By Kathy Gildersleeve-Jensen, PGA
2014 PGA Teacher of the Year
Recently, I attended the 2015 PGA of America’s 99th Annual Meeting which was held on November 11-14 at PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. This is an event to understand what is in store for the future, what are the trends to grow the game, reflect on outstanding PGA Golf Professionals, respect the past and evolve to move forward. Mostly this review will be focused on why this is important to all of us playing and watching golf.
Growing the game of golf is growing! We couldn’t be more excited to see our sport going on the upswing! Keep sharing and exposing the game to everyone. One of the greatest programs that is expanding is the PGA Jr. League. In fact, the Pacific Northwest PGA Section is ranked 2nd in the nation with the most PGA Jr. League teams. If you need more information on this great team league play for youth, please contact your local PGA Golf Professional.
PGA of America will have its 100th Birthday in 2016! There will be 100 days of special programming on the Golf Channel celebrating golf’s history. It will kick off during the PGA National Merchandise Show in January. Stay tuned on some grand events.
The year 2016 will be extra active with the Olympics in Rio and the Ryder Cup. The Olympics will be held in Rio, Brazil, and while the golf course is ready it will be interesting to see how it expands golf’s global influence. Also, as the Ryder Cup nears and with a new task force in place plus a plan for future captains’ rotation, this should be exciting for the USA Team. Both the PGA of America and the PGA Tour have been collaborating to develop continuity for a cohesive team desire to prove we are back on track again. Good luck to all.
Another great event coming to the Pacific Northwest is the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. Sahalee CC will be the host of this Global Championship with all the best players on the LPGA and women qualifiers. They will be looking for volunteers, so Google ‘2016 KPMG PGA Women’s Championship’ to take part in showing we have more to offer in showcasing the Pacific Northwest
The new USGA Rules were addressed with main changes taking place included revised “anchoring” methods in putting. Several other items like posting scores, for example; you will not be able to post a score if you play golf by yourself, for which you will need someone else to verify your score before posting. Make sure you study the changes and you will be ahead of the game.
Last, are the best persons who are deserving of top honors. The top PGA National year award recipients in various categories were recognized, and included Tom Henderson, PGA National Golf Professional of the Year, Deane Beman, Distinguished Service Award Recipient and The National Teacher of the Year Cameron McCormick (who heads the class of 2015). The Hall of Fame inductees included Lee Trevino, Payne Stewart, Ray Cutright, Michael Doctor, and others. It was truly an exciting and inspirational evening.
I personally am pleased for the future of our sport, its growth and the momentum gained exposing the game of golf to everyone. Keep playing golf; it is a wonderful game. Next year will prove to be just as exciting as this year. I can’t wait. Stay tuned.