Suzy Whaley and Seth Waugh are two PGA of America golfers who’re on the prime of their video games. Suzy’s recreation is main the 29,000-member group as its first lady President. Seth’s recreation is managing the general operation because the fourth CEO in its historical past. Each video games started late in 2018, and the Whaley-Waugh twosome has already had a big, constructive influence on the PGA of America.
And their video games will solely proceed to get higher, enhancing each the careers of the PGA Professionals and the experiences of hundreds of thousands of amateurs.
What Suzy Whaley Brings to the PGA of America Prime Spot
Whaley’s climb to the highest spot, to which she was inducted final November, has been properly documented and properly deserved. Her background—UNC golf workforce, LPGA Tour and LPGA member, PGA head professional and Grasp Skilled, ESPN analyst, entrepreneur of Suzy Whaley golf, coach, instructor—has ready her nicely for this extraordinarily daunting management position.
On the PGA Merchandise Present in January in a media briefing, Whaley stated, “I’m a PGA Skilled. My husband is a PGA Skilled. We love the sport of golf. So, for me to symbolize the 29,000 of us who share that very same feeling is definitely an honor. I’ve an formidable agenda. For one factor, I don’t assume we promote our members in addition to we should always, and I don’t assume we share sufficient about our Professionals. I would like the employers of PGA Professionals to know the rigorous coaching that our members have encountered: 800 hours of schooling, then a certification program, and our Grasp Skilled program that goes past the certification.
“I’ve been part of the governance of the PGA of America in its committees since 2004, at the moment with the Connecticut part. [She lives in Cromwell, home of TPC River Highlands and the Tour’s Traveler’s Championship.] I’ve all the time loved working collectively and sharing visions to create higher lives for our members, particularly with regard to remuneration, advantages, well being care and schooling.
“I additionally take pleasure in getting golf equipment into individuals’s palms. Rising the sport for me is one thing that I’m extremely enthusiastic about, particularly with freshmen, ladies, youngsters, and minorities. That 2.6 million new golfers have taken up the sport within the final yr because of the various initiatives that each one the skilled golf associations have been adopting has been most gratifying.”
Why Seth Waugh Is the Proper Selection as CEO
Waugh, a single-digit handicapper in his personal proper, will lengthy be remembered and praised in New England for his 14-year run with the FedEx playoff Deutsche Financial institution Championship at TPC Boston when he was CEO of Deutsche Financial institution Americas. When that run led to 2016, Waugh joined the PGA Board of Administrators for a three-year time period. Nevertheless, CEO Pete Bevacqua abruptly left the PGA final August to develop into President of NBC Sports activities Group. PGA President Paul Levy, with the whole Board’s blessings, instantly prevailed upon Waugh to go away his profitable place as Managing Director at Silver Lake, a worldwide chief in know-how investing, to switch Bevacqua in September.
On the similar PGA Present media briefing, Waugh, who graduated from Amherst School with a twin main in economics and English, defined his choice. He stated, “Identical to Suzy and her husband Invoice [currently Director of Golf Operations, PGA Tour Golf Course Properties]I really like this recreation, and I would like as many others who play it to have enjoyable and to be glad on the golf course. I noticed a chance to provide again one thing to the sport and to attempt to make issues higher for the professionals and the amateurs. That has all the time been a driving pressure with me and makes me really feel good. Paul Levy requested me to serve and to make a distinction. I’m glad that I accepted.”
Waugh’s enterprise and organizational acumen immediately got here to the fore. He needed to oversee the Ryder Cup competitors in Paris, France; he needed to affirm a multi-million-dollar, 11-year TV cope with CBS and ESPN that begins in 2021; he needed to verify, approve and announce the small print of the PGA’s headquarters transfer from Palm Seashore Gardens, Florida, to Frisco, Texas; and he needed to swear within the first lady President of the PGA of America.
What Whaley’s Quick Impression as President Has Been
Suzy Whaley, who majored in economics at UNC earlier than she took her shot on the LPGA, used her governance committee actions to succeed in the subsequent degree in 2014 when she was elected by the membership as Secretary of the PGA. She stated, “I didn’t run for Secretary as a result of I’d be the primary lady in that place. I ran as a result of I’m a proud PGA member who has the power, expertise, and the relationships.” Two years as Secretary after which two years as VP prepped her for the main position.
And Whaley’s main position is to be seen AND to be heard. She has actually grow to be the face of the PGA of America, and she or he has used her platform to talk her thoughts. She was ubiquitous on the PGA Merchandise Present, spending as a lot time as potential each in speaking together with her membership on the ground about their considerations and in becoming a member of panel discussions on the primary Discussion board Stage.
Whaley and Waugh opened the Present on the Orange County Conference Middle in Orlando, Florida, alongside army veterans and PGA HOPE coaches from across the nation. PGA HOPE (Serving to Our Patriots All over the place) offers veterans with a chance to study the sport from PGA Professionals as a type of therapeutic rehab. Then Whaley joined Annika Sorenstam on stage to debate “The Way forward for Teaching”—the best way teaching is evolving and what the PGA is doing to assist develop sport participation for a lifetime.
Shortly thereafter, Whaley sat with 5 different influential ladies from We Are Golf and the LPGA Ladies’s Community to explain the consequences of the 2018 August launch of #inviteHER, a nationwide marketing campaign encouraging golfers to increase an invite to a lady of their lives to play golf. Whaley stated, “I’m captivated with inclusion. I need to get extra ladies on golf programs and extra individuals of colour on golf programs. And we’re going to take intentional steps to try this.”
Whaley espoused different initiatives all through the week of the PGA Present. She stated, “PGA Jr. League could be very widespread, and I need to make it much more so. It has grown from 5,000 to 50,000 members in just a few years. Drive, Chip & Putt and the First Tee are exceptional trendsetters. We’ve developed PGA.Coach with the LPGA and PGA excursions, USGA, Augusta Nationwide and the USA Olympic Committee to outline seven levels of golf based mostly on long run athletic improvement. And I’ll captain in October the USA staff within the inaugural Ladies’s PGA Cup, a first-of-its-kind workforce competitors for ladies PGA members from all over the world.”
As well as, Whaley hopes to be the enjoying captain on the five-person workforce. Her recreation continues to be strong, and she or he nonetheless thrives on competitors. She performed twice in February within the PGA of America Winter Championships at PGA Golf Membership in Port St. Lucie, Florida. Enjoying with many different snowbird professionals from across the nation, Whaley and her companion Brittany Kelly from Indianapolis, Indiana, simply missed the ultimate spherical minimize by one stroke within the Senior-Junior Group Championship. Then Whaley shot 77-70-76 for a T-11 within the Ladies’s Stroke Play Championship and cashed a $320 examine for her efforts.
Why the Whaley/Waugh Connection Will Enhance the Recreation
Seth Waugh, who’s most snug behind the scenes as he makes selections and formulates coverage, stated, “Suzy has simply unimaginable power and presence. She understands what makes PGA Professionals particular and what they must be profitable. When she turned the President final November, I used to be very happy to be on her staff and a part of that partnership. She is a real chief. I do know that what Suzy and I and the Board will probably be doing will influence our 29,000 members and can make their lives higher and, in consequence, additionally make golf extra fulfilling for the gamers who depend on the PGA of America to assist run the sport.
“Once we met in our official capacities that first time in November, I requested Suzy what concepts she had for her presidency. She stated she would get again to me. The subsequent morning at 6 a.m. I checked out my emails and had one from Suzy that she had written at four:15 a.m.! She had included 44 gadgets for me to think about, and what’s extra I appreciated her strategies right through. And from that preliminary assembly and that preliminary e-mail, Suzy and I’ve been working intently collectively and very nicely collectively.”
And as soon as once more, their video games will solely proceed to get higher.
(Pictures courtesy of the PGA of America)
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