Monthly Archives: January 2024

PGA High School Golf National Invitational Returns to PGA Frisco in 2024

Boy’s Invitational set for July 1-3; Girl’s Invitational to follow July 8-10

FRISCO, Texas — The top high school golfers from across the country will journey to PGA Frisco this July for the 2024 PGA High School Golf National Invitational presented by Titleist & FootJoy.

This marks the second straight year the event will be played at PGA Frisco and the sixth edition of the PGA High School Golf National Invitational since its debut in 2019.

The Boy’s Invitational will take place July 1-3 on the Fields Ranch East and West Courses at PGA Frisco as well as WestRidge Golf Course in McKinney. The Girl’s Invitational will be contested July 8-10 across Fields Ranch West course as well as Old American Golf Club in The Colony and Gentle Creek Country Club in Prosper.

The invitation-only field consists of golfers who have won their respective state high school championships as a team or as an individual from small, large, public or private schools. Individual and team champions will be crowned following the three-day, 54-hole stroke-play event.

“The PGA of America is thrilled to host the PGA High School Golf National Invitational for a second time at PGA Frisco in July,” said PGA of America President John Lindert, Director of Golf at The Country Club of Lansing. “High school golf plays a vital role in the growth of the game, and we look forward to seeing the best high school players in the country showcase their skills at our amazing home in Frisco.”

The 2023 PGA High School Golf National Invitational was the first junior event held at PGA Frisco.The Girls’ Invitational was won by Texas (RGN) from San Antonio; Georgia (RVA) from Alpharetta took the Boy’s division. Athena Yoo (Georgia LMB) and Charles Beeson (Georgia RVA) claimed individual medalist honors among the Girls and Boys, respectively.

Fields Ranch at PGA Frisco is set to host 30 championships over the next 12 years. The 2023 KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship was the first major contested at Fields Ranch East, soon to be followed by the 2025 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship and the 2027 PGA Championship.


71st PGA Show Signals a Big Year Ahead for Golf

ORLANDO, Florida – More than 31,000 golf industry professionals from 89 countries and 50 U.S. states came together to meet with more than 1,000 golf companies and brands at the 71st PGA Show in Orlando, Florida, Jan. 23-26, 2024. With the continued upswing in consumer golf participation, the PGA Show signaled a bullish year ahead for the $102 billion golf industry.

While the PGA Show began in the trunks of cars during a 1954 golf tournament, it has grown into golf’s longest running and largest global business gathering covering 1.1 million square feet of exhibit, demonstration and meeting space within the Orange County Convention Center. The game’s most recognizable brands and veteran manufacturers, along with more than 350 exhibitors new to the PGA Show, created an unparalleled marketplace to showcase the latest innovations that will enhance the golf experience and drive the business of the sport.

Among the tens of thousands of attendees were more than 7,000 PGA of America Golf Professionals, LPGA and international PGA Professionals, representing widespread professional positions in the global industry and driving grassroots participation in the game by millions worldwide. More than 1,000 VIP buyers from 775 golf facilities and mass merchandisers sourced new products and services, bringing approximately $900 million in purchasing power and nearly $2.9 billion in retail sales to the event. Additionally, more than 900 media from 22 countries reported from the trade-only PGA Show, offering an exclusive inside look to the game’s newest innovations for millions of consumers around the world. Industry professional attendance came from 89 countries and all 50 U.S. states with Canada, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Japan, China and Ireland topping the list of international attendees and New York, Texas, Georgia, California, and Pennsylvania representing top states, outside of the host state of Florida.

Thousands of products and services were introduced among the nearly 10 miles of Show aisles including products such as Titleist T-Series irons, Vokey SM10 wedges and AVX, Tour Soft, and TruFeel golf balls; Club Car Tempo Walk autonomous caddie; Uneekor EYE Mini Lite portable launch monitor; Ralph Lauren’s Fall 2024 performance collection featuring washable cashmere; Toptracer Coach; Bridgestone TourB golf balls; Blue Tees Golf Player+ GPS Speaker; J. Lindeberg’s Team USA uniforms; Cobra’s Dark Speed driver and irons; Under Armour new Phantom Footwear; PING i530 irons and S159 wedges; adidas/Malbon apparel and footwear collaboration; Bushnell new Wingman 2 speaker and ProX3+ rangefinder; Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke driver and irons; Dunning Summer/Fall 2024 Collection; FlightScope’s MEVO+ Limited Edition launch monitor and simulator; Cleveland Launcher XL 2 Driver and Never Compromise Putters; Eastside Golf’s first line of women’s apparel; Srixon ZX7 Driver; Yamaha DRIVE H2 golf cart; PUMA Phantomcat Nitro shoe; Mizuno Pro Fli-Hi driving irons, Pro 245 irons and T24 wedges and many more.

“As someone who has attended the PGA Show for over 30 years, this one certainly had an added excitement around it,” said PGA of America President John Lindert, PGA Director of Golf at the Country Club of Lansing in Lansing, Michigan. “The golf industry is in a great place and that was very evident this year. The Show is annually the largest gathering of PGA of America Golf Professionals and industry leaders and is the epicenter of golf business. It is also the largest stage in golf for education, career development and professional networking. As an industry, we are better equipped to drive continued growth of this game we all love by coming together annually at the PGA Show.”

“The 2024 PGA Show overflowed with more exhibitors, more floor space, more attendees and an amazing energy that will surely drive the business of golf ahead in the upcoming year,” said PGA Golf Exhibitions Vice President Marc Simon. “We are especially thrilled with the positive response to the inaugural PGA Show Winter Jam featuring country music star Jake Owen, and many other new experiential events that gave our attendees and exhibitors a chance to connect in fresh and exciting ways. We can’t wait to build off these successes in 2025.”

While the PGA Show is an unmatched marketplace for discovering the latest golf innovations, PGA Show Week also offered industry professionals programming to recharge and renew their passion for the business of the game by attending high-level industry presentations, participating in education and career workshops and connecting in person with peers from around the world.

PGA Show Week began on January 23 when thousands of PGA of America Golf Professionals tested the latest equipment and technology from some 70 top golf companies during PGA Show Demo Day, the world’s largest professional outdoor demo day, at the expansive circular range and 42-acre practice facility at Orange County National Golf Center. The immersive day-long event, produced in partnership by the PGA Show and PGA Magazine, also featured extensive product education, coaching workshops, club fitting presentations, programming on golf range strategies, demonstrations by PGA TOUR professionals and top PGA of America Coaches, and opportunities to meet one-on-one with industry leaders in numerous categories.

The following day on January 24, PGA of America President John Lindert and PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh shared welcome remarks and the announcement of the Association’s first-ever 30,000 membership milestone, while officially opening the Show. Following the ceremony, the Exhibit Hall doors opened to more than 1,000 companies and brands to create the world’s largest business-to-business golf event.

In addition to the busy marketplace across the expanse of the Show Floor, PGA Show days were full of professional learning opportunities during exhibitor and industry presentations at five Show Floor stages. The PGA Industry Stage presented by CapTech offered a full schedule of diverse programming from the PGA of America in collaboration with golf organizations, business leaders, top coaches, players and architects. The Clubhouse pavilion stage featured industry programming from brand executives and experts representing leading golf organizations such as the PGA of America, National Golf Course Owners Association, United States Golf Association, Golf Course Superintendents Association, LPGA and more. The Golf Fitness, Wellness & Instruction stage offered complimentary education sessions presented by TPI and the Golf Fitness Association of America, with supporting sponsor Life Fitness. The Career Zone stage presented employer-led panel presentations and career workshops, while PGA of America Golf Professionals, college students and second-career professionals also connected in the Career Zone for recruitment activations and employer networking programs. The Inventors Spotlight stage offered entrepreneur and inventor education sessions and product pitch panels each Show Day.

PGA Show evenings brought exciting industry networking events. The first Show Day, Jan. 24, featured a late-afternoon announcement of the Class of 2024 PGA of America National Awards honorees, headlined by PGA of America Golf Professionals Tony Pancake, Joe Hallett and Kelly Williams earning PGA of America Golf Professional of the Year, PGA of America Teacher & Coach of the Year and PGA of America Golf Executive of the Year, respectively. In all, 13 Award recipients were recognized on the PGA of America Industry Stage presented by CapTech, and followed by a Member Reception in the PGA of America Hub. Day 1 finished with an Industry Reception sponsored by Rhone and a live runway Fashion Show, located in the new Concert Lounge in Hall E at the Orange County Convention Center. The last Show evening, Jan. 25, ended with thousands of industry professionals enjoying the inaugural PGA Show Winter Jam, supported by adidas and Corebridge Financial, and featuring award-winning country music artist Jake Owen, the Back Country Boys and DJ Spencer Ludwig. The after-hours concert experience attracted thousands of industry professionals to an exciting night of live music while unwinding with peers after a busy three days at the PGA Show. PGA HOPE, the PGA of America’s flagship military rehabilitative golf program, was the concert’s charitable partner with Veterans, Active Military, PGA HOPE certified PGA of America Golf Professionals, PGA HOPE Ambassadors, and PGA HOPE graduates attending as special guests.

A dynamic 2024 PGA Show Floor featured interactive destinations to personally engage attendees with company products and services including, the PGA of America Hub where members could centrally access Association and partner benefits and programming; the Equipment Test Center, featuring 44 testing bays and a 3,750 square-foot putting green; a new Clubhouse pavilion; a centralized New Product Zone sponsored by The Net Return, for a one-stop shopping of the newest golf merchandise; Career Zone; Inventors Spotlight exhibitor pavilion for patented products not yet available at retail; the Golf Fitness, Wellness & Instruction area; new PGA HOPE activation; Pickleball Courts for racquet demonstrations; an Adaptive Golf Center; Golf Travel Pavilion and a new Concert Hall which was home to the live Fashion Show and inaugural PGA Show Winter Jam.

The 2024 PGA Show also featured a comprehensive schedule of education sessions across a wide range of professional development topics presented by the industry’s foremost experts. The PGA Show Education Conference offered sessions on Teaching & Coaching, Executive Management and Golf Operations, led by expert PGA of America Golf Professionals, PGA Master Professionals and top PGA Coaches. The Conference also featured new PGA Show partner association sessions focused on technology solutions, food & beverage operations, retail strategies, marketing practices, facility branding, public relations, and more. Partner association sessions featured industry experts who have presented at conferences by the Association of Golf Merchandisers (AGM), Club Managers Association of America (CMAA), National Golf Course Owners Association (NGCOA), and National Golf Foundation (NGF). In addition to the PGA Show Education Conference, PGA of America Golf Professionals could attend complimentary Association workshops at the Member Business Center. PGA Show Week also was host to the National Golf Course Owners Association Golf Business Conference (Jan. 22-24) and the AGM Golf Retail Conference (Jan. 23). PGA of America Golf Professionals were able to earn up to 30 PDR credits through participation in the PGA Show Education Conference, additional PGA Show Week educational programming, and various PGA Show and PGA of America programs.

Renowned PGA teachers, PGA and LPGA touring professionals and celebrities also attended the PGA Show to participate in product launches and brand appearances including Brian Harman, Matt Fitzpatrick, Brad Faxon, Jim Furyk, Tom Watson, KJ Choi, Lee Trevino, Blair O’Neal, Annika Sorenstam, Reggie Bush, Smylie Kaufman, Sherri Steinhauer, Madelene Sagstrom, Kyle Berkshire, Jim Nantz, David Leadbetter, Johnny Damon, Kevin Harrington, JoAnne Russell and more.

Awards Announced

The 2024 PGA Show also shined a spotlight on new products and talented inventors in the New Product Zone and Inventor’s Spotlight Pavilion. Innovations in the New Product Zone, a one-stop pavilion of the newest golf merchandise, were judged by a panel of award-winning PGA of America Golf Professionals and golf buyers. The judging panel selected three overall “Best New Product” Award winners – AYRO low-speed electric vehicles, SKIM Turf Management software, and the Golf Shotz Wasted Wedge.

The Inventors Spotlight pavilion, organized in partnership with the United Inventors Association (UIA), showcased new golf products developed by independent inventors within 43 inventor exhibits. Products were reviewed by UIA experts and top inventions were presented with one of three awards: Best Marketing to Subtlety LLC; Best Innovation to  Putt Buddies divot tools; and the Pinnacle Award – Best in Show to All-In Golf Guard.

The Wednesday night live Fashion Show offered attendees the opportunity to vote for the “People’s Choice Awards” in three categories. Among the standout brands presenting were Fore All, whose preppy youthful styles earned the company the People’s Choice Awards for Best Dressed and Best Women’s Brand. The People’s Choice Best Men’s Brand went to Rhone, whose combination of green sweater layered over a navy mock and paired with navy joggers was a standout during the fashion show.

PGA Golf Exhibitions will next hold the mid-season PGA Buying Summit, July 29-31, in Frisco, Texas and the PGA Show will return to Orlando, Jan. 21-24, 2025. Event details can be found at

PGA of America Selects 2nd Swing Golf as Official Equipment Trade-In Partner

FRISCO, Texas & ORLANDO, Fla. — The PGA of America announced 2nd Swing Golf as its Official Equipment Trade-In Partner today at the PGA Show in Orlando, Florida. As part of the collaboration, 2nd Swing will power the PGA of America Value Guide, the industry’s most comprehensive place to sell golf equipment, and offer a comprehensive platform that allows PGA of America Golf Professionals and consumers to maximize the value of their golf equipment.

2nd Swing also will provide opportunities for PGA of America Golf Professionals to earn financial contributions from equipment trade-ins via the PGA Golf Retirement Plus program or the 2nd Swing affiliate program. 2nd Swing’s advanced algorithm considers various factors such as brand, model, condition and demand to provide accurate valuations, ensuring fair transactions for both sellers and buyers.

PGA of America Section offices are also eligible to participate in a dedicated partnership program that offers benefits at the local level. Furthermore, PGA of America Golf Professionals and consumers alike may opt to have their equipment trade-in values go toward supporting PGA REACH, the 501(c)(3) charitable foundation of the PGA of America.

“We are thrilled to welcome 2nd Swing to the PGA of America partnership family,” said PGA of America Chief Commercial Officer Jeff Price. “With 2nd Swing’s support, we are able to provide more value and add another tool for our more than 30,000 PGA of America Golf Professional’s efforts to make this game more enjoyable and accessible to the millions of individuals who play.”

At the Home of the PGA of America in Frisco, Texas, 2nd Swing will provide its award winning fitting and club services at the PGA of America Coaching Center powered by T-Mobile. 2nd Swing’s fitting process provides golfers a brand-agnostic, in-depth fitting experience similar to what professionals get each week on Tour. In addition, 2nd Swing will offer club services such as grip changes, lie/loft adjustments and more.

“We are excited to partner with 2nd Swing at the PGA of America Coaching Center at PGA Frisco,” said PGA Master Professional Tim Cusick, PGA of America Head Coach. “2nd Swing’s club fitting philosophy of identifying the equipment that performs best is perfect for golfers of all ages and stages in the golf journey.”

“We are proud to partner with the PGA of America and we thank them for their trust in our ability to operate the new PGA Value Guide,” said Simon Kallal, 2nd Swing CEO. “We feel fortunate and excited to work with one of the finest organizations in golf as we support their 30,000 Members and Associates.”

The PGA Value Guide offers a mobile-friendly website design and the fastest receiving payment times in the industry. “Through our partnership with the PGA of America, 2nd Swing will empower Golf Professionals by providing them additional revenue and income generation sources,” said 2nd Swing VP of Merchandising Ross Fuchs.

PGA Jr. League #GameChanger Award Winners Honored at 2024 PGA Show

FRISCO, Texas and ORLANDO, Fla. – Attending PGA Jr. League #GameChanger Award winners took the stage Wednesday afternoon at the 2024 PGA Show in a ceremony emceed by NBC’s Lauren Thompson to celebrate their 2023 accomplishments in the player engagement space.

The #GameChanger Awards were created by the PGA of America’s Player Engagement team in 2019 to celebrate the efforts of PGA Jr. League Coaches who create more opportunities for more kids to learn and play the game. The awards honor the 25 largest PGA Jr. League programs in the country, as well as the largest programs in each of the 41 PGA of America Sections.

“The #GameChanger Awards have become an annual celebration of PGA of America Golf Professionals and PGA Jr. League Coaches that we look forward to each year,” said Steve Tanner, Senior Director of Player Engagement for the PGA of America. “We can’t understate the extraordinary achievements of these Coaches, and we’re both appreciative and proud of their commitment to growing the game.”

In 2022, a Player Engagement Award was added to celebrate Coaches who meet the following criteria: lead 24 or more active PGA Jr. League players; host multiple age divisions or seasons of PGA Jr. League; host a PGA Family Golf event; and are ADM (American Development Model) certified through the PGA Coach platform.

The full list of 2023 #GameChanger Award recipients organized by category (25 largest programs in the country, largest program in each PGA of America Section and Player Engagement Award) can be found here.

USGA’s Davis Grants Top $50 Million In Total Research Investment Since 1983

LIBERTY CORNER, N.J. – The United States Golf Association’s Mike Davis Program for Advancing Golf Course Management has funded 15 new research projects to advance turfgrass science in 2024, taking the program’s total investment in golf course sustainability over $50 million since 1983.
Aligning with the USGA’s long-term $30 million commitment to reduce golf’s use of water, more than 50 percent of active Davis Grants are focused on projects intended to drive efficiency, effective measurement, innovation and conservation of water on golf courses. They include multi-year studies on optimizing irrigation techniques, improving drought resistance for common fairway, rough and green turfgrasses, and advancing methods of renovating out-of-play areas to conservation habitat, among others.
Scientists from leading universities across the country, including Rutgers, the University of Florida, Texas A&M, New Mexico State, North Carolina State, Washington State and Kansas State, are conducting the multi-year research, which is helping to provide the game of golf with data-driven tools to improve playing conditions and optimize resource use.
With more than 60 projects in progress, the Davis Program continues to be the largest private turfgrass and environmental research effort in golf, led by the USGA’s Green Section.
“Our Green Section team has some of the brightest minds in golf, and we’re proud to continue forging a sustainable path forward, led by our Davis Program research efforts,” said Matt Pringle, Ph.D., managing director of the USGA Green Section. “As a leader in advancing data-driven and research-based golf course management practices, we work side-by-side with the top universities and institutions across the country.”
Other notable projects receiving funding this year include a pilot effort at Texas A&M University and the University of Tennessee to mine Google course review data to better understand what improves, and detracts from, the golfer experience.
The USGA is also continuing a longstanding collaboration with the National Turfgrass Evaluation Program and the National Turfgrass Federation to provide unbiased turfgrass performance data for end users and to advance federal and allied nonprofit organization funding of turfgrass research.
The resulting management practices born out of Davis Program research have contributed to a 29 percent decrease in golf’s water use since 2005.
In total, the USGA’s investment in course sustainability saves the golf industry an estimated $1.9 billion annually, including:
• $201 million from advancing irrigation with efficiencies in turfgrass water use;
• $529 million from advancing irrigation scheduling with soil-moisture meters;
• $469 million from advancing naturalized rough.
The USGA’s Green Section was formed in 1920 to lead the game’s efforts in improving golf course playing conditions and sustainability through research, education, course consulting, technology tools and championship agronomy. It includes consulting agronomists in each region of the country, providing localized and practical expertise to golf course owners and operators.
Formerly the Turfgrass Environmental Research Program, the initiative was renamed for Mike Davis in 2021 to highlight his continuous impact on the game during his 31 years of service to the USGA, including 10 as executive director/CEO.

PGA of America Members Tony Pancake, Joe Hallett and Kelly Williams Headline 2024 National Awards Class

FRISCO, Texas and ORLANDO, Fla. — PGA of America Golf Professionals Tony Pancake, Joe Hallett and Kelly Williams headline the Class of 2024 PGA of America National Awards honorees.

In all, 13 Award recipients will be recognized at the 71st PGA Show today at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, at 4 p.m. ET on the PGA of America Industry Stage presented by CapTech. All 13 recipients are scheduled to attend the ceremony.

“Our 2024 PGA of America Award recipients have dedicated their lives to helping countless individuals enjoy this game we all love, and they do it exceptionally well,” said PGA of America President John Lindert, PGA Director of Golf at the Country Club of Lansing in Lansing, Michigan. “I have had the opportunity to get to know several of our winners over the years and they truly are a great representation of what our more than 30,000 PGA of America Golf Professionals do on a daily basis. To stand out among their peers is an incredible achievement.”

In addition, the recently announced 2023 PGA of America Professional Players of the Year presented by Rolex award recipients will be celebrated on the Industry Stage, including: Men’s PGA Professional Player of the Year Michael Block of Mission Viejo, California.; Women’s PGA Professional Player of the Year Stephanie Connelly-Eiswerth of Jacksonville, Florida; and Senior PGA Professional Player of the Year Bob Sowards of Dublin, Ohio.

2024 PGA of America National Award Recipients

  • PGA of America Golf Professional of the Year
    Tony Pancake, PGA – Crooked Stick Golf Club – Carmel, Indiana
  • PGA of America Teacher & Coach of the Year
    Joe Hallett, PGA – Vanderbilt Legends Club – Franklin, Tennessee
  • PGA of America Golf Executive of the Year
  • Kelly Williams, PGA – Greenbrier Golf & Country Club – Lexington, Kentucky
  • Bill Strausbaugh Award
    Jim Smith Jr., PGA – Philadelphia Cricket Club – Flourtown, Pennsylvania
  • PGA of America Professional Development Award
    Dean Kandle, PGA – St. Davids Golf Club – Wayne, Pennsylvania
  • Deacon Palmer Award
    Mark Egly, PGA – Des Moines Driving Range – Des Moines, Iowa
  • Patriot Award
    Jon DePriest, PGA – Sunset Hills Country Club – Edwardsville, Illinois
  • PGA of America Player Development Award
    Crystal Morse, PGA – The Legends Golf Club – Franklin, Indiana
  • PGA of America Youth Player Development Award
    Connie DeMattia, PGA – Cantigny Golf – Wheaton, Illinois
  • Herb Graffis Award
    Iowa PGA Section
  • PGA of America Merchandiser of the Year – Resort Category
    Robert Koontz, PGA – French Lick – French Lick, Indiana
  • PGA of America Merchandiser of the Year – Private Category
    Morgan Jewell – Floridian National Golf Club – Palm City, Florida
  • PGA of America Merchandiser of the Year – Public Category
    Jason Loomis, PGA – Great River Golf Club – Milford, Connecticut

Tony Pancake, PGA, the Director of Golf at Crooked Stick Golf Club in Carmel, Indiana, is the recipient of the 2024 PGA of America Golf Professional of the Year Award. This is the highest annual honor given to a PGA of America Golf Professional, which is awarded for leadership, strong moral character and a substantial record of service to the Association and the game of golf.

A PGA of America Member for 36 years, Pancake has helped steer Crooked Stick’s efforts on the national and international stage since 2003, as the facility played host to several championship events, highlighted by the 2005 Solheim Cup, 2007 USGA Women’s Amateur, 2009 U.S. Senior Open and the 2012 and 2016 BMW Championships. The Club will host the U.S. Senior Open Championship in 2028.

A native of Seymour, Indiana, Pancake attended the University of Alabama on a golf scholarship and earned an accounting degree. He served for nine years as PGA of America Head Professional at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky, which hosted the 1996 PGA Championship. He then worked at Hurstborne Country Club in Louisville, before being named Head Professional at Baltimore (Md.) Country Club in 2002. Pancake just finished his 20th season at Crooked Stick, serving as Head Golf Professional from 2004-2009 and as Director of Golf & Club Operations since 2010.

Pancake has served the PGA of America more than 30 years at both the Section and National levels, including being named to the PGA of America Board of Directors in 2018. Through his career, he has been recognized with numerous awards and accolades, including the Kentucky PGA Section’s PGA Golf Professional of Year in 1992 and the Indiana PGA Section’s PGA Golf Professional of Year in 2009 and 2019.

Pancake is one of Golf Digest’s top 10 Teachers in Indiana. He is also an accomplished player, having  qualified for four Section Challenge Cup teams, was a quarterfinalist in the Section Match Play Championship, qualified for a PGA Professional Championship and was the winner of the 2015 Indiana Senior Open Championship.

PGA Master Professional Joe Hallett, a Tennessee PGA Section Member and Director of Instruction at Vanderbilt Legends Club in Franklin, Tennessee, is the 2024 PGA of America Teacher & Coach of the Year for his outstanding services as a golf teacher, innovator and coach.

A PGA of America Golf Professional for 28 years, Hallett is regularly recognized as a GOLF Magazine Top 100 instructor and a Golf Digest Top 50 instructor, including holding the top spot in Golf Digest’s “Best Teacher in Every State” in Tennessee for seven consecutive years. He has coached some of the top LPGA players in the world, including seven-time Major Champion and LPGA Hall of Famer Inbee Park and two-time Rolex World No. 1 and 2023 US Solheim Cup Captain Stacy Lewis. Hallett was also named to the Team USA coaching staff for the 2023 Solheim Cup.

A longtime presenter at PGA Section, PGA of America and Allied Association education events and seminars, Hallett frequently educates, assists and offers guidance to his peers, colleagues and aspiring members. He has been instrumental in the development and delivery of PGA of America Education programs for Members, Associates and PGA Golf Management University Students. With a commitment to continuing his own education, Hallett earned PGA Master Professional status through Teaching & Coaching in 2023, the highest educational designation a PGA of America Member can obtain.

Already a national award winner, Hallett was the recipient of the 2018 Horton Smith Award (now the PGA Professional Development Award), honored for his commendable additions to the education of PGA of America Professionals. A multiple award winner at the Section level, Hallett was the recipient of the Tennessee PGA Section Professional Development Award (2012, ‘14, ‘21), and three times the Section’s PGA Teacher of the Year (2013, ‘18, ‘21).

Kelly Williams, PGA, a Kentucky PGA Section Member and the General Manager of Greenbrier Golf & Country Club in Lexington, Kentucky, is the 2024 PGA of America Golf Executive of the Year. The honor recognizes outstanding services in an executive management position, as well as leadership, vision, courage, moral character and a substantial record of service to the Association and the game.

A PGA of America Member since 2007, Williams is a collaborative leader whose commitment to serving his fellow PGA of America Members is evident through his role in Association governance at the Section and National levels. He served as an Officer for the Kentucky PGA Section, including a two-year stint as President (2014-2015), District 10 Director (2016-2019) on the PGA National Board of Directors and has served on many Section and National Committees.

Williams started at Greenbrier Golf & Country Club as an Assistant Professional in 2002, working his way up to the General Manager position in 2007. What once was a facility only known for its golf and used by its members six months out of the year, has transformed into a thriving, family-centered club with year-round amenities and programming. Under Williams’ leadership, over $10 million of assessment-free improvements have been incorporated at the facility.

A multi-award winner at the Section level, Williams was the recipient of the Horton Smith Award, now named the PGA Professional Development Award (2009, 2011), Golf Professional of the Year (2013), Professional Development Award (2023) and Golf Executive of The year (2023) for the Kentucky PGA Section.

Frequently recognized by his peers for his passion, energy and leadership, Williams is a firm believer in continuing education and mentorship. As Kentucky PGA Education Chair, he often leads roundtable discussions with panels of industry experts to discuss new trends and share best practices. To complement this, he serves on the Eastern Kentucky University Professional Golf Management University Program Advisory Board, also serving as a mentor to help shape the future of students pursuing their dream of becoming a PGA of America Member.

Williams’ commitment to philanthropy includes founding PGA Golf Day to fundraise for the Kentucky PGA Growth of the Game Foundation, and supporting a breadth of PGA REACH initiatives.

Actor and Comedian Anthony Anderson Joins PGA of America’s “We Love this Game” Brand Campaign as ‘Mack Weathers’

FRISCO, Texas and ORLANDO, Fla. – The PGA of America, in partnership with Omaha Productions, unveiled the second phase of the “We Love this Game” brand campaign today at the 71st PGA Show in Orlando, Florida, with a video featuring celebrated actor and comedian Anthony Anderson and PGA of America Golf Professional Eric Lohman, the General Manager of Monarch Beach Golf Links in Dana Point, California.

In an engaging “A Day With A Pro” video that demonstrates the many roles of the PGA of America Golf Professional, Anderson takes on the guise of a not-so-typical journalist – Mack Weathers – to delve into the daily life of Lohman, who’s been a PGA of America Golf Professional for over 20 years. This captivating experience aims to showcase the multifaceted nature of the unsung heroes of the golfing community, who are far more than just coaches.

As “Mack” infiltrates Lohman’s world, he uncovers the intricate web of responsibilities that PGA of America Golf Professionals shoulder, from club operations to event coordination and even community engagement. Viewers will be transported into the heart of this vibrant, dynamic role as they witness Mack’s hilarious and heartwarming interactions with Lohman and the golfing community.

The video not only celebrates PGA of America Professionals as the gatekeepers to the world of golf but also as passionate and integral members of their communities, working tirelessly to create a more inclusive and welcoming golfing experience for everyone.

“Our more than 30,000 PGA of America Golf Professionals work in the golf industry because of their love for the game, which is what this brand campaign is all about,” said PGA of America President John Lindert, PGA Director of Golf at the Country Club of Lansing in Lansing, Michigan. “I love the fun-natured way Mack Weathers provides a peek into the life of Eric Lohman, PGA, and more importantly, how it shows Eric’s love for his career, the community he serves and this game we all love.”

The video will be distributed through digital media and PGA of America social media channels.

The video will be shown at the PGA Show during the “We Love this Game” panel on the PGA of America Industry Stage presented by CapTech at 3 p.m. EST on Wednesday, January 24th. The panel will include video messages from Anderson and two-time Super Bowl Champion Eli Manning. A panel discussion will then take place between Lindert, Lohman, PGA of America Chief Commercial Officer Jeff Price, PGA of America Head of Brand & Digital Marketing Fahad Zahid, Catalyst Branding Founder & President David Martin and Omaha Productions Head of Marketing Kristen Herlihy.

The “We Love this Game” brand campaign originally debuted in September 2023, unveiling a new logo for the PGA of America and the “We Love this Game” commercial that ran throughout the 2023 Ryder Cup. The campaign aims to elevate and reinforce the role of PGA of America Golf Professionals as boldly influencing the present and future of the sport and industry by delivering more enjoyable experiences to golfers everywhere, no matter where they may be on their golf journeys.

U.S. Open to Return to Merion in 2040

LIBERTY CORNER, N.J. – The USGA announced today that Merion Golf Club, in Ardmore, Pa., will serve as the host site for the 2040 U.S. Open Championship. Merion was previously awarded both the 2030 and 2050 championships, setting the club up to host the U.S. Open once every 10 years. This latest announcement is reflective of the USGA’s long-term commitment to the club, which will also play host to the 2026 U.S. Amateur and both the 2034 and 2046 U.S. Women’s Opens.

“For well over a century, Merion has served as the site of some of American golf’s most iconic moments,” says John Bodenhamer, USGA chief championships officer. “Our relationship with the club and its membership continues to grow, and when we looked at our future lineup for the U.S. Open, we wanted to enhance our upcoming commitment with a more regular cadence. We are thrilled to be able to return to such an important club on a regular basis and look forward to watching several generations of the world’s best write new chapters in the history of this great game.”

To date, Merion Golf Club has hosted 19 USGA championships, the most of any site:

  • Five U.S. Opens (1934, 1950, 1971, 1981, 2013)
  • Six U.S. Amateurs (1916, 1924, 1930, 1966, 1989, 2005)
  • Four U.S. Women’s Amateurs (1904, 1909, 1926, 1949)
  • One U.S. Girls’ Junior (1998)
  • Two Curtis Cups (1954, 2022)
  • One Walker Cup (2009)

“Starting with its formation, the desire to host significant championships has been at Merion’s core, said Buddy Marucci, Merion championship committee chair. “It is no wonder Merion has hosted more USGA championships than any other club in America. Our partnership with the USGA dates to its first decade and has produced some of the most memorable moments in golf history. We are thrilled to celebrate those moments by announcing an additional U.S. Open Championship to be played in the year 2040. We look forward to all future generations of the world’s best players having the opportunity to compete on Hugh Wilson’s timeless masterpiece.”

The PGA of America Renews Partnership with Women’s Golf Day

WEST PALM BEACH, Florida and FRISCO, Texas – Women’s Golf Day (WGD) and the PGA of America have renewed their partnership agreement.  Under the agreement, PGA of America Golf Professionals can participate in professional development opportunities while supporting WGD, starting by attending the WGD annual PGA Show panel discussion “Women as Economic Influencers” on January 25 at 10 a.m. EST at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.

“Women’s Golf Day has provided so many of our PGA of America Golf Professionals with a fantastic platform to attract and retain female golfers,” said Sandy Cross, Chief People Officer of the PGA of America.  “We are very proud to partner in this global movement and are inspired by hearing the stories of successful PGA of America Golf Professionals around the globe. There is still so much untapped potential relative to the female golf audience, and WGD creates multiple opportunities for us to enhance our knowledge.”

PGA of America Golf Professionals can earn Professional Development Requirement (PDR) credits for hosting a WGD event on any day between May 28 and June 4 and for attending the virtual “WGD Palooza” on May 28, which kicks off each year’s weeklong celebration.  WGD will also continue to promote various PGA of America initiatives, including Find a PGA Coach, PGA of America Events, PGA of America JobMatch and VendorMatch opportunities.

“We value The PGA of America’s continued support and that of its Members as hosts of WGD events,” comments Founder of Women’s Golf Day Elisa Gaudet.  “As interest and participation in women’s golf grows around the world, we are encouraging PGA of America Golf Professionals to use the week of Women’s Golf Day to host an official WGD event, thus creating an opportunity to attract this new audience.  Our panel at The PGA Show will give a real insight into trends and tactics for developing authentic relationships with the female audience, which we hope will give people the confidence to host a successful WGD event.”

To find out more about Women’s Golf Day and what benefits an event registration entitles you to, simply visit:

To register for the WGD Panel Discussion, which takes place at 10 a.m. on Thursday in Room W312A visit:

Women’s Golf Day Official Partners

Callaway Golf, PGA of America, PGA TOUR Superstore, RBC, The R&A, Japan Golf Association and USGA.

Women’s Golf Day is also proudly supported by:  All Square, Annika Foundation, Asian Golf, , Chronogolf, EGCOA, European Tour, European Tour Properties, The First Tee, The Golf Channel, GolfNow, GloveIt, Golf Town, Imperial Headwear, Invited Clubs, International Golf Federation, LET, Make Golf Your Thing, Modest Golf Management, NGCOA, NGCOA Canada, PGA TOUR, Players First, Prestige Flag, Sky Sports, TopGolf, TopTracer, TPC Properties, Troon Golf, Troon International, WE ARE GOLF, Women & Golf, Women’s Golf & Travel, The World Golf Foundation and more.

U.S. Adaptive Open Championship to Conduct Nationwide Qualifying

LIBERTY CORNER, N.J. – The USGA announced today that the U.S. Adaptive Open Championship will adopt a qualifying model for 2024. Conducted over 18 holes, qualifiers will be held at six sites across the United States between Apr. 15 and May 31. They will be administered by Allied Golf Associations (AGAs). In its first two years, the championship field was determined largely by Handicap Index ®.

“We have been thrilled with the interest in this championship and the growth of new adaptive competitions that it has inspired. As such, we have reached the point of introducing qualifying earlier than expected,” said John Bodenhamer, USGA chief championships officer. “In order to satisfy demand, we’re excited to roll out this new qualifying model, which will ensure high-caliber players are provided ample opportunity to earn a spot in the field and provide the championship the opportunity to embrace the openness that is a hallmark of USGA competitions.”

The following AGAs will conduct 18-hole stroke play qualifiers in 2024 (specific sites and dates will be available by early February):

  • Florida State Golf Association
  • Georgia State Golf Association
  • Indiana Golf Association
  • Metropolitan Golf Association (CT/NJ/NY)
  • Southern California Golf Association
  • Texas Golf Association

Online entry applications will open on Thursday, Feb. 22, at 9 a.m. ET, and close on Wednesday, Apr. 10 at 5 p.m. ET, and be available at

Developed to follow through on a 2017 pledge by the USGA to establish a championship for the adaptive golf community, the U.S. Adaptive Open Championship serves as the association’s 15th, and newest, national championship. Champions of this event have seen their names recorded in the annals of golf history alongside many of the game’s storied figures. In 2023, Ryanne Jackson (women’s) and Kipp Popert (men’s) captured the championship’s overall titles. In 2022, Kim Moore (women’s) and Simon Lee (men’s) emerged victorious during the inaugural playing.

A total of 18 players are fully exempt into the 2023 U.S. Adaptive Open based on performances over the past two years of the championship:

Kurtis Barkley (3) Kiefer Jones (3)
Bailey Bish (2) Cindy Lawrence (3)
Mike Browne (2, 3) Simon Lee (1, 2, 3)
Amanda Cunha (2, 3) Rasmus Lia (2)
Abigail Davis (3) Evan Mathias (3)
Anton Glass (2) Kim Moore (1, 2, 3)
Ann Hayes (3) Kipp Popert (1, 2, 3)
Ryanne Jackson (1, 2, 3) Natasha Stasiuk (2, 3)
Conor Stone (2, 3) Max Togisala (3)

Key to Player Exemptions
1)   Overall Winners of the U.S. Adaptive Open Championship (five-year exemption)
2)   From the 2023 U.S. Adaptive Open Championship, the five lowest overall female scores and the five lowest overall male scores, plus ties
3)   From the 2023 U.S. Adaptive Open Championship, the lowest female scorer and lowest male scorer from each Impairment Category, plus ties

The 2024 U.S. Adaptive Open will take place at Sand Creek Station in Newton, Kan., on July 8-10. This will be the second USGA championship conducted at Sand Creek Station, a public course with adaptive accomodations that opened in 2006 and takes its name from the Sand Creek, which borders several holes, and the town’s long history as a stop on the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway. In 2014, Byron Meth defeated Doug Ghim in 37 holes in the 89th and final U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship ever contested.

Last month, the USGA announced that Woodmont Country Club, in Rockville, Md., will host the 2025 and 2026 U.S. Adaptive Opens on its South Course, marking the second and third USGA championships at the 36-hole facility. In 2020, rising star Rose Zhang outlasted defending champion Gabriela Ruffels in a 38-hole final match to win the 120th U.S. Women’s Amateur at Woodmont. It was the second-longest match in championship history.

The Adaptive Open is open to male and female professional and amateur golfers, with a Handicap Index of 36.4 or less, and an eligible impairment confirmed by a WR4GD Pass. The championship is contested over 54 holes of stroke play. Multiple sets of tees will be utilized.