PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- Peter Bevacqua has been selected as chief executive officer of The PGA of America, becoming the third CEO of the world’s largest sports organization. He succeeds Joe Steranka, who retired after 25 years with The PGA, the last seven as CEO. Bevacqua previously served as chief business officer for the United States Golf Association and more recently led the golf division of CAA Sports.
Bevacqua, 41, was hired after an extensive search and was formally introduced prior to the conclusion of the 96th PGA Annual Meeting, on Saturday, November 10, 2012, in Baltimore, Md. Ted Bishop, who was elected The PGA’s 38th President earlier in the day, announced the hiring of Bevacqua to more than 700 national and section PGA leaders and guests.
“Pete’s combination of experience, leadership skills and broad understanding of the golf industry really stood out among several excellent candidates,” said Bishop, PGA general manager and director of golf at The Legends Golf Club in Franklin, Ind. “Pete is a passionate, intelligent leader who is the best choice to lead our renewed emphasis on the importance of our membership.”
Bevacqua joined the USGA in 2000 as in-house counsel, and from the Fall of 2003 through June 2007, he was managing director of the U.S. Open Championship. In July 2007, he was named the USGA’s first-ever chief business officer, and in that role, he was responsible for all revenue and commercial activities, including major sponsorship agreements. In 2011, he left the USGA to join CAA Sports, a division of Creative Artists Agency.
A native of Bedford, N.Y., Bevacqua began a lifetime relationship with golf as a 10-year-old caddie at Bedford Golf & Tennis Club. He continued working there through his college years, as a caddie, caddie master and eventually golf shop manager under PGA Professional Walt Ronan. After graduating from the University of Notre Dame in 1993, Bevacqua earned a law degree from Georgetown University and worked for the firm of Davis Polk before joining the USGA.
“It is an unbelievable honor and literally a dream come true to be given the opportunity to lead the PGA of America staff as we support our members in their efforts to grow the game through Golf 2.0 and as we count down to the Association’s centennial,” said Bevacqua. “I decided years ago that I wanted to dedicate my professional life to the game I love and to the game I grew up with, and can think of no better way than to join the organization that supports and enhances the critical roles that PGA Professionals play in our industry.”
A competitive amateur golfer with a 2.4 USGA Handicap Index, Bevacqua and his wife, Tiffany, are the parents of a daughter, Samantha Wells, and a son, Arthur William.
In addition to naming Bevacqua as CEO, The PGA also announced that Darrell Crall, currently Managing Director, Strategic Development, will become Chief Operating Officer. In this new position, Crall will oversee the association’s day-to-day business operations. He joined The PGA in 2011 to spearhead the implementation of Golf 2.0, and will continue to be heavily involved in the industry-supported strategic plan to grow the game.