CHICAGO, Ill. -- With the 2006 PGA Championship coming to Medinah Country Club this summer, golf professionals from the Illinois PGA for the first time offered free golf instruction at Mayor Daley's Holiday Sports Festival held Dec. 28-30 at McCormick Place.
Mike Scully, head golf professional at Medinah, led a group of six Illinois PGA volunteers, who gave free one-on-one lessons to interested youngsters and adults at an indoor hitting area inside the convention center. Nike Golf provided clubs and balls.
"As golf professionals, we spend a lot of our time at our home courses teaching the game to the next generation of golfers," Scully said. "The opportunity to participate in Mayor Daley's Holiday Sports Festival gives us a place outside our own individual golf facilities to reach out to young people and show them why golf is such a great game. After all, many of their baseball, football and basketball heroes love golf as much or more than the sport they play professionally."
The IPGA professionals' participation in the Holiday Sports Festival also threw a spotlight on the "below-the-radar" grassroots work done by the 28,000 members of the PGA of America, which conducts the PGA Championship. The event also helped the public better understand the connection between the mentors of the game and The PGA Championship, one of golf's four major championships -- along with The Masters, The U.S. Open and the British Open.
Phil Mickelson, who won his first PGA and his second major championship last year, will be the defending champion when the world's best golfers come to Medinah in August. The last time the PGA Championship came to Medinah was in 1999, when Tiger Woods prevailed.
Despite strong early demand, tickets for the 2006 PGA Championship tickets are available and interested fans may go to the website pga2006.com or call 1-800-PGA-GOLF (742-4653). In order to make the Medinah experience available to as many different kinds of golf fans as possible, the 2006 PGA Championship is offering 19 different ticket packages, including weekly, two-day, and daily grounds and clubhouse tickets.
The PGA Championship is one of four premier golf events conducted by the PGA of America. Others include the Ryder Cup, the Senior PGA Championship and the PGA Grand Slam of Golf. Since 1916, golf's best professionals have been competing for the PGA Championship's coveted Wanamaker Trophy. Past champions include Mickelson, Woods, Vijay Singh, Davis Love III, Jack Nicklaus, Sam Snead, Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan and Walter Hagen.
The 88th PGA Championship will be played August 14-20, 2006, at Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill. The 39th Ryder Cup is schedule to be played at Medinah in 2012.
The PGA of America, founded in 1916, is a not-for-profit organization that promotes the game of golf while continuing to enhance the standards of the profession. The Association is comprised of more than 28,000 men and women PGA Professionals who are dedicated to growing participation in the game of golf.
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