Monthly Archives: December 2023



As I reflect on my first six months as TGR Foundation’s CEO, I am energized by the incredible impact the organization made in 2023 and excited about our plans for 2024 and beyond. I’m especially thankful for our board of governors, executive leadership, team members and community of donors and partners whose dedication to empowering students to pursue their passions through education makes the important work we do possible. 

It was exciting to see the TGR Learning Lab Anahiem in action serving more than 5,000 students in 2023. Our school day, after-school and summer programs helped youth connect their passions to career interests. New multimedia courses facilitated in the Find Your Grind Multimedia Studio were especially popular. Our team also hosted numerous community activities including the Empowered Health Wellness Fair in partnership with Providence and Promise to Talk. 

Through an alliance with Providence, Anaheim Union High School District and the North Orange County Regional Occupation Program, we launched new career-connected learning opportunities for high school students this fall. The Community Health Academy and Healthcare Career Explorer Field Trip provided students with an interest in healthcare careers and unique educational experiences with Providence professionals. The success of the new opportunities was highlighted by student feedback in which 98% of participants gained a deeper understanding of healthcare careers and 91% felt the activities supported their career goals.  

Our partnership with the Department of Defense Stem continued providing collaborative opportunities to support students and educators through two exciting new initiatives. The first bi-annual Pathways to College and Careers Conference was held at the Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia. The event brought military-connected students and families together with educational institutions and speakers to help them prepare for life after high school. Our inaugural Educator Symposium educators across Southern California in a day of free, interactive workshops, professional learning and resources.  

2023 also was an incredible year for TGR Live, which executed six amazing events, including the recently completed Hero World Challenge where our founder, Tiger Woods, returned to competitive golf. During the tournament, we were able to highlight several of our students on the national television broadcast, including Sammy Mohammed. 

In 5th grade, Sammy began attending programs at the TGR Learning Lab where he connected his passion for computer science to tangible skills and career opportunities. He was later accepted into our Earl Woods Scholar Program and continued to receive comprehensive support while earning his undergraduate degree from Stanford, including mentorship by Tiger himself. Sammy is now a software engineer at Google and is paying his experience forward as an Earl Woods Scholar Program mentor. 

The future of TGR Foundation is incredibly bright and 2024 is already shaping up to be another remarkable year. We will continue expanding our programs at the TGR Learning Lab Anaheim while also laying the groundwork for new TGR Learning Labs in Philadelphia, PA, and Los Angeles, CA, in 2025 and 2026, respectively. I am both excited and honored to be leading our mission-driven expansion efforts to provide more youth from under-resourced communities equitable access to educational opportunities and resources. 

Thank you for being a champion for youth! 

USGA Delivers Yearlong Impact in Championing and Advancing the Game

LIBERTY CORNER, N.J. – Delivering on an organizational commitment to drive impact “for the good of the game,” the USGA’s investments and programs contributed greatly to golf’s overall health and growth in 2023.

“129 years ago today, a handful of forward-thinking American golf clubs came together to formulate the USGA – with a simple mission to provide a common set of rules for all, to conduct national championships, and to provide a long-term, unbiased perspective for an even better future for our game,” said USGA CEO Mike Whan. “In 2023, we took significant steps toward that goal to more deeply invest our voice, expertise and financial resources to foster a stronger, more welcoming and more sustainable game.”

A mission-driven, nonprofit organization, the USGA invests 100 percent of its revenue back into golf, highlighted by its efforts to unify the game, showcase the best talent, govern with an unbiased perspective, and advance key issues to ensure that golf remains strong at every level and continues to grow.

These wide-ranging efforts impact the more than 41 million people who play golf in the U.S. and the millions more who live the game through employment, volunteerism and fandom.

Key highlights from 2023 include:

Golf Course Sustainability and Innovation

  • Launch of the GS3 smart golf ball, which gives superintendents more robust data to improve playing conditions, by measuring putting green speed, trueness, smoothness and firmness through one easy-to-use device. GS3 is a first-of-its-kind tool for the golf industry and a game changer for green management.
  • Investment of $1.2 million to advance water conservation on golf courses, including approximately $500,000 toward demonstration projects in tandem with golf facilities in the Southwest. The projects are part of the USGA’s water resilience program – launched in 2023 with a $30 million, 15-year commitment to reduce golf’s use of water by up to 45 percent.
  • With the help of a $350,000 USGA Davis Grant, the University of California-Riverside released two new bermudagrasses that will better retain their green color during the winter months and reduce the need for costly and water-intensive overseeding.

Showcasing Golf’s Best Players

  • The launch of the U.S. National Development Program marked a historic moment for American golf – creating the nation’s first unified pathway to identify, train, develop, fund and support the country’s most promising junior players. The program built its staff and infrastructure, created a comprehensive grant program to help eliminate financial barriers, and held player and parent educational sessions in 2023.
  • Record registrations and viewership – 47,928 individuals applied to play in one of 15 USGA national championships in 2023 – a record number of entries for the USGA and a testament to the growth in the competitive game. USGA championships also recorded their highest digital reach and engagement, as well as an eight-year high in broadcast viewership in 2023.
  • Hosting the U.S. Women’s Open at Pebble Beach for the first time fueled interest and awareness of women’s golf in monumental ways. The championship earned record highs in entries, digital consumption and social media mentions, as well as the largest TV audience since 2014 and the largest on-site fan attendance since 2015.
  • The campaign to endow the Walker Cup and Curtis Cup Matches attained its goal in 2023, thanks to the generosity of 20 USGA Foundation donors. The initial $10 million secured through pledges was matched by the USGA, ensuring that the international amateur team competitions will continue their historic legacies for decades to come.


  • Following an extensive six-year process of research, collaboration and public dialogue, the USGA and The R&A delivered a decision to stem increased hitting distances in golf and promote a more sustainable game. The change in golf-ball testing conditions will be implemented starting in 2028 and will have minimal impact on recreational golfers.
  • In January, the USGA and The R&A released a significant update that modernized how golf’s rules are delivered, ensuring they are inclusive of all who play through the addition of Rule 25 that covers modifications for players with disabilities.

Grow the Game

  • As part of its 2023 U.S. Open host community engagement program, the USGA invested $1 million in a project to revitalize programs and course conditions at Maggie Hathaway Golf Course in partnership with the Southern California Golf Association and The Los Angeles Country Club, host site of the 123rd U.S. Open. The nine-hole public course offers affordable, accessible playing opportunities in one of America’s most densely populated areas.
  • Continued year-over-year growth in the number of golfers with a Handicap Index®, as nearly 400,000 golfers enhanced their enjoyment of the game by utilizing the World Handicap System™ for the first time in 2023. The 3.3 million U.S. golfers in the handicapping system represent the most avid players in the game, with 70+ million scores posted this year.
  • Powered by USGA IDEA (inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility) Grants, select First Tee chapters established partnerships with HBCUs (historically black colleges and universities), helping to ensure that youths see themselves reflected in the individuals welcoming them into the game.

Career Development

  • More than 40% of students who participated in the 2022 and 2023 USGA Pathways Internship Program – a one-week immersive learning experience held during U.S. Open week for students from underrepresented communities – were employed in golf or with a program supporter in 2023.
  • Utilizing the most funding to date for the USGA P.J. Boatwright Jr. Internship Program, the 57 Allied Golf Associations hired more than 150 individuals across the country for paid internships in golf administration, including a military veteran and a former schoolteacher who were looking to make a career change into golf administration.
  • The first Greenkeeper Apprenticeship Program class graduated in December from the free, one-year in-class and on-course training program in N.C. with curriculum written by, and classes taught by, USGA Green Section experts. Each of the 18 golf course workers in the cohort – including a U.S. Army veteran – received pay increases, and 14 participants have been promoted or seen increased responsibilities in their current role.

The USGA will celebrate these 2023 milestones and share its 2024 strategic initiatives at its Annual Meeting on March 2 in Nashville, Tenn.

For more information, please visit

Women’s Division Champions Crowned at 2023 PGA National Club Championship

Ali Mulhall, Kim Keyer-Scott and Toni Notaro claim titles at Scottsdale’s Troon North and Westin Kierland

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (Dec. 14, 2023) – A two-time champion. A hard-fought battle. A wire-to-wire winner. The women’s divisions of the 2023 PGA National Club Championship were compelling from start to finish.

Held in Scottsdale, Ariz., across Troon North Golf Club’s Monument and Pinnacle courses and Westin Kierland’s Ironwood/Acacia course, the 54-hole championship featured three Women’s Divisions: Open (any age), Senior (50+ years old) and Legend (60+ years old).

Ali Mulhall (Black Desert Resort, Ivins, Utah) recorded a final round 2-under 70 to become the first two-time Women’s Open Division Champion after previously winning in 2021. Kim Keyer-Scott (Shadow Wood Country Club, Bonita Springs, Fla.) carded a 1-under 71 on Thursday to capture the Women’s Senior Division. Toni Notaro (Pinehurst Resort, Pinehurst, N.C.) posted a final round 5-over 76 to take the Women’s Legend Division after leading wire-to-wire.

Mulhall, who won the Open Division at the 2021 PGA National Club Championship, carded rounds of 72-69-70 to finish at 4-under 211 and clinch a three-shot victory over Natalie Yen (Arrowhead Golf Club, Molalla, Ore.) at 1-under 214. Kim Santiago from Sahalee Country Club (Sammamish, Wash.), the host of the 2024 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, finished in third at 11-over 226.

“It’s a spectacular tournament,” said Mulhall. “I was lucky enough to practice at Black Desert in Utah and really take my game to the next level and be ready for this tournament today. And just to be able to say I’m a two time champion is just great.”

After a strong win at the 2021 PGA National Club Championship at PGA West, Mulhall returned to defend her Women’s Open Division title this past February at the 2022 championship. During that championship earlier this year, her grandfather passed away, and while she battled in his honor, Mulhall came up just short as the runner-up, which she used to help motivate her this week.

“After that, I decided I’m going to be the best inside 100 yards,” she said. “I went to work and was able to just get it better and be able to get up and down more.”

After play was suspended for darkness on Wednesday, Mulhall and Yen began the day with pars on 18 to enter the final round tied for the lead. After a shotgun start across all divisions, the two women battled for the championship with Mulhall coming out on top after recording the Open Division’s lone score under-par in the final round.

“Natalie was pushing hard the whole way through,” she said. “So, I just kept trying to make putts, stay steady and not give anything away down the stretch.”

The PGA National Club Championship is a family affair for the Mulhalls. Ali’s sister, Molli, also competed this week and finished T-15. Their father, Christopher Mulhall, has been a PGA Member since 2008 and currently serves as the Head Professional at Round Valley Golf Course in Utah.

“My little sister Molli is just a spectacular player,” said Ali. “Just to be able to practice with her, we really pushed each other to be able to hit the best shots we could. And then obviously having my dad out there being a PGA member, he knows a lot about the game and was able to give me very useful advice that I used all three days.”

“Getting all these good players coming to one spot and competing for a national title is awesome, and it’s a great program that the PGA has put together,” said Christopher Mulhall. “I was very impressed with the tournament at PGA West when Ali won in 2021. And we just decided that we’d mark it on our calendar every year.”

Keyer-Scott captured a hard-fought Women’s Senior Division title with a score of 9-over 224, just one stroke ahead of Kim Shek (Sahalee Country Club, Sammamish, Wash.) in second place and two ahead of Susan West (NorthRiver Yacht Club, Tuscaloosa, Ala.) in third.

“This means a lot actually,” said Keyer-Scott. “I know that I’m competing against women who are all their own club champions, and the fact that I came back and shot a really good round today, that was pretty exciting for me.”

Keyer-Scott vaulted up the leaderboard Thursday after entering the final round trailing by seven shots in a tie for sixth. Her final round of 1-under 71, the lowest individual round of the Women’s Senior Division, was highlighted by birdies on the par-5 456-yard 3rd and the par-3 144-yard 13th.

“I told my husband before I left, I said my goal is top five so I can get invited back next year,” Keyer-Scott said. “I just went out and was really calm today. I just made a lot of pars. I only made two birdies and I bogeyed my last hole. I made a few clutch putts. One of them was a longer par-4 and I hit a good chip but left myself 12 feet. When I ran that par, I went, ‘OK, let’s go. I got this.’”

Keyer-Scott was proud to represent Shadow Wood Country Club at the Championship, and she expects to hear a lot of great things from her fellow members in the morning.

“It means a lot because I’ve been there almost 20 years and I’ve been the club champion 18 or 19 of those 20 years,” she said. “A friend of mine told me about this last year and she’s like, you gotta play it, it’s fun, you gotta play it.”

Notaro went wire-to-wire in the Women’s Legend Division, posting a final score of 4-over 219 to cruise to an eight-stroke victory. Patty Moore, who is also from Pinehurst Resort and won the 2020 Women’s Senior Championship, finished in second place at 12-over 227 followed by Kristin Fenwick (Tahquitz Creek Golf Resort, Palm Springs, Calif.) in third at 13-over 228.

“With a field like this, with a lot of really established players, it just feels great,” said Notaro. “To go wire-to-wire, that’s just beyond my comprehension because I know how hard that is. And these are really good golfers out here. They’re all champions.”

Notaro posted opening rounds of 72 and 71 to give herself a seven-stroke lead heading into Thursday’s final round. She credits her cousin and best friend Jill Harman, who came out from Pinehurst to be her caddie, for being a calming influence for her.

“Today, it was just all about making pars; I wasn’t trying to be aggressive,” she said. “[First Round] on Monument, I made four birdies which really helped. And yesterday at Kierland, I had two. The driver was really working and put me in the middle of the fairway most of the time. And the putter cured any ills that I had.”

Notaro has played in all four PGA National Club Championships, dating back to the inaugural edition held at her home club, the legendary Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina. Just as important as the championship title, Notaro credits the PGA National Club Championship with building great camaraderie among the players.

“Pinehurst has such a history and to be able to represent them and bring home a championship to a place that is all about championships is really special,” said Notaro. “The first [National Club Championship] was in Pinehurst where I met Shelley Marshall, who I was paired with for four rounds and I’m actually staying with her out here. She’s become such a great friend. Everyone here is a good player, but they’re even better people.”

Patricia Benz from TPC Prestancia in Sarasota, Florida, registered a hole-in-one on Westin Kierland Ironwood/Acacia’s 139-yard par-3 5th hole during the opening round of the Senior Women’s Division on Tuesday.

The PGA National Club Championship features amateur club champions from across the country who were invited by their facility’s PGA of America Professional to compete in the event. All champions receive a lifetime exemption into the PGA National Club Championship, and the top five finishers in each division will be invited to compete in next year’s championship.

The men’s divisions will compete Sunday-Tuesday on the same three courses.

Dylan Newman Wins Consecutive PGA Tournament Series Events at PGA Golf Club

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (Dec. 15, 2023) – Just call him Dominant Dylan.

Dylan Newman of Stamford, Conn., didn’t just win Event No. 5 of the PGA Tournament Series on Friday at PGA Golf Club; he cruised to an eight-shot victory.

How dominant was Dylan? He shot rounds of 64 and 70 in gusty conditions on the Dye Course to finish at 10-under 134. Only one other player – Tyler Collet (69-142) of Vero Beach — was under par for the 36 holes.

It was Newman’s second consecutive win in the PGA Tournament Series, having won Event No. 4 by four shots Tuesday for his fifth overall title. (He missed a putt at No. 18 that would have gotten him into a playoff in Event No. 3.) Newman also went back-to-back to start the 2019 Series – and he took over the money lead with $14,075.

“I wanted to win by as many as I can,” said a smiling Newman, a PGA Assistant Professional at Meadow Brook Golf Club in Jericho, N.Y. “I played great, obviously, but it was hard. It got windier as the day went on. I just maintained confidence and kept hitting putts with the right speed. Don’t be afraid of it.”

The 32-year-old Newman has been scary good this year. He won the Met Open in August, as well as the Met Section Championship. He was selected Player of the Year and Assistant Player of the Year in his section.

“I’ve had a good year,” he said. “I’ve been playing this game my entire life and I always want to win. I feel I’m as good, if not better, than anyone out here. That’s the way you need to feel.”

Newman fired a 64 in the first round to take a six-shot lead into Friday’s final round. A large lead can be daunting for some, but not for Newman the way he’s playing. He birdied the third, fifth and sixth holes Friday, and everyone knew they were playing for second place.

“It can be (tough),” Newman said of his big lead. “But I didn’t care how many I was leading by; I just wanted to play as well as I could.”

Collet, the reigning Player of the Year in the South Florida Section, shot the day’s low round, a 3-under 69, for his second runner-up finish in this year’s Series.

Domenico Geminiani was the closest threat to Newman, playing the front nine in 2-under to stay within seven shots. But all that gave him was an up-close view of Dominant Dylan.

“Dylan played unbelievable golf; 10-under these last few days is just fantastic,” said Geminiani, who won last year’s National Car Rental PGA Assistant Championship. “He could have shot even lower. I’m glad I could watch it, so I can learn a thing or two.

“Everything he does is steady, but his consistency is huge. You can be a good ball striker but not consistent, especially with this wind. You can’t hit five great shots and blow the sixth one out of bounds. He was very impressive to watch.”

Geminiani ($11,786) is the only player who can stop Newman from winning his third PGA Tournament Series money title in the last five years.

Zac Oakley of Palm City shot 70 and tied for fourth at 1-over 145 with Zack Shriver (71) and Shaun Powers (74) of Jupiter.

The PGA Tournament Series is presented by GolfPass. Event No. 6 starts Monday on the Wanamaker Course.

Whitt, Tyner and Brooks Claim Men’s Division Titles at 2023 PGA National Club Championship

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (Dec. 19, 2023) – The 2023 PGA National Club Championship produced a trio of compelling finishes during Tuesday’s final round at Troon North Golf Club and Westin Kierland in Scottsdale, Ariz.

The 54-hole championship featured three Men’s Divisions: Open (any age), Senior (50+ years old) and Legend (60+ years old) competing across Troon North Golf Club’s Monument and Pinnacle courses and Westin Kierland’s Ironwood/Acacia course.

Stewart Whitt (Canebrake Club, Athens, Ala.) clinched the Men’s Open Division crown following a final-round 3-under-par 69. Tray Tyner (Riverhill Country Club, Kerrville, Texas) emerged victorious in the Senior Men’s Division following a final-round 1-over-par 72. Bob Brooks (Bella Vista Country Club, Bella Vista, Ark.) registered a 1-over-par 73 to finish atop the Legend Men’s Division leaderboard.


Whitt recorded scores of 71-74-69 to capture a one-stroke victory in the Men’s Open Division at 1-under-par 214. Finishing tied for 2nd at even-par 215 were Michael Schnegelberger (Heritage Park Golf Club, Overland Park, Kan.), Jordan Elsen (Mayacoo Lakes Country Club, Wellington, Fla.), Matthew Johnson (Charter Oak Country Club, Cambridge, Mass.) and Barry O’Neill (Pelican Lakes Golf & Country Club, Windsor, Colo.).

With the win, Whitt secured back-to-back Men’s Open Division titles following his victory at Kiawah Island Golf Resort in 2022.

“It’s really cool,” said Whitt. “This is the fourth year they’ve had it and to win two of the four and to do it back-to-back is really neat. It’s a great event and one that I look forward to playing in every time it comes around.”

Whitt began his final round on the Monument course five strokes off the lead at T-9. Birdies at the par-4 first, par-5 third and par-3 seventh holes began his climb up the leaderboard.

The now two-time Champion posted a flawless, bogey-free 34 on the back-nine, highlighted by birdies at the par-3 13th and par-4 18th holes. A 25-foot birdie putt at No. 18 sealed the win.

“The putter definitely kept me in it,” said Whitt. “I really didn’t hit it all that great today, but I missed it in the right spots to be able to get up and down when I needed to or have a good look at a birdie when the opportunity presented itself.”

Whitt looks forward to sharing his win with his club and PGA General Manager/Director of Golf Micky Wolfe, PGA.

“Micky is great,” said Whitt. “His family has had some difficult things going on recently. He is a fantastic human and does a great job for our golf course and the membership. With everything they’ve had going on, being able to have a little bright spot for the club that he cares so much about, it’s a privilege to be able to do that for them.”

Tyner battled throughout his final round at Troon North to finish at even-par 215 and clinch a one-stroke victory over Shane McMillan (Bountiful Ridge, Bountiful, Utah), Chris Boquette (RedHawk Golf Club, Boise, Idaho) and Chris Hummel (Greystone Golf & Country Club, Birmingham, Ala.), who tied for second at 1-over-par 216.

“I enjoyed the day after it was over,” said Tyner. “I didn’t enjoy it too much the way it started. I hung in there and strung some birdies together at the end and got a little help from the other players.”

Tyner overcame a rollercoaster stretch that included a triple bogey on Pinnacle’s par-4 third hole and a double bogey on the par-4 fourth. His son, Derek, who was one of several family members in attendance, served as his caddie and helped turn things around.

“We planned this since I knew I was coming here,” said Tyner. “He wanted to come caddie and it was a good vacation for him. He kept me settled down.”

Tyner turned things around with a birdie at the par-5 fifth and caught fire down the stretch with birdies on holes 14-17. His birdie at the par-4 17th was the result of a roughly 25-foot putt that dropped.

“I just played solid golf,” said Tyner. “Even with the triple and double, I really didn’t hit a bad shot. I wasn’t even thinking about winning, I was just trying to make a few birdies and maybe come in the top five, but things happened and that’s golf.”

Tuesday’s win capped a memorable week for Tyner, who enjoyed the experience with his family as he competed at Troon North and Westin Kierland.

“The venues were unbelievable,” said Tyner. “The PGA does a great job finding great golf courses. You can’t find anything better than Troon North; I don’t think. It’s a really good test of how you’re playing.”

Brooks totaled rounds of 73-71-73 to finish at 2-over-par 217 and win the Men’s Legend Division by two strokes over Brad Starr (Oro Valley Country Club, Oro Valley, Ariz.) at 4-over-par 219. David Johnson (The Legends Country Club, Kirkwood, Mo.) finished third at 5-over-par 220.

“It felt fantastic,” said Brooks. “I finished second in the very first event. The next year I finished third and last year I finished second again. To finally get over the hump with a win was very gratifying.”

Brooks entered Tuesday’s final round in second place, trailing by one stroke. Playing in the final group at Westin Kierland, he started slowly with a pair of bogeys on the par-4 first and second holes. He righted the ship by tallying seven consecutive pars on holes 3-9, and made his first of three back-nine birdies at the par-5 10th hole.

Following a bogey on the par-4 11th and three pars on holes 12-14, he closed out the victory with birdie-bogey-birdie-par at holes 15-18.

“I really made some clutch putts the last five holes and two really good up and downs,” said Brooks. “I had about a 20-foot right to left with about a four-and-a-half-foot break on 14. I made that for birdie. On 17, I had a downhiller with about a three-foot break from about 20 feet and I made that for a birdie. That really helped ease the nerves going into the last hole.”

Brooks relished the opportunity to compete with club champions from across the country.

“It was wonderful,” said Brooks. “Everybody was really nice. You could tell that everybody likes to compete. All the guys that I played with this week were gentlemen and real competitors. I look forward to seeing them all next year.”

The PGA National Club Championship features amateur club champions from across the country who were invited by their facility’s PGA of America Golf Professional to compete in the event. All champions receive a lifetime exemption into the PGA National Club Championship, and the top five finishers in each division will be invited to compete in next year’s championship.

Domenico Geminiani Wins Event No. 6 in PGA Tournament Series at PGA Golf Club

By Craig Dolch

Special to the PGA of America

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (Dec. 19, 2023) – After coming close to winning a PGA Tournament Series event several times, Domenico Geminiani of Italy didn’t mind waiting another six holes Tuesday to finally get the victory.

Geminiani won a six-hole playoff over John Somers of New Port Richey, Fla., for his first PGA Tournament Series win. Geminiani earned $5,000 to give him the money title ($16,786) over Dylan Newman and his 4-under 68 on the Wanamaker Course enabled him to nip Newman for the low scoring average by one stroke over the six events (68.42 to 68.50).

Tuesday’s win in cool, windy conditions didn’t come easy. Somers birdied the final two holes to force a playoff at 7-under 137 – including hitting a 9-iron close while one foot was on a bulkhead at the 18th hole that played the most difficult in the second round. Geminiani won the playoff with a par on the 14th hole.

“It feels great to finally win one,” said Geminiani, a PGA Assistant Professional at Old Corkscrew Golf Club near Naples. “A lot of guys were congratulating me an hour and a half ago, and they’re congratulating me again. John went birdie-birdie on two tough holes, and that’s tough to do.

“Winning like this makes it feel better because we both played some incredible golf. You want to win, sure, but it’s better when both of us played so well.”

Geminiani, who won last year’s National Car Rental Assistant PGA Championship at PGA Golf Club, had a pair of seconds and thirds in the first five PGA Tournament Series events before finally lifting a trophy.

Geminiani eagled the par-5 13th hole Tuesday to take the lead. He birdied the 15th and saved par at the 16th despite hitting his tee shot into the water.

“It’s always nice to have your name near the top of the leaderboard consistently because even on the off days, you’re still finding a way to get it done,” Geminiani said. “You have to hit it really well and be patient in these conditions because there’s going to be mistakes.”

The long-hitting Somers’ hopes for the win seemed to end when he failed to birdie the par-5 16th hole. But he responded with clutch birdies from 15 feet on the 17th and 18th holes.

“I made two insane putts to get into a tie,” said Somers, the Head PGA Professional at Southern Hills Plantation Club in Brooksville, Fla. “I’ve won on the other two courses here, but never the Wanamaker. It was a tough test with today’s wind and conditions. I’m exhausted.”

Newman (75) was trying to win his third consecutive PGA Tournament Series event, but finished tied for 21st after making a double bogey and two bogeys early on the back nine. Without Geminiani’s heroics, Newman would have won his third money title in the last five years.

“I never got it going today,” Newman said. “I didn’t birdie the easy holes and I made some bad bogeys. But this was my best year. I learned I can play with anyone and everyone. I feel like I can compete with the best players out there and maybe even (at) the next level.”

Tyler Collet (70) of Vero Beach finished tied for third at 5-under 139 with Russell Grove (69) of Coeur D Alene, Idaho, and Steven Delmar (70) of Gaithersburg, Md.

The PGA Tournament Series is presented by GolfPass. The PGA Winter Championships start Jan. 10 with the Quarter Century Championship.

USGA announces Sand Valley Resort will host four USGA amateur championships

LIBERTY CORNER, N.J. (Dec. 12, 2023) – The United States Golf Association (USGA) today announced that Sand Valley Resort, in Nekoosa, Wis., will be the host site for four USGA championships, beginning with the U.S. Mid-Amateur in 2026. The 2029 U.S. Junior Amateur, 2030 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur and 2034 U.S. Girls’ Junior will also be conducted at the resort.

“The USGA is excited to begin this commitment with Sand Valley Resort, and we look forward to a long and fulfilling relationship,” said Mark Hill, USGA managing director, Championships. “The Keiser family has been committed to hosting national championships and promoting amateur competitions. We know that the resort’s courses will challenge and thoroughly impress the world’s best players.”

Sand Valley Resort is owned and operated by Michael and Chris Keiser, sons of Bandon Dunes founder Mike Keiser. The resort occupies more than 12,000 acres of wilderness in the Central Sands of Wisconsin, with dramatic dunes, sand barrens, native pine forest and restored timberland. The resort is located 100 miles north of Madison, 170 miles northwest from Milwaukee and 220 miles from the Chicago area.

Sand Valley Resort features five acclaimed golf courses. The Lido, the primary course for the 2026 U.S. Mid-Amateur and the 2029 U.S. Junior Amateur, is a private club that welcomes limited resort play. It is an exacting re-creation by Tom Doak and Brian Schneider, with the Renaissance Golf team, of the legendary links originally designed by inaugural U.S. Amateur champion Charles B. Macdonald on Long Island that opened for play in 1917. The new Lido course opened for play earlier this year. The original course on Long Island was repurposed by the U.S. Navy during World War II and closed in 1942. Doak and Schneider worked with golf historian and software designer Peter Flory, utilizing historical surveys, engineering records and photographs to guide the project.

The resort is also home to Sand Valley, designed in 2017 by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw; Mammoth Dunes, designed in 2018 by David McLay Kidd; and Sedge Valley, another Doak design, which is scheduled to open in 2024. Coore and Crenshaw also designed The Sandbox, a 17-hole par-3 course that opened in 2018.

“We have looked forward to this day for a long time,” said Chris Keiser, co-owner of Sand Valley. “Amateur golf is the heart of the game. To have the opportunity to host these elite men and women over the next 10 years is a great honor, and we are thrilled to become part of the history of these great championships.”

Sand Valley Resort, which hosted the 2022 Wisconsin State Amateur, also features a comprehensive practice facility, a tennis center with 15 grass courts and court tennis, casual to fine dining and lodging ranging from clubhouse rooms to spacious cottages and private homes.

There have been 17 USGA championships contested in the state of Wisconsin through the 2023 season, including two U.S. Mid-Amateurs (2008, 2022) and one U.S. Girls’ Junior (2019). Erin Hills, outside of Milwaukee, will host the 2025 U.S. Women’s Open, following the 2008 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links, 2011 U.S. Amateur and 2017 U.S. Open.

The U.S. Mid-Amateur is open to any amateur who is 25 years old by the start of the championship with a Handicap Index® not exceeding 3.4. The field of 264 players will compete in two rounds of stroke play, after which the field will be reduced to the low 64 scorers for six rounds of match play. The U.S. Junior Amateur follows the same format with a field of comparable size. A competitor must have a Handicap Index® not exceeding 4.4, and not reached his 19th birthday by completion of the championship. The Mid-Amateur and Junior Amateur champions earn exemptions into the following year’s U.S. Open.

The U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur is open to female amateur golfers with a Handicap Index® not exceeding 9.4 and who have reached their 25th birthday by the start of the championship. The field of 132 players competes in two rounds of stroke play, after which the field is reduced to the low 64 scorers for six rounds of match play. The U.S. Girls’ Junior is conducted in the same format, but with a 156-player field. It is open to any female amateur players who have not reached the age of 19 by the completion of championship and whose Handicap Index® does not exceed 9.4. The Women’s Mid-Amateur and Girls’ Junior champions receive exemptions into the following year’s U.S. Women’s Open.


USGA Championships at Sand Valley Resort

2026 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship, Sept. 26-Oct. 1

2029 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship, July 23-28

2030 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship, Sept. 7-12

2034 U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship, July 17-22

2023 PGA National Club Championship Features Club Champions From Across The Country

Women’s divisions take place Dec. 12-14, Men’s divisions to play Dec. 17-19, at Troon North and Westin Kierland in Arizona

Fields | Women’s Divisions Starting Times | Men’s Divisions Starting Times

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (Dec. 11, 2023) ー Amateur club champions representing all 41 PGA Sections will compete in the 2023 PGA National Club Championship over the next two weeks at Troon North Golf Club and The Westin Kierland Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The fourth annual PGA National Club Championship will be contested by 520 club champions ranging from ages 13 to 80.

The PGA National Club Championship showcases the best amateur club champions and highlights the PGA of America Golf Professionals who helped elevate their games. Winners of 2023 club championships nationwide received an invitation to the 2023 PGA National Club Championship from their PGA of America Professional.

The Championship will feature six divisions, with each division competing over 54 holes. The divisions are Open (any age), Senior (50+ years old) and Legend (60+ years old), for men and women.

The women’s divisions will compete Dec. 12-14, followed by the men’s divisions Dec. 17-19. All contestants will play one round on each of the three courses: Troon North Golf Club’s Monument and Pinnacle courses and Westin Kierland’s Ironwood/Acacia.

TaylorMade, supporting partner of the PGA National Club Championship, will once again be onsite to provide participants with a first-class experience including complimentary fittings.

Elijah Craig, the official bourbon partner of the National Club Championship, will host events on-site, including tastings and happy hours.

Dunning Golf is the championship apparel partner of the National Club Championship, supplying competitors with premier apparel items.

For more information on the PGA National Club Championship, visit the championship website.

Jon Mayer Wins Event No. 3 in PGA Tournament Series at PGA Golf Club

By Craig Dolch

Special to the PGA of America

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (Dec. 8, 2023) –  Jon Mayer stands out on a golf course for more than his name.

With his hip clothing, man-bun and his insistence on putting everything with the flag in for math reasons, Mayer strides to his own beat.

Friday, he stood out by beating the rest of the field. The Hyannis, Mass., native eagled the par-5 16th hole on the Wanamaker Course to win Event No. 3 in the PGA Tournament Series at PGA Golf Club.

Mayer responded with a pair of fist pumps after the eagle, then waited 40 minutes to see if his 9-under 135 would hold up. It did. Barely.

Mayer faced a tricky two-putt on the 18th hole when playing partner Scott Berliner holed a 60-foot birdie putt to move to 8-under. Mayer celebrated with Berliner, but not for long.

“He drained it and I was so happy for him because it was a bomb,” Mayer said. “Then I thought, ‘OK, now I’m only one ahead.’”

Mayer’s birdie putt rolled six feet past the hole, but he made the putt – with the pin in, of course – to win after Zac Oakley and Dylan Newman missed birdie putts at the 18th hole. Mayer earned $5,000 for his first PGA Tournament Series title. Berliner (66), Oakley (68) and Newman (70) each finished a shot back at 8-under.

“It was at least 6 feet, but I hadn’t made a bogey all day,” Mayer, who works at Grandfather Golf and Country Club in Linville, N.C., said of his par putt at No. 18. “My putter was really good. I was struggling because I was taking a big backswing and slowing through impact. One of my roommates, Larkin Gross, told me to slow my putter down and make it more fluid. I was much more confident on the greens.”

Some might say it takes confidence to wear Mayer’s style of clothing. He usually wears Lululemon jogger pants that stop about 4 inches above his ankles. Add in his hair always pulled into a bun, and he’s not the typical-looking golfer.

“I’m all about comfort and style,” said Mayer, who said he received permission from the PGA Tour and the PGA of America to wear this style of pants. “I want to bring more people into golf. If I can show a group of people you can have a different style, maybe that will bring more people into the game.”

As for his putting style, Mayer traced that to his mathematician roots. He said he uses the pin to serve as one of his axes while the putting line serves as the hypotenuse.

“I’ve been putting that way for years,” he said. “I’m a math guy.”

Berliner’s hopes for winning seemed to end when he bogeyed the par-3 17th hole to drop two behind Mayer. But then his prayer at the closing hole was answered.

“I just told myself to give it a chance, to get it to the hole,” Berliner said. “The odds of making that were less than 8 percent. I didn’t know where I stood. I just wanted to birdie 18 to finish as high as I could.”

Oakley eagled the 16th to move within one, but couldn’t make a birdie on the last two holes. That left Newman, the first-round leader after a bogey-free 66, with the final chance. When his birdie putt at 18 slipped by the hole, Mayer backed up his title in this year’s PGA Stroke Play Championship.

“I feel like I played well, but I didn’t get anything going for a long time,” Newman said. “I was still in it, but all of a sudden I saw 9-under (when Mayer eagled the 16th) and felt like I couldn’t get there.”

The PGA Tournament Series is presented by GolfPass. Event No. 4 starts Monday on the Ryder Course.


Revised test conditions to address consistent increases in hitting distance, golf’s sustainability Impact on recreational game kept to an absolute minimum.

LIBERTY CORNER, N.J., USA and ST. ANDREWS, Scotland (Dec. 6, 2023) – The R&A and USGA will update the testing conditions used for golf ball conformance under the Overall Distance Standard (ODS), which will take effect from January 2028. The decision aims to reduce the impact increased hitting distances have on golf’s long-term sustainability while minimizing the impact on the recreational game.

The revised ball testing conditions will be as follows: 125-mph clubhead speed (equivalent to 183 mph ball speed); spin rate of 2200 rpm and launch angle of 11 degrees. The current conditions, which were established 20 years ago, are set at 120 mph (equivalent to 176 mph ball speed), 2520 rpm with a 10-degree launch angle.

The revised conditions are based on analysis of data from the worldwide tours and the game over several years and are intended to ensure that the ODS (whose limit will remain unchanged at 317 yards with a 3-yard tolerance) continues to represent the ability of the game’s longest hitters. An analysis of ball speeds among golf’s longest hitters in 2023 shows that the fastest 10 players had an average ball speed of 186 mph, while the average ball speed of the fastest 25 was 183.4 mph (the very fastest averaged 190 mph).

The longest hitters are expected to see a reduction of as much as 13-15 yards in drive distance. Average professional tour and elite male players are expected to see a reduction of 9-11 yards, with a 5-7-yard reduction for an average LET or LPGA player.

The change in testing speed is expected to have a minimal distance impact, 5 yards or less, for most recreational golfers. Research shows an average swing speed of 93 mph for male golfers and 72 mph for female players.

Existing balls approved for conformance in 2027 may continue to be used by recreational golfers until January 2030 to give golfers, manufacturers and retailers additional time to adjust. These decisions are in line with the commitments made by the governing bodies at the project’s inception.

A significant portion of golf ball models that are currently in the market – and more than 30 percent of all golf ball models submitted for conformance across the game – are expected to remain conforming after these changes are applied.

“Governance is hard. And while thousands will claim that we did too much, there will be just as many who said we didn’t do enough to protect the game long-term,” said Mike Whan, CEO of the USGA. “But from the very beginning, we’ve been driven to do what is right for the game, without bias. As we’ve said, doing nothing is not an option – and we would be failing in our responsibility to protect the game’s future if we didn’t take appropriate action now.”

Martin Slumbers, CEO of the R&A, said, “We are convinced that this decision is one of the key ways of achieving a sustainable future for golf, protecting the integrity of the game and meeting our environmental responsibilities. The measure we are taking has been carefully considered and calibrated while maintaining the ‘one game’ ethos deemed to be so important to the golf industry. Importantly, it also keeps the impact on recreational golfers to an absolute minimum. We are acting now because we want to ensure that future generations can enjoy the unique challenge of golf as much as we do.”

The Notice of Decision follows the most thorough and comprehensive examination of the issue in the game’s history through the Distance Insights project, which was launched in 2018 and gathered data, shared research and solicited feedback from golf course owners, players, and stakeholders across the game. Data provided by the seven major worldwide tours has also been analyzed by the governing bodies, who have published Annual Driving Distance Reports every year since 2015.

The reports followed the governing bodies’ joint Conclusions from the Distance Insights Project: Implication of Hitting Distance in Golf, which shared the reasons why addressing the continuing trend of hitting distance increases and subsequent course lengthening is critical to the game’s long-term sustainability.

All golf ball and club manufacturers were advised of the decision on Tuesday and were given full technical details and an implementation timeline. The notice of decision takes into account the extensive research and feedback received from manufacturers and other industry stakeholders throughout the six-year process and following multiple Areas of Interest and proposals starting in 2021 as part of the Equipment Rulemaking process.

Click on each link for official documents and a letter sent to the industry here:

The extensive feedback received showed worldwide sentiment that the retention of a single set of playing rules and equipment standards is critically important to the sport and should apply across the game. Feedback from manufacturers resulted in the timeline being extended to 2028 to allow more time for innovation and production of new products for elite and recreational players.

In addition to the new ball-testing conditions, the governing bodies will:

  • Expand the testing approach to better detect ‘Driver Creep,’ which can result in drivers exceeding the limits set out in the Equipment Rules. This is a change in the testing methodology for submitted drivers, to identify and proactively address driver models that are within current tolerance levels and have Characteristic Time (CT) values that are more likely to exceed the limit through regular use.
  • Continue to monitor drivers and explore possible additional options related to distance. Specifically, we will research the forgiveness of drivers and how they perform with off-center hits. This is an ongoing review and we will seek input from and continue to work with the industry, including manufacturers, to identify driver design features that can be regulated as a means to reward center impact position hits versus mis-hits.

The R&A and the USGA are guided by an overarching principle to continue to preserve the fundamental elements of golf – protecting the integrity of golf courses, including their overall length, and ensuring that a variety of skills are needed to be successful.

Longer golf courses require additional resources such as water, the cost of renovating or moving elements like tees and bunkers continues to rise and other long-term impacts have been identified as a result of increased distance. The governing bodies believe that if the sport is to enjoy a sustainable long-term future then these economic and environmental impacts have to be kept under control.

The Overall Distance Standard was first introduced in 1976 and has been updated on three previous occasions (1980, 2002 and 2004). This is the first time that test speeds have been updated since 2004, when the current standard was set based on the longest hitters at that time.