Courtesy of the PGA of America
FRISCO, Texas — Monday’s grand opening of the PGA of America’s new multimillion-story national headquarters featured plenty of jokes about the rare summer rainstorm that dumped six inches on both public golf courses , but CEO Seth Waugh said the real downpour would be the number of golf championships coming to North Texas.
“Welcome to our dream estate,” Waugh told the crowd of several hundred PGA of America pros, officials, executives and staff. “It’s a rare project that turned out better than we ever imagined.”
The ambitious $550 million, 600-acre campus will host the first major men’s golf championship in North Texas since the 1963 PGA Championship at the Dallas Athletic Club, won by Jack Nicklaus.
“This area is known for its tournament golf (the Byron Nelson), but we’re going to bring championship golf here to PGA Frisco and keep going,” Waugh said. “There is a difference between a golf championship and a tournament. We make it the home of the championships.
The PGA is already selling tickets and seeking sponsors and volunteers for the 2023 Senior PGA Championship, May 24-28, at the Gil Hanse-designed PGA Fields Ranch East course, the new course named in the honor of the local farming family who once owned the land here.
PGA of America President Jim Richerson said the organization of 28,000 golf professionals is committed to hosting at least 26 major golf championships in Frisco, 30 minutes north of downtown Dallas.
After the Senior PGA, there will be the KPMG Women’s PGA in 2025 and the PGA Championship in 2026, the first of three scheduled on the Hanse course.
It will also host several PGA Junior League events and possibly even the 2041 Ryder Cup.
“Who doesn’t want to be in this great place and be together to change golf, where the eyes of the golf world will be on us and our mission,” Richerson said.
During his introductory speech to the large crowd, which included Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and his son Stephen, who own the NFL team’s headquarters just 15 minutes south of PGA Frisco, Waugh said the PGA hasn’t always done well in reflecting the broader golfing population.
That’s exactly what former PGA president Suzy Whaley, the first female president in the organization’s history, hopes this 106,621-square-foot facility — and the 500 men and women who occupy it. now – can help change.
“It gives us the opportunity to have something here for everyone in the game,” Whaley said. “We have two 18-hole public golf courses, we have a 10-hole short course, huge putting green, Topgolf, golf games, Omni Resort, restaurants, bars and shops. This gives us a great opportunity to reinvent our game and engage the interest of all parts of the public – those who love the game and those who have never played it.
Tim Cusick, a longtime North Texas golf teacher, came from the former site of Byron Nelson of the PGA Tour. He said the ability to teach a new generation of pros is what drew him to PGA Frisco.
“We bring in young professionals from all over the country and teach them the best methods and best practices, they can go back and teach others,” he said. “We are empowering the next generation of golfers.”
While the four-story glass-enclosed facility has plenty of offices and conference rooms, the first floor is largely made up of indoor batting bays for Cusick and his team, as well as a large green turf and bunker. in the window before installation. , allowing players and teachers and even staff to practice their games during the week.
Both courses – East by Hanse, which will host most championships, and West by architect Beau Welling – will be open to the public in March 2023.
“It’s been an exciting day and an exhausting day and a fun day,” Waugh said, “but now the real work is starting to activate our people to change the game of golf.”