In celebration of its centennial in 2016, the PGA of America is giving itself a deserving pat on the back. Beginning Tuesday, in conjunction with the start of the annual PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, the association kicks off a 100-day salute to members who have helped sustain it for the past 100 years.
The festivities begin with a Ceremonial Tee Shot during Demo Day at Orange County National Golf Center and Lodge that will feature PGA of America officers, representatives from the PGA’s 41 sections along with 41 PGA Junior League Golf participants.
In conjunction with the event’s kickoff, the PGA of America has launched #ThxPGAPro, a grassroots program designed to highlight the impact made by PGA professionals. The campaign aims for participants to share first-person accounts at ThxPGAPro.com as a way of paying tribute to those who helped get them fall in love with the game.
“We celebrate our association’s remarkable first century by focusing on our most important asset – PGA Professionals and the exceptional work they do in the business, teaching and playing of the game, all to elevate the enjoyment of golf,” said PGA President Derek Sprague.
Among those taking part in #ThxPGAPro are Jordan Spieth, who discusses his relationship with 2015 PGA Teacher of the Year Cameron McCormick; Stacy Lewis, who details the work she has done with Joe Hallett; and Davis Love III, who reflects on the guidance that his father, Davis Love Jr., had on his golf career.
The PGA of America will run eight PSA spots highlighting different PGA professionals that will run across various media channels through the Ryder Cup in September.
During the 100-day salute, the Golf Channel will highlight success stories from all 41 PGA sections as part of a regular series on “Morning Drive.” Additionally, the association has published a commemorative coffee-table book, PGA Centennial: Celebrating the History of the Golf Professional. Written by Billy Dettlaff, former director of golf at TPC Sawgrass, the book chronicles the evolution of the PGA professional.
The celebration culminated May 4, what the PGA of America is dubbing PGA Instruction Day, where PGA professionals will be conducting clinics a six sites around the country.