In this special episode of the PostCast, PGA of America CEO Pete Bevacqua joins Sean Fairholm and Cassie Stein for an honest conversation on where the game of golf stands in 2017.
The conversation starts with this week’s PGA Minority Collegiate Championship and the increasing importance minorities play in golf’s growth. Approximately one-quarter of the junior golfers in the U.S. are non-caucasians, which is quadruple the number of participants there were two decades ago:
“Not only is (getting minorities involved) the right thing to do in a moral sense so you know you can go home at night and put your head on the pillow and feel good about what golf is doing, but we don’t shy away from the fact that it is economically imperative that golf becomes more diverse. The face of this game has to continue to change. The face of this game has to continue to reflect more accurately the face of American society.”
It’s not the only area the PGA has aggressively targeted in its desire to grow golf. Through efforts like PGA Junior League Golf, the Junior Ryder Cup and the Drive, Chip and Putt contest, an increasing number of juniors have been getting involved:
“Over the course of the last six years, there are about 600,000 more juniors playing the game, which is wonderful. We know that if you pick up the game as a young boy or a young girl, chances are that you are going to stick with the game.”
Amongst a slew of topics such as women’s golf, the PGA Championship, the Ryder Cup and battling slow play, Bevacqua applauds the European Tour for its creativity in holding six-hole matches.
“I commend the European Tour. Anything we can do as an industry to be innovative and creative in speeding up the game is of crucial importance.”
Following the Bevacqua interview, Sean and Cassie move on to talk about this week’s Players Championship and what players they like this week at TPC Sawgrass.