Greg McLaughlin to lead World Golf Hall of Fame, The First Tee in a new executive role
Three leading golf organizations are restructuring their leadership as longtime golf industry veteran Greg McLaughlin becomes head of the World Golf Foundation, World Golf Hall of Fame and The First Tee in a newly combined executive role.
McLaughlin, who is president of the PGA Tour Champions, will begin his new job on Jan. 1 and will oversee the three organizations with the goal of expanding their reach. The move does not combine the groups but streamlines their leadership under the direction of a single executive.
McLaughlin will be CEO of the World Golf Federation and World Golf Hall of Fame, and president of the youth-focused First Tee program.
“What we are really trying to do is make sure that there is a strong connection between the [PGA] Tour and The First Tee and the tour and the major golf organizations to continue to strengthen the partnerships,” McLaughlin said. “All of the reports are very integrated and it made sense to roll it up into one.”
McLaughlin will work from the PGA Tour’s headquarters in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., and from the St. Augustine, Fla., headquarters of The First Tee, World Golf Federation and World Golf Hall of Fame. Combined, about 40 staff members work at the three organizations and no major staffing changes are expected, McLaughlin said.
The new leadership structure calls for McLaughlin to replace Steve Mona as CEO of the World Golf Foundation. Mona, who spent a decade at the foundation, will retire next year at a date still to be determined.
First Tee CEO Keith Dawkins left his position two months ago and Jack Peter, who has been World Golf Hall of Fame president since 2002, will retire at the end of this year.
Brodie Waters, World Golf Hall of Fame vice president of business affairs, will lead the hall’s structure, funding and operations with McLaughlin’s oversight, and will oversee public relations and communications for the World Golf Foundation. Miller Brady, a 19-year veteran of the PGA Tour, will succeed McLaughlin at PGA Tour Champions.
The World Golf Foundation board of directors includes leaders from seven of golf’s major properties including the PGA Tour, LPGA, PGA of America, USGA, R&A, Masters tournament and European Tour.
The new role makes McLaughlin a key ambassador of the sport. He has worked as president of PGA Tour Champions since January 2015 and prior to that was CEO of the Tiger Woods Foundation for 14 years.
“I’m not sure we could have asked for a more qualified, passionate leader, considering his deep level of experience and executive leadership success within the golf world and beyond,” said Jay Monahan, PGA Tour commissioner and chairman of the World Golf Foundation. “Given the scope of this newly consolidated role — to further the World Golf Foundation’s mission and build upon the vision of The First Tee — his proven ability to build relationships at the highest level of the sports, business and not-for-profit communities is unique and will be invaluable.”