Wednesday, April 17, 2013

PGA President Ted Bishop: Welcome to Golf Month

May is Welcome to Golf Month, and PGA President Ted Bishop is encouraging everyone to give golf a try by sharing his personal experience with the game.

Bishop has penned a column promoting golf and its benefits that can be used in your sports, golf, lifestyle, or health and fitness sections.

Throughout the month of May, PGA Professionals across the country will host various programs and activities at their courses, including Get Golf Ready, designed to bring adults into the game of golf in a fast, fun and affordable way. In his article, Bishop stresses the importance of taking this “open house” opportunity to explore the game of golf.

Welcome to Golf

Ted Bishop, PGA
By: Ted Bishop, PGA
38th President
The PGA of America

I can trace my life in golf back to a hardware store in Logansport, Ind. As a teenager, I bought a George Fazio7-iron there so that my friends and I could play between light poles at a local park. I didn’t play golf on an actual course until my dad helped me land a job at a local par-3, where I picked up a set of clubs and began to play.

The opportunity to learn the game at my own pace while playing that small course opened the door to an enjoyable and rewarding career as a PGA Professional and then to leadership opportunities with The PGA of America. Now as the organization’s president, I'm charged with helping our Professionals introduce the game to people of all ages and abilities.

Therefore, I’m very pleased that The PGA of America designates May as Welcome to Golf Month. Free introductory lessons, clinics, bring-a-friend events and many other initiatives are available to new golfers in May, and unique programs created by our talented PGA Professionals will be offered at individual courses as well.

There is great opportunity in golf. For me, it became a career. But to others it can be a competitive sport, an enjoyable hobby, tremendous exercise, a social activity or a personal passion. The beauty of our game is that it can be played throughout life.

I spend countless hours working on how The PGA of America can grow the game and how we can share the benefits of playing golf. I keep coming back to my own experiences in the local park and then the opportunity I was given by my father and his friend at the local par-3. I play golf and I love golf because I was able to learn the game in an environment that was right for me.

PGA Professionals across the country are asked to create that environment for new players, and many of those ideas, programs and teaching techniques are shared throughout our association every day.  Golf is for everyone, and our organization demonstrates that through the programs it offers those interested in learning the game.

There are national PGA of America programs for women and children as well as for players with challenging economic circumstances. There are programs such as Get Golf Ready for those who have never touched a golf club and those who gave up the game and would like to return. At the local level, individual PGA Professionals and golf courses host events and programs designed to make the game more fun and accessible every day.

My message to anyone interested in giving golf a try is that now is the time. If busy schedules stand in the way, inquire with a local PGA Professional about programs that require brief time commitments or are available throughout the year. While May is our “open house”, growing the game is our mission 365 days a year.

More than 40 years ago, my introduction to golf didn’t include a full set of clubs or an actual golf course. Today, The PGA of America has taken promising steps towards improving the accessibility of golf so that opportunity exists for anyone to enjoy the game.

As Welcome to Golf Month approaches, I offer these simple words of encouragement: explore the opportunity to play golf, a game of a lifetime..

Visit to find programs in your area.


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