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Volume 22 No. 27
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Laura Neal, PGA Tour

Photo: PGA TOUR

The PGA Tour has 150 players, all with a story to tell. It’s up to Laura Neal to find the most compelling content and spread the word to fans around the world.

 

Laura Neal

Senior Vice President, Communications and Media ContentPGA Tour

Born: Ocala, Fla.

Education: Flagler College, B.A.

Neal leads a team of more than 40 employees to drive awareness of players, tournaments and tour initiatives with a concerted focus to reach international markets and fans. She also serves as chief spokeswoman for the tour and is responsible for internal communications and messaging of its ever-growing initiatives.

Neal began oversight of the tour’s media content last November and consolidated the content efforts that previously were spread across a variety of departments.

“The collective effort shows the power you can bring,” Neal said. “As we want to bring in new, more diverse and younger fans to the tour, we need to give them more on-ramps.”

Proof of the power of content under Neal came in February at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, when she and her team arranged for PGA Tour pro Gary Woodland to play a hole with Special Olympics golfer Amy Bockerstette. In front of thousands of fans, Bockerstette, who has Down syndrome, made par on one of the most famous par-3 holes in golf, and and her priceless reaction made the tour’s Facebook post the No. 1 most engaging video in its history.

“That was a big home run,” Neal said. “We are doing that sort of thing on a week-in and week-out basis. We are fortunate to tell all the amazing stories on how golf impacts people.” — John Lombardo

Getting to know...

Favorite day-off activity: Being near the water — either at the beach or on our sailboat — with my husband and little girl. And cooking — I love everything about it. 

Guilty pleasure: The fact that I don’t even want to type this proves that it’s a guilty pleasure. I wait until my husband is traveling and then binge watch several shows on Bravo.

Misperception of working in sports business: After 20-plus years in golf, people assume I’m an excellent player. Unfortunately, that’s not true. 

Woman in sports business I’d like to meet: I’ve always wanted to meet Babe Zaharias, perhaps the original Game Changer. … Anyone who responds to critics of her swashbuckling golf style with, “You’ve just got to loosen your girdle and let it rip,” is my kind of hero.