LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- The PGA of America and the Lindsey Golf Course at Fort Knox are teaming up on Wednesday to host a fun-filled day designed to honor and recognize soldiers who have devoted and sacrificed their lives for our country.
The benefits for military personnel include access to the Valhalla grounds and photo opportunities on the 18th hole with the Alfred S. Bourne Trophy. Military personnel will also have access to a selection of food and beverages in a suite overlooking the 18th hole.
Admission to the 72nd Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid is free for the military, their spouses and dependents with valid military ID.
ON THE NUMBER: Steve Pate makes his debut in the Senior PGA Championship on his 50th birthday. Pate, who won six times on the PGA Tour and played on two U.S. Ryder Cup teams, turns 50 on Thursday, the opening round of the Championship.
NO RETURN FOR AZINGER; LOCAL FAVORITE COCHRAN ALSO OUT: Paul Azinger, who captained the United States to an emotional Ryder Cup triumph at Valhalla Golf Club in September 2008, had to withdraw Tuesday.
Russ Cochran, a native of Paducah, Ky., also withdrew Tuesday, because of a bad wrist. Cochran is currently fourth on the Champions Tour money list.
Blaine McCallister, who had replaced Fred Couples in the field on Monday, was forced to withdraw Tuesday due to family medical reasons.
Azinger, Cochran and McCallister are replaced in the Championship field by Matt Seitz (Hutchinson, Kan.), PGA Club Professional Dave Kendall (Saline, Mich.) and Mark Johnson (Helendale, Calif.), respectively.
Four other players withdrew on Tuesday: Joey Sindelar (back injury), replaced by Trevor Dodds of Namibia; Andy Bean (family illness), replaced by PGA Club Professional Mark Keating of Warrenton, Ore.; Bruce Fleisher (bad back), replaced by P.H. Horgan III of Palm Beach, Fla.; and Jim Dent (wrist injury), replaced by PGA Club Professional Jerry Tucker of Stuart, Fla.
KITCHENAID'S WEDNESDAY ACTIVITIES: KitchenAid, presenting sponsor of the Senior PGA Championship, is once again engaging golf and culinary fans on Wednesday at Valhalla Golf Club.
On Wednesday, spectators can experience the:
--KitchenAid Gallery and Outdoor Kitchen (7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.)
--KitchenAid Fairway Club, located adjacent to the 13th green at Valhalla (1:00 p.m to 5:00 p.m.).
On Wednesday, spectators have the opportunity to:
--See live cooking demonstrations from chef Mark Mattern
--Have their picture taken with the Alfred S. Bourne Championship Trophy (as well as Chef Duff Golfman’s cake replica)
--Compete in a Closest-to-the-Pin Contest featuring Valhalla's signature 13th hole, on a golf swing simulator to benefit Cook for the Cure. By giving a donation to Cook for the Cure to benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure, patrons get three swings at an approach shot to No. 13, and have a chance to win a KitchenAid stand mixer.
INGRAHAM'S PASSION PLAY: There are 40 PGA Club Professionals in the field this week, but only one competed in the PGA Championship last summer. And while Stu Ingraham terms that appearance at Whistling Straits "a dream come true," his true passion at age 51 lies in teaching the game.
"Over 29 years as an instructor, I've given 16,000 individual lessons and taught at hundreds of camps. My love today is teaching," said Ingraham, PGA head professional at M Golf Driving Range and Learning Center in Newtown Square, Pa. "I use all of the history, all of my experience, for what I do today as a teacher. I love every challenge of teaching, and it's especially rewarding to work with beginners because their self-fulfillment in terms of success is the highest."
On Saturday, before heading to Louisville, Ingraham gave 13 individual lessons and conducted a junior clinic at M Golf Driving Range and Learning Center.
It's understandable that Ingraham's acumen as a teacher may be overshadowed by his prowess as a competitor. A fixture in the Philadelphia PGA Section, where he has earned six Player of the Year honors, Ingraham has played in six PGA Championships, finishing as the low PGA Club Professional in 1993 when he tied for 31st at Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio.
Ingraham, a 24-year member of The PGA of America, also has represented his country twice in the PGA Cup, the Ryder Cup equivalent for PGA Club Professionals.
Last June, in the PGA Professional National Championship in French Lick, Ind., Ingraham said he felt relaxed, "hit shots at the right time and just played well on a hard course." His tie for ninth place earned Ingraham that return trip to the PGA Championship, some 14 years after his last PGA Championship appearance.
Ingraham did not make the cut at Whistling Straits but did qualify for this first Senior PGA Championship through his top-10 finish in the 2010 Senior PGA Professional National Championship.
When Ingraham completes his play at Valhalla, he'll put the finishing touches on a book about what he calls "the other side of golf." It will highlight Ingraham's "secrets to sound decision-making that lets you become successful away from trying to have that perfect swing. It will be valuable to a good player all the way to a 25-handicapper."
Just like the wide range of students who Stu Ingraham loves to teach.
"ALFRED S. BOURNE" ON CELEBRITY TOUR: The late Alfred S. Bourne was a member of Augusta (Ga.) National Golf Club, endeared himself to PGA Professionals of his era; donated dollars to fund the first Senior PGA Championship trophy in 1937; and his daughter later married the first Masters Champion and future PGA of America President, Horton Smith.
Bourne’s legacy in senior golf has endured generations later on a 30-pound trophy that through the world of social media, has its own “celebrity” identity at the 72nd Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid.
During the annual Derby Festival Parade in Louisville, May 5, the trophy was a featured guest; has appeared at a Louisville Bats baseball game; been the subject of several magazine launches; a Kentucky Derby Festival Hole-In-One promotion; Play Golf America Day, several charity events and has been hugged and photographed by Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer; pop singing group, Chilli; the reigning Miss America, Teresa Scanlan; and NCAA Division II National Champion basketball coach Scott Davenport.
The attention afforded the Alfred S. Bourne Trophy is part of a promotion campaign, which has produced a new chapter in public awareness of the Championship, said Senior PGA Championship Director Ben Rubin, whose staff of “trophy valets” featured Maggie Ray, Rich Calabrese and Travis Janeway.
“We spread the public awareness about the Championship in an un-traditional way in the market, and I believe that it worked very well,” said Rubin. “The social media avenue really gave the trophy its own personality.”
Ray said that when she had the trophy at her home in between events, she found herself unconsciously walking into a room and saying, “Hello, Alfred.”
“It has been a lot of fun, and you would not believe how many people want to have their photo taken with Alfred,” said Ray, the Championship Sales & Events Coordinator.
The Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid sponsored the seventh race at Churchill Downs on May 13, and the Alfred S. Bourne Trophy visited the paddock before the race; was frequently on the Jumbotron; “watched” the race from the winner’s circle; and presented the winning horse ‘Singingmyhymnsong,’ with a trophy.”
Ray said the trophy has nearly 90 followers on Twitter, appears on Facebook, where it has 1,808 Friends, and is found at Twitter@alfredsbourne or on Facebook at facebook.com/2011seniorpga.
“We have seen an increase in fans, and Alfred will be Twittering all week during the Championship,” said Ray. “Fans can follow him all over the course. The question, ‘Where’s Alfred?’ takes on a new meaning this week.”
DID YOU KNOW: With The PGA of America celebrating its 95th anniversary in 2011, we are featuring a series of "Did You Know" items throughout the week related to The PGA of America and the Senior PGA Championship presented by Kitchen Aid.
Did You Know ...
--Sam Snead, who won the Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid a record six times, also holds the Championship record for best 72-hole score. He finished with a 268 total (20-under par) in 1973 on the East Course at PGA National Golf Club in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
--In addition to the Senior PGA Championship, The PGA of America conducts the PGA Championship, the Ryder Cup and the PGA Grand Slam of Golf. The PGA also runs the PGA Professional National Championship, with the low 20 PGA Club Professionals advancing from that event to the PGA Championship, the season's final major golf championship.
--Over the past four years, PGA Professionals across the country have helped raise more than $8.6 million through Patriot Golf Day, enabling the Folds of Honor Foundation to distribute more than 1,600 scholarships to children of military personnel severely wounded or killed in action in Iraq and Afghanistan.
PGA COMMUNITY RELATIONS YOUTH CLINIC: More than 250 youth and parents representing five Community Centers in Louisville, The First Tee of Louisville and other junior golf programs throughout the city gathered for a PGA Community Relations Youth Clinic at Shawnee Golf Course on Monday.
Though a rainstorm trimmed the program, the audience did receive a full performance from PGA Honorary Member Dennis Walters, whose trick-shot artistry and life lessons struck a chord with officials and parents whose children now include fitness into their golf training.
“I’m glad to get the chance to hit some shots and tell the kids how important it is to keep their dreams,” said Walters.
Though planned fitness stations at the course were washed away by the rainstorm, the PGA Sports Academy curriculum was not overshadowed at Shawnee Golf Course and by city officials. Louisville is focusing to combat negative 2011 statistics that were released nationally Monday concerning America’s “Fittest Cities.”
Louisville is ranked 49th out of a 50-city poll by the American College of Sports Medicine. The subject of fitness through golf has been a key element at Shawnee Golf Course’s own junior program since March. Overall, 400 juniors participate in the Shawnee Golf Course Junior Program, and the city’s school system has had an additional 3,000 students introduced to the game.
“We have seen the statistics that Kentucky ranks seventh in the country in obesity and third in childhood obesity, and Louisville (in Jefferson County) is worse than the state average,” said Shawnee PGA Head Professional Craig Heibert. “We have been fortunate to have teamed with Heuser Medical Clinic helping us since March. We have seen positive results already, with parents and kids realizing our approach and they have told us they appreciate what we are doing.”
Overall, 20 Kentucky PGA and Indiana PGA Professionals were on site at Shawnee to provide instruction before the rugged May storm hit the city. Among those huddling in the shelter was Louisville Metro Parks Assistant Director Marty Storch.
Storch said that he clipped a story from the morning’s Louisville Courier-Journal that featured the city’s fitness ranking.
“I’ve seen the stats for a couple years before they were featured this week,” said Storch. “We are fortunate to have individuals in the city who are taking the lead in getting ahead of this problem. The mayor (Greg Fischer) has his own Healthy Hometown Movement, getting people moving with the Memorial Day weekend, Hike, Bike and Paddle program. Now, to have The PGA of America’s exercise component accentuate it all with fitness and golf is great.”
Storch said that he asked his staff, “What can we do to help solve the problem? I believe that The PGA already has been ahead in how to make golf more fun. I like to think that our parks system is the largest fitness center in the city. If we can all work together and utilize this momentum, that ranking is going to improve.”
The PGA Sports Academy’s curriculum blends five core elements in offering a phased approach to overall mental and physical youth development. The elements can be integrated into existing junior programs, such as Louisville youth programs – or be fully adopted as a turnkey solution by facilities that are seeking a fresh approach to junior programming.
The five core elements of PGA Sports Academy are:
• Golf Skills
• Fitness and Nutrition
• Golf and Physical Assessments
• Sportsmanship, Rules and Etiquette
• Golf and “Near Golf” Experiences
For more information about the PGA Sports Academy, visit www.PlayGolfAmerica.com.