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A Publication of the National Golf Foundation

Questions, Answers and Insights for Everyone Interested in the Business of Golf

NGF TOP 100 BUSINESSES IN GOLF

PGA of America

Category

Corporate Headquarters

Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

Website

Key Employees

Suzy Whaley,  President
Jim Richerson, Vice President
Seth Waugh, CEO
John Lindert, Secretary
Paul Levy, Honorary President

Profile

The PGA of America is among the world’s largest sports organizations, comprised of almost 29,000 men and women golf Professionals who are recognized experts in teaching and growing the game.

Founded in 1916, the PGA of America has enhanced its leadership position by conducting premier spectator events – the PGA Championship, Ryder Cup, KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship and KPMG Women’s PGA Championship – as well as significant philanthropic outreach initiatives, and award-winning golf promotions. It also operates the PGA Learning Center, a golf instruction school, in Port St. Lucie, Florida.

Rodman Wanamaker, a Philadelphia department store tycoon, organized the PGA in 1916. Today, the Wanamaker Trophy, given annually to the PGA Championship winner, is among the most recognizable in sports.

Trophies for the PGA Championship and Ryder Cup at Bethpage Black Golf Course (Photo courtesy: PGA of America)

 

While the PGA of America delivers high-level events showcasing elite golfers to everyday golfers and non-golfers alike, much of the organization’s work is connecting people from all backgrounds.

In an effort to make the game more accessible to the public and its professionals, the PGA operates the 72-hole PGA Golf Club in Florida.

The organization also oversees the PGA Golf Management University Program, a four-year college curriculum offered at 19 accredited schools nationwide, and conducts the golf industry’s two major trade expositions: the PGA Merchandise Show held in Orlando every January, and the PGA Fashion & Demo Experience in Las Vegas.

Additionally, the PGA of America has committed to diversity and inclusion through its charitable foundation, PGA REACH, which positively impacts the lives of youth, military and diverse populations by enabling access to PGA professionals, PGA sections and the game.

The annual PGA Merchandise show gathers thousands from across the industry. (Photo courtesy: PGA of America)

 

Among the PGA of America’s other key initiatives:

PGA Jr. League – A fun social and inclusive opportunity for boys and girls to learn and enjoy the game of golf in a team atmosphere.

PGA Hope – A program that introduces golf to military veterans with disabilities to enhance their physical, mental, social and emotional well-being.

PGA Works – An initiative designed to diversify the golf industry workforce by leveraging fellowships, scholarships and career exploration events to engage talent from diverse backgrounds to pursue employment positions throughout the game.

NGF Takeaways

The PGA of America is the lifeblood of golf, bringing greater inclusion to the sport, to the golf industry’s workforce, and to the supply chain so more people can discover the joys of playing golf. Without its members — the teaching professionals who work in pro shops and give driving-range lessons in locations ranging from Pebble Beach to the local 9-hole municipal course — golf would not touch the lives of as many people as it does.

PGA pros, not to be confused with their more successful, higher-paid counterparts on the PGA Tour, are the “boots on the ground” when it comes to growing the sport of golf. And while the inclusion of qualifying PGA teaching pros in the annual PGA Championship is considered their ultimate reward, it’s the work that PGA pros do behind the scenes on a daily basis that deserves more of the attention and gratitude.

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