PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- Golf legend Jack Nicklaus, PGA Tour Professional Dustin Johnson and 2010 U.S. Women's Open Champion Paula Creamer will return to serve as spokespersons for TEE IT FORWARD, a joint PGA of America and USGA initiative encouraging golfers to have more fun by playing from tees that better align with their ability.
The three professionals will be featured in materials promoting the TEE IT FORWARD message to golfers and golf facilities across the country throughout the year. Through this program, facilities are encouraged to provide golfers with more options off the tee, or recommend that golfers use existing forward tees to have a more enjoyable experience on the course.
"We want golfers to know that they can TEE IT FORWARD anytime and anywhere," Nicklaus said. "Average golfers, who are inspired and motivated to play like their favorite Tour players, should not look at where those players tee from but, instead, the results of those tee shots. If golfers, who often play too far back, would move to a more forward tee, they are going to be left with shorter irons into greens, which enhances their ability to score better, and, in the end, makes the game more fun…and that's what it's all about."
The PGA of America and United States Golf Association (USGA) promoted TEE IT FORWARD for a specific time period in 2011, but the success of the program has warranted year-round implementation in 2012. More than 1,900 facilities registered in 2011 with an average of 123 golfers per facility (nearly 237,000 nationwide) playing from forward tees during the promotional period. Additionally, a survey of more than 3,000 consumers who experienced the program showed that 70 percent found their round of golf more enjoyable and more than 90 percent said they would recommend TEE IT FORWARD to a friend. The survey also found nearly 50 percent of respondents saying the program helped them play faster. To find more information and courses actively promoting TEE IT FORWARD, visit PlayGolfAmerica.com/TEEITFORWARD.
Nicklaus, Johnson and Creamer form a versatile core as spokespersons for the program because of their experience in the golf industry, success on the course, varied playing styles and consistent involvement with community programs and growth of the game initiatives.
Nicklaus is a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame and a renowned golf course designer. He won 120 tournaments as a professional including 73 on the PGA Tour and a record 18 major championships. On the Champions Tour, he claimed another 10 tournaments including a record eight majors. He was a member of six U.S. Ryder Cup teams, was twice named Captain of the U.S. squad and was a two-time member of the Walker Cup team. He is the chief designer of nearly 290 courses around the world and his company, Nicklaus Design, has designed more than 365 courses in 34 countries. He has been heavily involved with The First Tee programs, has been a passionate supporter of several growth-of-the-game initiatives, and has contributed greatly to pediatric health care in Florida and nationally through the Nicklaus Children's Health Care Foundation.
Johnson has five PGA Tour victories and 21 top-10 finishes since earning his Tour card in 2008. He has finished in the top five on the money list for each of the last two years and placed fourth in the final FedEx Cup standings in 2011. He has twice represented the U.S. in international competition as a professional, earning spots on the 2010 Ryder Cup team and the 2011 Presidents Cup team. He was also a member of the 2007 Walker Cup team. The Dustin Johnson Foundation was started in 2010 to support youth and college golf programs in the Myrtle Beach, S.C. area.
Creamer began playing professionally in 2005, winning nine times on the LPGA Tour, including the 2010 U.S. Women's Open. She has notched 78 top-10 finishes with 10 of those coming in major championships. She also was a member of the 2004 Curtis Cup team. A regular fixture at the top of the LPGA money list, she has finished the last five seasons in the top ten in tournament earnings. Creamer has hosted events for The First Tee and participates regularly in events for the Arnold Palmer Foundation.
About the USGA
The USGA conducts the U.S. Open, U.S. Women's Open and U.S. Senior Open, as well as 10 national amateur championships, two state team championships and international matches. Together with The R&A, the USGA governs the game worldwide, jointly administering the Rules of Golf, Rules of Amateur Status, Equipment Standards and World Amateur Golf Rankings. The USGA's working jurisdiction comprises the United States, its territories and Mexico. The USGA is a global leader in the development and support of sustainable golf course management practices. It serves as a primary steward for the game's history and funds an ongoing "For the Good of the Game" charitable giving program. Additionally, the USGA's Course Rating and Handicap systems are used on six continents in more than 50 countries. For more information about the USGA, visit usga.org.
About The PGA of America
Since its founding in 1916, The PGA of America has maintained a twofold mission: 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 the multi-billion dollar golf industry. By creating and delivering world-class championships and innovative programs, 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. As The PGA nears its centennial, the PGA brand represents the very best in golf.