PGA of America Looks To Challenge USGA for Major Markets, West Coast Venues
The recent give-and-take between the PGA of America and USGA “continues to provide lively fodder" for golf insiders, according to Geoff Shackelford of GOLF WORLD. The installation of PGA of America CEO Pete Bevacqua in '12 meant he would become the USGA’s "lone adversary when it comes to selecting lucrative major championship venues.” The USGA has “always held the upper hand when calling on elite clubs to host the U.S. Open, just as the Yankees or Lakers could probably forever coast on brand strength when luring a free agent.” Top courses, while "sometimes dancing with the PGA of America, would always side with the U.S. Open if given the choice.” Too often, the PGA Championship has “settled for less glamorous venues and markets, and then saddled itself with a dreadful slogan to confirm it was ‘Glory’s Last Shot.’” With PGA of America President Ted Bishop by his side over the last 18 months, Bevacqua has “dropped the slogan and moved full steam ahead on giving the PGA Championship more cachet.” There is “little doubt what the plan is: Get the PGA to major markets.” Also, with golf in the Olympics, “to move the PGA Championship out of August” in ‘20. The PGA of America also made a “long-overdue inquiry to Torrey Pines for a desperately needed return to the West Coast, a time zone it hasn’t seen” since ‘98. USGA Exec Dir Mike Davis “caught wind of the PGA’s interest, picked up the phone, and the USGA is now taking” the ‘21 U.S. Open back to San Diego. Shackelford: “The back-and-forth has only just begun” (GOLF WORLD, 5/12 issue).