With Australian golf royalty Peter Thomson and Kel Nagle on hand, the PGA’s Chief Executive Officer Brian Thorburn today launched the Association’s Centenary celebrations and spoke of the upcoming summer of golf set to launch the PGA into the future.
Speaking to a host of media and corporate guests Thorburn released a new PGA Centenary logo and announced an exciting schedule of events and programs to commemorate the Centenary of professional golf.
“Australian professional golf has an incredible history and over the last hundred years we have produced some of the greatest champions ever seen on the international stage. But what’s more our future is even brighter,” said Thorburn.
“This is shaping up to be the biggest ever year for Australian golf and will ensure the next century begins on a high.”
With the Centenary celebrations set to begin from September 19, the date of the Association’s inauguration, PGA Life Member Greg Norman will fittingly take on the role of the PGA’s Centenary Patron for the next 12 months.
“It was with great honour that I take on the role of the Patron for the PGA of Australia’s Centenary year,” said Norman who will head back to Australia in November.
“I look forward to sharing such an historic occasion with you all that will not only celebrate the last 100 years, but also launch our great game into the future.”
The PGA also named 10 additional PGA Members from all areas within the PGA membership who will serve as Centenary Ambassadors through the next 12 months.
The Centenary Ambassadors include Peter Thomson, Kel Nagle, Charlie Earp, Matt Jager, Mat Goggin, Col Swatton, Lisa Newling, Kevin Conlong, Peter Ormsby and Bruce Green.
In addition to the Ambassadors, Thorburn spoke of the 2500 PGA Members for whom the Centenary is of particular significance.
“The PGA was formed just over 100 years ago by a group of 15 founding Members who were committed to growing both the game of golf and the profession. Their legacy is an astute and passionate Association who’s Members are regarded amongst the most highly skilled the world over.”
As part of the Centenary events schedule Thorburn announced a Gala Dinner to be held at Sydney Town Hall on Friday 11th November, the week of the Australian Open.
Already set to feature Centenary Patron Greg Norman and comedy duo Roy and HG, the PGA is intending to make additional high profile announcements in the coming weeks sure to guarantee the Gala Dinner is one of the biggest events in the PGA’s 100 year history.
To compliment the Gala Dinner, the PGA announced a series of Member Days to be held at Royal venues in each state including Royal Sydney and Royal Melbourne where awards will be handed out to honour 100 of the PGA’s most outstanding Members.
The PGA also expressed their intention to launch a PGA Hall of Fame in the next 12 months along with a number of other exciting legacy items that will resonate within the Australian Golf Industry for many years to come.
More information on the program can be found at pga.org.au/centenary
Beyond the events and programs Thorburn said the PGA is utilising the Centenary as an opportunity to position golf for the future.
He said combined with a revitalised management team and new strategic priorities, the PGA was well placed to ensure the Australian Golf Industry capitalises on the upcoming summer.
“It’s truly an exciting time for Australian golf. Never before have the stars aligned so well for our sport and between the Centenary, the Presidents Cup and the end of season PGA Tour of Australasia events golf will be front and centre for all Australian sports fans.”
For those not up to date with their golf history, the PGA was officially formed on September 19, 1911 following the dissatisfaction of 15 professionals.
According to the Professionals, they were treated as second rate citizens compared with their amateur counterparts at the Australian Open played at Royal Sydney Golf Club.
In a statement to the Daily Telegraph on September 18, 1911 one of the founding PGA Members stated, “our job is to tell a man how to swing his driver, not to instruct him in ordinary decency.”
The founding Members of the PGA in 1911 included R.S. (Dicks) Banks, Rowley Banks, Charles W. Campbell, E. (Ted) Cates, Carnegie Clark, Jack Clark , Tom Daniels, Arthur W. East, J. Victor East, Allan F. Maiden, Frank T. O’Brien, Jack Patterson, Fred Popplewell, Dan Soutar and W. (Willie) Thomson.
Today’s launch was held at one of Sydney’s most historical venues, The Mint.