The PGA Championship Exhibit offers a fascinating walk through the annals of the season's final major. (Photo: The PGA of America)
PGA offers wide range of activities during PGA Championship Week
From celebrating one of the pioneers of the game, to building important community and business relationships, to free PGA Professional instruction and touring a priceless historical exhibit, The PGA of America offers a wide range of activities to engage golf enthusiasts surrounding the 91st PGA Championship.
By Bob Denney, PGA.com Contributor
A major champion will be crowned this week at Hazeltine National Golf Club, but the PGA Championship “Experience” isn’t confined to those standing behind the gallery ropes.
From celebrating one of the pioneers of the game, to building important community and business relationships, to free PGA Professional instruction and touring a priceless historical exhibit, The
PGA of America offers a wide range of activities to engage golf enthusiasts surrounding the 91st PGA Championship.
The PGA of America pays its highest tribute to a contributor to the game by bestowing the PGA Distinguished Service Award upon William “Bill” Powell of East Canton, Ohio. A pioneer in establishing diversity in the game, the 92-year-old PGA Life Member is the only African-American to build, own and operate his own public golf course. Powell is to be honored Aug. 12, at an invitation-only ceremony at the State Theatre in downtown Minneapolis.
Golf enthusiasts can get a special advance tour of the history of the Season’s Final Major by making a visit to the Galleria in nearby Edina, Minn., 15 minutes from downtown Minneapolis and some 20 minutes from Hazeltine National Golf Club.
The PGA Championship History Exhibit, which opened in May at the Galleria, offers free of charge through the end of Championship Week a tour of both golf artifacts and memorabilia that reveals the tradition of the PGA Championship and its past 90 Champions.
The exhibit is open daily from 11 a.m. through 5 p.m., while visitors can combine their shopping visit at the Galleria’s upscale blend of more than 70 local and national retailers, restaurants and specialty shops.
The exhibit traces the history of the PGA Championship, from its origin in 1916 when Jim Barnes was the first to capture the Wanamaker Trophy to last year when Ireland’s Padraig Harrington became the first European-born PGA Champion since 1930.
Just inside Hazeltine National’s main entrance, visitors can enjoy a pair of special stops, including a personalized photo opportunity, on the way to following the game’s premier players. Spectators may view and purchase a photo souvenir of their visit that will be available online after Championship Week.
The PGA Learning Center presented by American Express is open to all spectators, featuring an indoor air-conditioned 6,000 square-foot area that includes a golf simulator, four hitting bays, swing capture video analysis, video screens for live tournament feeds and instructional videos, and a stage where PGA Professionals can conduct clinics to groups of 15 or more.
The PGA Learning Center is available for people of all ages and will feature adult as well as junior golf clubs, with special benefits for American Express Cardmembers, such as complimentary Championship Vision handheld TVs, which showcase the live broadcast.
From the PGA Learning Center, spectators can step into the PGA Performance Center presented by Mercedes-Benz, which celebrates its new partnership with The PGA of America. Driving, both on the fairway and on the open road, has dramatically evolved through the years as a result of countless designers and engineers whose innovations have continuously propelled the standards
of performance. The PGA Performance Center gives spectators an opportunity to see and touch, providing an interactive experience with the advancements that have evolved the game of golf and the most technologically advanced vehicle in its class – the all-new 2010 Mercedes-Benz E-Class.
Spectators who carry an American Express Card are invited to visit the American Express Cardmember Club, located behind the 12th green. This climate-controlled pavilion features complimentary beverages and television monitors with live PGA Championship action. Simply show your American Express Card for complimentary access to this facility.
The traditional PGA Championship Community Relations Youth Clinic will be conducted Aug. 10, at Chaska Town Course. It will bring together some 30 Minnesota PGA Professionals and 250 youngsters representing youth groups, charities and organizations in the greater Minneapolis area.
The youngsters will be entertained by the renowned Dennis Walters Golf Show, featuring the trick shot artistry and life lessons program by the 2008 PGA Distinguished Service Award winner and PGA Honorary Member from Jupiter, Fla. The clinic also includes free PGA instruction and later the opportunity to view a practice round of the PGA Championship.
Adult golf enthusiasts will be able to enjoy a Play Golf America Day at Chaska Town Course from 4 to 7 p.m., including free lessons from nearly 20 PGA Professionals and the opportunity to be part of equipment demonstrations.
The Executive Women’s Golf Association (EWGA), which was founded in 1991 and has more than 121U.S. Chapters, will present “Connect with the Golf Lifestyle” event on Aug. 12, at Hazeltine National Golf Club. The event includes a reception, a tour that includes stops at the PGA Championship Golf Shop, the Media Center and the Rules headquarters, followed by a visit to the PGA Learning Center for complimentary 10-minute lessons from PGA Professionals.
The reception in The PGA of America Hospitality Chalet is intended to attract businesswomen throughout the greater Minneapolis and Southern Minnesota
Editor's Note: This story appears courtesy of The 91st PGA Championship Journal.