PGA of America officers and staff members provided PGA Members with a progress report on the new PGA Frisco campus under construction in Frisco, Texas, offered an overview of the PGA.Coach module for teaching, and answered many questions from the floor during a PGA Town Hall Thursday afternoon in the PGA Member Business Center.
PGA President Suzy Whaley, Vice President Jim Richerson, Secretary John Lindert and CEO Seth Waugh were joined by COO Darrell Crall, Director of Membership Services John Easterbrook Jr. and golf course-architect Beau Welling in a one-hour Town Hall that covered issues such as women’s golf, pace of play, junior access to golf courses and growing the game.
Whaley began the Town Hall with an update on PGA.Coach and the re-launch of PGA.com, noting that PGA Professionals can benefit by utilizing both.
“I’ve always been passionate about coaching,” said Whaley. “PGA.Coach was an outgrowth of the PGA Teaching & Coaching Summit and put together in collaboration with several organizations using the American Development Model (ADM) to give PGA Professionals a dedicated coaching curriculum for golfers of all skill levels. When PGA Professionals go on line and complete the training module on PGA.Coach, they receive an app with practice drills and curriculum for each level you are teaching. After you are certified, we put your picture on the new PGA.com and drive consumers to you. It’s great because people interested in golf can connect with PGA Professionals in their area.”
Town Hall attendees were treated to a slideshow of pictures showing the future clubhouse and office complex at the new 600-acre PGA campus in Frisco, Texas. Welling then showed the routing of the East Course he designed, with photos of the shaping process and irrigation pipes under way on several holes for the new facility. Architect Gil Hanse designed the West Course at PGA Frisco, which is also under construction.
“I’m super excited about how the East Course is taking shape, but I’m equally excited about the totality of the facility and what it will mean to golf when finished,” said Welling. “The variety of facilities will make PGA Frisco a primary destination for golfers, and set it apart as the home of golf in the United States.”
Crall extolled the virtues of the Experiential Center and other facilities at the new PGA Frisco campus, noting “It is a unique place where innovation is king.” He also pointed out that 1.6 million cubic yards of dirt have been moved, marking significant progress toward the projected June 2021 opening.
Waugh provided details of a new agreement with Folds of Honor that will move Patriot Golf Day from Labor Day Weekend to Memorial Day Weekend in May, and emphasized how the PGA and PGA Professionals continue to make a difference in the golf industry.
“The PGA is dedicated to making the lives and careers of our 29,000 professionals better, and those 29,000 PGA Professionals are enriching the lives of millions they touch through golf.”
On the absence of tee boxes for women below 4,800 yards at most courses, Whaley noted that “Women are born on the forward tees and die on the forward tees. When they grow older and can’t hit the ball as far, they have nowhere to go. When men get older, they move up to the forward tees. Golf is losing a lot of women golfers by not providing a shorter course they can play comfortably.”