Former PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem was recently presented with the National Golf Foundation’s Graffis Award in recognition of his golf business leadership and contributions to the growth of the game.
Finchem was honored during a dinner ceremony at the NGF’s annual golf business Symposium, where close to 150 industry leaders and executives gathered at the Adolphus Hotel in Dallas.
Finchem, 71, was commissioner of the PGA TOUR from 1994 through 2016 and established a legacy of growth, new events and prosperity over his 22-year tenure. During that time, the PGA TOUR’s revenues increased from $285 million to more than $2 billion, while prize money climbed from $56 million to almost $300 million.
Finchem significantly expanded the tour’s global footprint, helped successfully negotiate television deals that drove purse increases and deftly guided the PGA TOUR through the financial crisis of the late 2000’s. Today, the organization has more than 750 employees and is building a new 187,000-square foot global headquarters in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Both the Presidents Cup and World Golf Championships were introduced during Finchem’s leadership, as was The First Tee program.
“We’re excited to celebrate Tim’s contributions as a leader and a champion of grow-the-game efforts,” said NGF President and Chief Executive Officer Joe Beditz. “After more than two decades of leadership at the PGA TOUR, the game of golf is in a better place because of Tim Finchem.”
The Graffis Award is named in honor of the NGF’s founders, Herb and Joe Graffis, the former having been inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1977 for his extensive contributions to the business of golf and his advancement of the game. The award reinforces the NGF’s mission to foster the growth and vitality of the game and business of golf. Previous winners of the NGF’s Graffis Award include Byron Nelson, Karsten Solheim, Judy Bell and Tom Watson, among others.
Erik is the Editorial Director for the NGF. Before joining the National Golf Foundation, he spent more than two decades with Bloomberg News, both as a writer and editor, with a focus on sports business and the golf industry. The New Jersey resident has also written about golf for outlets that include Forbes, LINKS and the Met Golfer.