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PGA of America faces scrutiny on growing the game


Poppycock... first off, WHO are you to continue to debate the PGA's viability. If anyone's viability should be debated, it should be members of the media whom seem ever so fervent to want to always spew bad news and negative commentary. And even worse, it really doesn't matter what that bad commentary is about.

While this dear editor might not pertain to you, I don't see you doing anything to change the tune of the chronicle that you are employed by. As well, correct me if I am wrong, but isn't it the media really nothing other than a clearing house for advertising and gossip. The factual notification of this is...you have no less than 90 ads and or hyperlinks to ads on this page that I am writing from alone.

The PGA of America is the finest organization for professional sports that there is...WE (self included) are not here for anything other than the game we love, and that I know of, there is no one whom is a member or apprentice inside the PGA that is not a purist of the game. Considering the fact that most of us who have chosen love for the game as our profession over MONEY like the media would have, it makes a louder statement you may ever know. Especially since it is you the media, who seems to think that since you can't find any dirt to write up on the PGA Member you will go after the organization.

Oh yeah and mind you, the organization that is non-profit and doles out millions of dollars to charity yearly. do you? Matter of fact, between the PGA and The PGA tour it is somewhere in the hundreds of millions. I don't see MLB, NFL, NHL, Tennis or any other sport including racing where the members of those respective organizations give up even close to the amount of time or money that we as PGA Professionals do.

Did I mention that most of those organizations have arbitrators in place for salary cap negotiation, we don't, and most if not all PGA members and apprentices are AT WILL employees. If the media wishes to go after the ones whom have hurt the business and game of golf, why don't you get a clue and go after the corporations that have continually raised the prices out of reach for the average player.

I could go on and on with this but what's the point as it is most undoubtedly falling upon deaf ears. Oh and one more thing, no thank you I do not want to PURCHASE any advertising spots from you.

Robert L. Nunn, PGA Professional, Lake Forest, Calif.

Dave is right on about the PGA of America. I have been a member now for over 2 years. I put my name on the free lesson sheet and have never received a call. I would be more than willing to donate my time to help someone improve their game. The PGA is missing the boat on promoting their own club professionals. Anyone I talk to says, "You are so lucky to be able to play golf all day." Little do they know I play maybe 9 holes a week during season and hit balls sparingly. My game is not tour level but I can teach, run tournaments, do accounting, inventory and tell whether or not it is going to rain outside. You would enjoy that last part.

The PGA needs to take that 10 million they earn from Ryder Cup money and promote the green grass professional through a thorough marketing campaign. They need to do advertising not just on the golf channel but on NBC during nightly news. Or on NPR. Or during all Tour Events saying we are the ones who can help improve your games and this is what we do. They need to write articles explaining the organization in the Wall Street Journal. I am just a concerned PGA of America Member. I am also interested in starting a radio show down in South Florida promoting our local pros. Please let me know if there is anything I can do.

Jess Frank, Boca Raton, Fla.

Interesting article about the PGA.Let me give you a suggestion, get out a bit more often. Your comments about the PGA does not in anyway account for programs such as LinkUp2Golf, Midnight Golf, Golf for Business and Life, and of course Play Golf America. These programs touch so many people and have cost millions that the PGA put in out of their pockets.

The PGA of America operates on a $0.00 profit basis reinvesting in better educated, better promoted professional and growth of the game. That is why the PGA was founded and hat is what it does. You should call someone from the PGA and get some real information if you are going to write this type of nonsense!

MG Orender, Jacksonville Beach, Fla.

The PGA of America "leadership" and the PGA Golf Professional seem to grow further apart each year. We seem to be fundraising org. and not so much a trade org. these days. We do seem have too many "shoe clerks" and not enough real professionals. There certainly are too many of "us" and not enough jobs to go around. Dana Bennett's letter makes a lot of sense, but what planet is Mike Humphrey living on?

Bryan Abbott, Aliquippa, Pa.

Please remove me from your e-newsletter subscriber list. I find your publication of the above editorial concerning the PGA to be in extremely poor taste. The author's opinions are not researched beyond his own personal experience and stink of personal vendettas. This type of negative journalism simply feeds those who thrive on sharing their ignorant, negative, whining, opinions on subjects they know little about. While the PGA of America is far from perfect, the criticisms in the editorial and in the responses are unwarranted and harmful to the game of golf.

Warren Lehr, Sandia Park, NM

Dave was way to kind. In My opinion, The PGA Teachers Assoc. should be compared to Cancer. If a person gets cancer he is obviously sick. He goes to the doctor who treats him with Chemo, radiation, or surgery. These three treatments make the patient sicker and after a length of time in which the doctor takes as much money as possible from the patient he dies. In golf, the player's game is sick. He is frustrated after almost every shot. He curses, hits his clubs on the ground and doesn't know how to change. He finally goes to the instructor with full confidence that he will help him improve because everybody call this guy "the Pro" and he has heard on TV, if you want to play better golf, see your local PGA Instructor. Life's to short to play bad golf." So the player with the sick game takes a golf lesson. This is the situation, the golf swing is a feel motion. The player has never felt how to do the swing motion that would result in him shooting a round that he would be happy with. He has only felt the swing motion that causes him to be frustrated. During the lesson the instructor shows and tell the student how to do a feel motion. The student pays the instructor over a dollar a minute to tell him how to do something he has never experienced. How can you duplicate a motion you have never felt. If this same method was used in the restaurant industry we would do the restaurant and the chef would stand by the food and show and tell the customer what it tasted like. They would be in business about 1 hour. Anyway after the lesson the instructor leaves and the golfer is left to himself to try to think of what the instructor said, understand the instructions and process that information through his brain out to the different parts of his body and hit the ball better. All this needs to happen in basically 1.5 seconds the length of time it takes to swing a golf swing. And if the player thinks about hitting the ball he will automatically resort back to his old swing which is programmed into his mind already. So, what typically happen is that the golfer does not improve. In fact in most cased the golfer's game gets worst. The sick player gets sicker and says the hell with it, it's not worth the frustration and quits. The golf industry loses. I have designed the world's most effective golf swing improvement system. It is endorsed by the United States Golf Teachers Federation, usgtf.com as their official training aid. The PGA rejects it like the plague. This trainer makes learning a pro quality type of golf swing easy. I spoke with Ruffin Beckwith at the PGA Tour Head Quarters. His job is to organize the Golf 20/20 Summit where all the top industry executives meet at the World Golf Village and map out a plan of ways to grow the game.

I told him if you want to grow the game you need to make learning easier so golfers go out immediately and start hitting good shoot. If they have fun, they will come back I told him about my improvement system and that the PGA should promote it to their members to use during instruction. He said, "We want to grow the game but, we will do it our way." Their way can't work. It is proven millions of times each year that their way doesn't work. It used to be that as many golfers where quitting as starting so the total number of golfers was basically staying the same. The last two years a lot move have been quitting than starting. Which, has caused a major slump in the industry.

Clint Harper, Dream Swing

I was checking the golf shop email for them and I found your article. I am glad I found it before the rest of the staff did so I could delete it. PGA professionals have helped my family and I since we started this game. They have done nothing but educate us on every aspect of the game. You are wrong. What is it exactly that you do?

John Ritelli, Orinda Country Club

Mr. Berner's comments couldn't be more off base. I am amazed that he has lowered his writing skills to "trashing" an organization than to inquire what the PGA of America is doing today to promote the game. Obviously, he has spent too much time behind a desk writing fiction and has done an outstanding job of transferring this literary skill into his daily life.

As a PGA Member for over 20 years and on the firing line of both National and Tri-State Section issues, I could not disagree with him more. PGA Members in Pittsburgh alone have accounted for promoting the game to thousands of junior and adult golfers over the years. The Pittsburgh Youth Golf Foundation which is staffed and taught by PGA Members have not only assisted individuals with their golf game but have helped them mold their social and educational skills as well. I would suggest that Mr. Berner push himself away from his desk and come out into the world to see that individuals who are promoting the game to all age and skill levels have the initials "PGA" behind their name.

Jim Antkiewicz, Director of Golf The Club at Nevillewood, Nevillewood, PA

If the PGA of America really wants to grow the game, it must forgo its not for profit status and get involved in owning and operating its own facilities and let there members have control over the daily operations and pay them well to do it.

The PGA does a great job of promoting, but when the American Golf's of the golf world control the facilities then there's not much the PGA can do. The PGA needs to look at there statistics and see how many members have let there memberships go and have left the golf business. Except for a few elite jobs the club professional can no longer make a decent living.

G. Williams, Dallas

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