Who is Seth Waugh, new CEO of PGA of America?
Meet Seth Waugh, the new CEO of PGA of America. Waugh, 60, was announced as Pete Bevacqua’s replacement on Tuesday, laying out his mission to grow the game of golf and to improve the lives of the organization’s 29,000 members.
But who exactly is he?
The 60-year-old is a successful business executive with a net worth of $80 million. Waugh rose to become CEO of Deutsche Bank America, and he has been credited as being the mastermind behind Deutsche Bank’s expansion in the United States, while at the same time also spreading a philanthropic initiative. So just what has motivated the multi-millionaire with a very comfortable lifestyle to want to answer to 29,000 members regarding their dues? Well, Waugh’s passion for the game of golf runs deep, and the sport has played a significant role in his life.
Waugh’s son, Clancy, played golf collegiately at SMU and Wake Forest, and he has recently turned professional and is currently competing in a pre-qualifying event with aspirations of claiming a Web.com Tour card. The link doesn’t stop there, however, as Waugh met his wife, Jane, on a golf course in Oregon while caddying for his son at an amateur event almost three years ago.
Waugh, who is a native of Massachusetts, helped build the Deutsche Bank Open into the hugely successful event that had been a permanent fixture in the FedEx Cup playoffs before the events sponsorship change this year which created the Dell Technologies Open. Alastair Johnson, the IMG vice chairman, whose company collaborated with Waugh to make the Deutsche Bank Championship the success that it was appeared very enthusiastic today when asked about his thoughts behind the appointment, fully endorsing Waugh for the role.
“I have known Seth for a long time, and I can certainly understand why the PGA of America would select him as its new chief executive, First of all, he brings to the table amazing respect within the golf industry. His business acumen and understanding of how the various institutions and federations within the golf world integrate and relate to one another will be paramount to the ongoing status of the PGA Championship and with broader horizons, the Ryder Cup.”
The multi-millionaire will not be entering his new position without allies and will have a wealth of experience to lean on should he need any advice, due to his close ties throughout the years with both the man he is succeeding and current PGA Tour Commissioner, Jay Monahan. Despite only being announced today, rumours of significant changes that Waugh has supposedly planned have spread like wildfire throughout social media. His close relationship with Monahan, in particular, being one of the reasons for much speculation regarding a possible merger between the PGA of America and the PGA Tour.
However, when asked today about the potential of such a move, Waugh was quick to distance himself from the idea
“I certainly haven’t had any conversations about that, and I asked around and no one has. No one in the PGA [of America] headquarters has had any inkling of a conversation about that. I think it’s fun for people to speculate about things, but that’s all it is. There’s no substance to it at all.”
Waugh’s official first day at the office will be on the 24th of September, which happens to be the week of this year’s Ryder Cup. Initial issues that Waugh has stated are a priority to him is the negotiation for the television rights for the PGA Championship and the proposed move of PGA headquarters to the Dallas area. The plan that Waugh has in mind is not just to complete an expensive office complex but to build golf courses that are worthy of hosting both the PGA Championship and the Ryder Cup in the future. Waugh also made his thoughts clear on his ambition of growing the game, and introducing the sport to more kids:
“I believe the game is worthy and hugely important in all its values. Societally, I think it’s important. We all talk about growing it, but how do we make it into our kids’ game as opposed to our parents’ game or our game? I don’t pretend to know what the answers are. But I look forward to being a collaborator and partner with the other leaders in our game to work in the best interest of the game.”
There will be many people interested to see precisely how Waugh goes about implementing the changes that he wishes to make. Should a merger deal between the PGA of America and PGA Tour happen, what would the effect be on the game in the U.S.? Waugh’s close relationship with Jay Monahan makes this an intriguing appointment and one that will place plenty of scrutiny on both men over the coming months.