From a legendary performer to a rookie who defied the odds; from national award winners to Hall of Famers, they fill the script for The PGA of America's 2011 Year in Review, highlighting events and personalities that shaped the 95th anniversary year of the world's largest sports organization.
Championship moments, charitable endeavors that captivated thousands and an emotion-filled profile of one veteran player, fill an hour-long Golf Channel special that debuts Wednesday, Dec. 7, from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. ET. The PGA of America includes 27,000 men and women professionals who serve as ambassadors to the 26 million Americans who play the game of golf.
Hosted by Golf Channel anchor Kelly Tilghman, The PGA of America's Year in Review will have additional airings Wednesday, Dec. 14, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., and Monday, Dec. 19, from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. ET. Golf Channel has a viewership of 83 million domestic households.
The program reflects The PGA's championship year beginning with 61-year-old Tom Watson capturing the Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid. Watson triumphed on the first extra hole at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville. Prior to that drama, former Ryder Cup participant Ken Green, who lost a leg in an automobile accident in 2009, conveyed his daily struggle to compete and become a source of hope for the physically challenged.
Another historic PGA Championship took place at Atlanta Athletic Club in August, with rookie Keegan Bradley – the son of a PGA Professional - writing an improbable chapter. Bradley's rally on the final three holes of regulation play and ensuing three-hole playoff victory made him the third player in less than a century to capture a major championship in his first attempt. Bradley's big year also included emerging atop a foursome of the year's four major champions to win the PGA Grand Slam of Golf in October in Bermuda.
In September, a 10-member team of U.S. PGA Professionals dominated Great Britain & Ireland at CordeValle in San Martin, Calif., to retain the PGA Cup - the Ryder Cup for the club professional.
Special program features include a look at David Hutsell of Baltimore, who won a two-hole playoff in June at Hershey (Pa.) Country Club to become the third member of the Middle Atlantic PGA Section to win the PGA Professional National Championship.
The PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame inducted seven members in November, led by Samuel Henry "Errie" Ball of Stuart, Fla., the oldest living PGA member at 101; and PGA Honorary President Jim Remy of Ludlow, Vt. The Hall of Fame class also included former PGA Chief Executive Officer Jim Awtrey of Windermere, Fla.; renowned PGA teaching professional Jim Flick of Carlsbad, Calif.; past PGA Golf Professionals of the Year Jim Antkiewicz of Presto, Pa., and Jack Barber of Indianapolis; and "Mr. New Mexico Golf," Guy Wimberly of Elephant Butte, N.M.
The PGA's Year in Review also features:
* The fifth annual Patriot Golf Day, supported by PGA Professionals and amateurs nationwide, achieved a new fundraising record of more than $3.5 million.
* A look at The PGA partnership with Tour professional Notah Begay, and his NB3 Foundation.
* The PGA builds golf's next generation of players through the National Minority Collegiate Golf Championship, Junior PGA Championship, and the Ryder Cup Golf Academy.
* Chicago's gala One-Year Countdown event to the 2012 Ryder Cup.
* A review of the 2011 PGA of America national award winners:
* PGA Golf Professional of the Year: Don "Chip" Essig IV, Hickory Stick Golf Club, Greenwood, Ind.
* PGA First Lady of Golf: Mary Bea Porter-King, Kapaa, Hawaii
* PGA Teacher of the Year: Mike Malaska, Nicklaus Academies Worldwide and Superstition Mountain Golf and Country Club, Superstition, Ariz.
* Horton Smith Award: John Rogers, Majestic Ridge Golf Club, Chambersburg, Pa.
* Bill Strausbaugh Award: Bob Dolan Jr., Columbia Country Club, Chevy Chase, Md.
* PGA Junior Golf Leader: Rick Grayson, Connie Morris Golf Learning Center at Rivercut Golf Course, Springfield, Mo.
* President's Plaque: Brian Bain, Robert T. Lynch Municipal Golf Course, Brookline, Mass.
* PGA Merchandisers of the Year:
* Jeff Kiddie, Aronimink Golf Club, Newtown Square, Pa. – Private Facilities
* Susan Roll, Carlsbad (Calif.) Golf Center – Public Facilities
* Hill Herrick, The Greenbrier Resort, White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. – Resort Facilities
* Patriot Award: John Hines, Baiting Hollow Club, Baiting Hollow, N.Y.
* Herb Graffis Award: The 626-member Colorado PGA Section of Larkspur, Colo.
About The PGA of America
Celebrating its 95th year, The PGA of America has maintained a twofold mission of its founders: to establish and elevate the standards of the profession and to grow interest and participation in the game of golf.
By establishing and elevating the standards of the golf profession through world-class education, career services, marketing and research programs, The PGA enables its professionals to maximize their performance in their respective career paths and showcases them as experts in the game and in a multi-billion dollar golf industry.
By creating and delivering dramatic world-class championships and exciting and enjoyable promotions that are viewed as the best of their class in the golf industry, The PGA of America elevates the public's interest in the game, the desire to play more golf, and ensures accessibility to the game for everyone, everywhere. The PGA of America brand represents the very best in golf.