This week we got a new leader – I don’t mean Donald Trump … I mean Jay Monahan. On Monday, the PGA Tour appointed Monahan their new commissioner. And also this week, the PGA of America has a new President – Paul Levy.
Leadership should never be underestimated. They say that a group gets the leader they deserve … but a powerful leader can transcend the group and carry it to new heights.
What would be “new heights” for the PGA Tour? I think a simplified and more likable Tour. The former commissioner – Tim Finchem – brought a lot of money to the PGA Tour and its players. But … I think it needs to be more than a money machine. There are too many tournaments. And what is the deal with this winter season? The 2017 season should start in 2017 – not now … that’s just goofy and greedy. Why not start the season with a bang instead of a whimper? Maybe have the Waste Management Open in Phoenix as the opener – imagine how that could jump start the season!
And the PGA Tour should be more transparent with its discipline of players. The fans don’t really know why someone is suspended. I understand why the Tour wants to be squeaky clean for its corporate sponsors … but the players need to be real human beings to really connect with the fans.
What about the PGA of America? They have to realize that their members are in the hospitality and recreation business. They are not a localized version of the PGA Tour. Yes, club golf pros need to be good golfers – but they especially have to be good with people. PGA Golf Professionals need to be able to wear many hats – teacher, player, merchandiser, manager, etc – but they especially have to be passionate about finding ways to share their love of golf.
Hopefully, Messrs. Monahan and Levy are up to the task. Healthy organizations need good leadership – even golf.
GM and Head Golf Professional