Topgolfgears Morning 9: New PGA CEO…paving the way for a megadeal? | #InviteHER | Steve Williams: Tiger believer

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Good Wednesday morning, golf fans.
1. New PGA CEO
Per Golf Channel Digital…”Former Deutsche Bank Americas CEO Seth Waugh has been named Chief Executive Officer of the PGA of America, replacing Pete Bevacqua who announced his departure from the organization last month.”
  • “Waugh is currently completing a three-year term as an independent director on the PGA of America’s board of directors. As PGA CEO he will also remain a senior advisor for the investment group Silver Lake, where he has worked since 2017.”
  • “It is an honor and a privilege to lead this remarkable Association into its second century,” Waugh said in a release. “Like so many, I share a passion for the game that has given so much to me, and in the process, has somehow become a huge influence in my life. The opportunity to work with nearly 29,000 PGA professionals and others in the game to give back and to help our beautiful sport is a true gift.”
  • “Waugh, 60, spent 13 years at Deutsche Bank and was instrumental in working with the PGA Tour to create the Deutsche Bank Championship in 2003. The tournament, now known as the Dell Technologies Championship, will be played at TPC Boston this week for the final time before it is contracted with the shortening of the FedExCup playoffs beginning in 2019.”
2. #inviteHER
A few facts: 29% of non-golfing women reported they had an interest in playing golf in the immediate future. 74% of these women said that “they’d try the sport if there were a free-golf morning event they could attend with a group of friends.”
How do we increase women’s participation in the game? Well, here’s a new idea that’s brilliant in its simplicity: #inviteHER.
  • From a joint press release…””Powered by the and WE ARE GOLF’s Women’s Task Force, golfers – men and women alike – are encouraged to bring friends, colleagues and family to join them on the course through online resources and social media assets. The #inviteHER movement seeks to create an enjoyable, welcoming experience for those interested in trying the game or picking it back up – whether through a group lesson, complimentary clinic, driving range session or on-course experience.”
  • #inviteHER’s primary objective is to grow awareness and participation among women and girls through the power of an invitation from one of the 24 million American golfers. The game should more closely mirror U.S. demographics as only 24 percent of the current golf population is female.
  • “Women want to be invited to the game and it’s our duty to give them that opportunity at one of our nation’s 15,000 local facilities,” says Jane Geddes, Executive Director of the LPGA Amateur Golf Association and Chair of WE ARE GOLF’s Women’s Task Force. “We are committed to promoting an environment that makes all females feel more comfortable on the course so they develop into lifetime golfers.”
3. Megadeal cometh?
Geoff Shackelford writes that Seth Waugh’s appointment to the head of the PGA could have some significant future ramifications.
Shack floats the idea that a PGA Tour/PGA merger could happen.
“Consider what currently sits before the PGA of America: an expiring television contract for the PGA Championship and a possible headquarters move to Frisco, Texas. Those are big ticket items that will shape the organization for decades to come and left by Pete Bevacqua for the next CEO when he moved to NBC Sports.  Does Seth Waugh really take the PGA job to quibble with a Mark Lazarus or Sean McManus over commercial breaks-per-hour and then have a celebratory dinner when the deal is done? When he could be playing Cypress Point or Seminole or National Golf Links?”
  • “…But here’s where a merger makes sense: power, money and branding….Rights to PGA of America’s PGA Championship expire for CBS in 2019. The PGA Tour’s rights expire in 2021 with the networks and Golf Channel. It is no secret that the PGA Tour would like its own channel or an ownership stake in NBC’s Golf Channel. They passed up that opportunity when the current deal was negotiated but these two entities begin a new streaming partnership in 2019 for PGA Tour Live.”
  • “Currently, two major media corporations have shown a love of golf and content: Comcast and AT&T, headed by two CEO’s–Brian Roberts of Comcast and Randal Stephenson of AT&T–are both Augusta National members who sign big checks in golf and are lodged in megadeal madness to expand their companies.”
Our Gianni Magliocco with the details...”Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback and current NFL analyst, Tony Romo, is ready to take a crack at earning a Tour Card. The 38-year-old will tee it up this Wednesday at the Tour Q-school pre-qualifier at Lantana Golf Club in Texas. Romo will compete as an amateur under a plus-0.4 handicap. The Californian will be the first former professional athlete to attempt the feat since ex-tennis pro, Mardy Fish, attempted to do so back in 2014.”
  • “Earlier in 2018, Romo made his PGA Tour debut at the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship on a sponsor exemption and then competed in a local U.S. Open qualifier. On both occasions, he failed to break 77.”
  • “Romo tees it up in the pre-qualifying section on Wednesday morning at 9.45 ET. The former Pro Bowl quarterback will be hoping to claim one of the 228 spots on offer for pre-qualifiers to advance to the first qualifying stage which begins on September 25th.”
5. LA Golf Shafts news day
It was a big news day for upstart LA Golf Shafts–on GolfWRX, at least.
First, LA hired former Aldila head of engineering John Oldenburg to lead product development.
Then, the company announced it has partnered with Bryson DeChambeau–an excellent choice given the business model of collaboration between player and designer.
“I love the science behind the game, so the concept of actively participating in the development of my own shafts is very appealing,” said DeChambeau. “I’m excited to partner with a design innovator such as John Oldenburg, to not only improve my game, but bring those same solutions to recreational golfers everywhere.”
6. Jenkins returns
Golf Digest has an excerpt of the legendary golf writer’s 23rd book.
Here’s a brief bit where Jenkins discusses covering the Masters…”I started in the old press tent in 1951. It overflowed with grown men in fedoras bumping into each other, or their folding chairs and Smith-Coronas. A few 40-watt bulbs dangled from the ceiling. There was a din of phones ringing and bells pinging on wire machines. The place was dense with cigarette smoke. I knew this was where I belonged.”
  • “Western Union operators were clacking on their whining contraptions in a cramped alcove sending out urgent pieces about Ben Hogan and Sam Snead, the only two golfers of interest in those days. Sports editors back in the offices in New York, Chicago, even Fort Worth, took a dim view of their writers filing stories on golfers they’d never heard of.”
  • “…The writers were still dressing in coats and ties at golf tournaments. I suppose it was because Grantland Rice did. I was excited to see the nattily attired Rice at my first Masters. This saintly gent in a shirt, tie, sweater, checkered jacket and light-gray hat. I saw him across the crowded tent. But I was too shy to introduce myself to the gentleman who, along with bringing dignity to my profession, had given the Masters its name. Three years later, he passed away.”
7. DeChambeau the worker
An unbylined AP column rightly points out that in our fixation on Bryson DeChambeau’s methods, we forget that he’s not merely sticking his nose in books and making advanced calculations: he works hard.
  • “The scientist is always working, always searching, rarely satisfied….Video captured him so frustrated on the range at the British Open that at one point he crouched and put both hands over his face. That doesn’t make him different. It makes him a golfer. He had another long range session on the eve of The Northern Trust. And he worked as long as light would allow Saturday after a 63.”
  • “It’s half of what I do in my off weeks,” DeChambeau said. “People don’t realize how hard I work to try and get a better understanding of my biomechanics. I’ve never really been super talented. People would disagree with that, but I’ve always had to work twice as hard as everybody growing up. I was never as good as a junior. Right around 14, 15, I started working really hard and that’s kind of what changed my game.”
  • “I wasn’t great at reading and writing,” DeChambeau said. “But I certainly worked my butt off to be an A student. And I’ll never forget the first time I got a B in high school. I was mortified because I had worked so hard, and I just wasn’t good enough in writing. … That’s been me my whole life. I’ve had to grind and work it out and figure it out on my own.”
8. Year of the Tiger ahead?
In a piece for the Players Voice, Woods ex-caddie Steve Williams suggested that next year we’ll see Tiger Woods win again.
“It’s set to be an epic year and the golfing world will watch with huge interest….If [Woods] can win at Augusta – and he’s proven he can compete there even when he’s not at his peak – who knows what could occur on these iconic venues of the type he loves playing.”
He also offered this interesting tidbit
  • “Back when we were working together, we’d often have this conversation about how many majors he wanted to win. I believed that when he got to the target he wanted he would rack the cue – it’s just that we were always unclear on what that number would be…Initially it was 20 and then he said one day, ‘No, Stevie, your favourite number is 21 and we’ll get to that’. I came back with: ‘No, you’re a great Michael Jordan fan, so why don’t we go for 23?’.’”
9. A new PGA Tour video game has arrived
…bet its got nothing on Tiger Woods PGA Tour ’99, glorious time waster of my youth that it was.
  • From the Golf Channel Grill Room staff...”After promises from developer HB Studios that “The Golf Club 2019″ would be made available for download before the end of the month, the game launched Tuesday with a surprise – it’s been published by 2K Sports.”
  • “The PGA Tour announced in May that it was liscensing its branding and six TPC courses (Sawgrass, Scottsdale, Boston, Deere Run, Summerlin and Southwind) to HB for the third edition of its “Golf Club” game. The Tour had previously maintained a longtime relationship with EA Sports, which produced the now-defunct “Tiger Woods PGA Tour” franchise.”
  • “The Golf Club 2019” allows players to progress from the Tour to a full 32-event season through its PGA Tour career mode. The game fills a void left by the discontinuation of the EA series, which came to an end follow the release of “Rory McIlroy PGA Tour” in 2015. It also brings back its custom course creator in addition to revamped gameplay, graphics, commentary and online multiplayer features.”


GolfWRX Morning 9: New PGA CEO…paving the way for a megadeal? | #InviteHER | Steve Williams: Tiger believer

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