make this work. Many of their top Sportscenter anchors love the game and as Mike McQuade and Rob King’s roles at the network increased, golf coverage has expanded.

Still, eleven years is plenty of time to lose interest and to have little incentive to invest, especially if the parent companies deem the deal a loss leader. Even as Fox has settled into their role handling the USGA events and innovated, the network broke away from live US Amateur golf at Pebble Beach this summer to show golf documentary reruns, presumably because a corporate beancounter wasn’t about to cover overtime pay.

So while danger signs exist for similar headaches that annoy viewers, the PGA of America has diversified their partnerships to now include CBS, ESPN, NBC (Ryder Cup, KPMG LPGA, Senior PGA) and Golf Channel (Ryder Cup, KPMG LPGA, Senior PGA). One hopes they negotiated more outs and opportunities to refine broadcast details in response to changing times or changing corporate cultures.

The next priority for the PGA? Figure out how to take their riches and somehow restore the golf professional to a higher place in the game.

Full CBS press release.

Full ESPN press release.

Full PGA of America press release.

PGA Of America Sifts Through USGA Trash Bin Again And Finds Plenty Of Chances To Visit Congressional, Including A Ryder Cup, PGA

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Pencil in a trip to D.C. eighteen years from now for a Ryder Cup, another east coast PGA Championship in 2031, and yet another construction project at Congressional, this time by Keith Foster. At least the last bit of news offers some encouragement.

But once again going where the USGA no longer wants to take future championships, joining the been-there-done-that collective of Baltusrol, Olympic, Hazeltine, Bethpage, Southern Hills and Oak Hill, the PGA of America’s release:

PGA of America partners with Congressional Country Club to host Championships

BETHESDA, MARYLAND (September 18, 2018) – The PGA of America announced today that Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland, will host eight of its championships and events over the next two decades. 

The landmark agreement will route the Ryder Cup (2036), PGA Championship (2031), KPMG Women’s PGA Championship (2022, ’27), KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship (2025, ’33), PGA Professional Championship (2029) and the Junior PGA Championship (Girls and Boys, 2024) to the Nation’s Capital and Congressional’s Blue Course during a 15-year stretch from 2022 to 2036. Congressional will also host an annual PGA HOPE national event, introducing golf to veterans, for the duration of the contract.

Conceived in 1921 so that Members of Congress could meet socially with business leaders, Congressional boasts a vaunted golf history that includes the 1976 PGA Championship won by Dave Stockton and a trio of U.S. Opens (2011/Rory McIlroy, 1997/Ernie Els, 1964/Ken Venturi). Congressional has also staged the 1995 U.S. Senior Open, the 1959 U.S. Women’s Amateur, the 1949 U.S. Junior Championship and three PGA Tour events a total of 15 times.

“This partnership with Congressional Country Club and its membership is monumental in scope and stature, and we are excited to showcase the range of championships and events that the PGA of America has to offer,” said PGA of America Interim CEO John Easterbrook. “We’re also looking forward to building a lasting relationship with the legions of knowledgeable golf fans from Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia and believe they will enjoy their time with us and marvel at the talents we will bring to Congressional in the coming years.”      

“Congressional Country Club is proud to be partnering with the PGA of America and looks forward to creating future championship history,” said Bev Lane, President of Congressional Country Club. “The PGA of America and its nearly 29,000 professionals represent the very best that golf has to offer. We are excited to bring major championship golf back to Congressional and to represent our country and the Nation’s Capital as the host of the 2036 Ryder Cup.”