SBD/July 26, 2013/People and Pop Culture

PGA Of America President Ted Bishop Transforming Position Into One Of Change

Bishop and the R&A have been at odds over the anchoring ban
PGA of America President TED BISHOP is profiled by GOLF WORLD's Ron Sirak, who notes since taking office last November, Bishop has "transformed what ... had traditionally been a ceremonial position into an activist role." Bishop has "locked horns with the USGA and the R&A" over the anchoring issue while at the "same time building a stronger bond with the PGA Tour." He is "battling for the livelihood of his members, which is tied to the growth of the game," and when he says he opposes the anchoring ban "because he fears it will impede that growth, it is clear he speaks with a genuine passion and real concern." R&A CEO PETER DAWSON is among a group that has accused Bishop of "grand-standing and self-promotion," but others see him as a "grass-roots common man ... fighting against the blue blazers of the USGA and blue bloods of the R&A on behalf of the working-stiff club pro and recreational golfer." Golfer CARL PETTERSSON said of Bishop, "He's a sensible guy who just wants to grow the game. I think the PGA of America is more involved in the game than the USGA and the R&A." Sirak notes what Bishop hopes to accomplish is for the PGA of America "to be included in all the decision-making process of the game, including the rules." PGA of America CEO PETE BEVACQUA said, "Ted can and should be labeled as an activist president. He has helped provide a voice to the PGA and has refused to allow the organization to be left on the sidelines or in the shadows when it comes to the critical dialogue surrounding the game" (GOLF WORLD, 7/29 issue).

PIN PALS: The PGA of America is allowing fans to pick the hole location on the 15th green during the final round of the PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club next month, and Bevacqua said the "minute we started talking about it, we all looked at one another and just loved the idea." JACK NICKLAUS was asked to help develop the four possible pin locations, and Bevacqua said to "hear Jack's reaction and how excited he became about it, that just took it to a whole other level." Bevacqua: "That initial conversation we had with Jack, he was like, 'Well, why don’t we do it for all 18 holes,' and we said, 'Well, that's obviously a little bit farther than we want to go.'" Bevacqua said the idea has "been favorably received so we're excited about it" ("Morning Drive," Golf Channel, 7/26).
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