Bayonet Black Horse, once a military training installation at Fort Ord, will be hosting its third PGA of America Championship June 17–20 when the 51st PGA Professional Championship presented by Club Car and OMEGA unfolds amid one of the West Coast’s most awe-inspiring marriages of scenery, sea and land. The trifecta for Bayonet Black Horse began with the 2012PGA Professional Championship and continued with the 2015 Senior PGA Professional Championship.
Now comes Act III of the Bayonet Black Horse trilogy, with Seaside Resort Development Managing Director Dick Fitzgerald and PGA Director of Golf Pat Jones assembling an all-star team to welcome the 312 competitors and their families for the annual national championship for PGA Professionals. Fitzgerald, Jones and staffs began preparations for the 2018 PGA Professional Championship more than two years ago, and have elevated hosting major championships at Bayonet Black Horse to an art form while also hosting many other events since a massive, $13 million renovation was completed in 2008.
“We love to work with the PGA of America and its great staff, and we are honored to again be selected to host the PGA Professional Championship. We welcome the return of the country’s premier PGA Professionals,” says Fitzgerald, who guides the company that manages Bayonet Black Horse. “Our facilities continue to improve, and we are committed to providing another great Championship on one of the great golf venues on the Monterey Peninsula.”
The 2018 PGA Professional Championship marks the third PGA of America Championship for Jones, who oversees a staff of 13 PGA Associates and PGA/LPGA Professionals at Bayonet Black Horse.
They’ve all played a vital role in working with PGA Chief Championships Officer Kerry Haigh and his staff to prepare the Bayonet and Black Horse courses for another national championship, while accommodating the needs of participants’ families and associates.
“It’s a large undertaking, but we know what must be done and we feel very comfortable working with Kerry and his staff,” explains Jones, the 2014 Northern California PGA Golf Professional of the Year. “Our PGA Assistants and Associates oversee volunteer committees during the event. The largest responsibility for our golf staff is actually the recruitment of 400 volunteers for the Championship. After conducting the 2012 PGA Professional Championship and the 2015 Senior, I don’t feel any additional challenges since every aspect of the event is so well-planned by the PGA of America.”
PGA Professionals and Associates joining Jones in rolling out the green carpet for the 2018 PGA Professional Championship at Bayonet Black Horse include Mike Spiller, Anthony Henry, Cheryl Swix, Patrick Calhoun, Justin Barnes, Sam Frick, Nathan Wrenn, Tim Hlebo, Dominic Hernandez and Cory Watt.
The grounds staff at Bayonet Black Horse that received universal acclaim from participating PGA Professionals in 2012 and has groomed the course immaculately for the 2018 PGA Professional Championship is headed by Adric Ryan and Jesus Hernandez, who oversee 30 team members in the daily preparation of the two golf courses.
“What struck me about the 2012 PGA Professional Championship at Bayonet Black Horse were the tremendous ocean views and the immaculate condition of the two courses,” notes Matt Dobyns, the 2012 Champion from Fresh Meadow Country Club in Lake Success, New York. “It was a wonderful experience and the golf courses were a pleasure to play. It was a real national championship environment, from the condition of the courses to the way the tournament was run. I can’t wait to get back there.”
Jones reports only one small change in the golf courses since the 2012 PGA Professional Championship at Bayonet Black Horse.
“The tee box on Bayonet No. 11 has been moved to the right, which will allow the player to have a better visual of the fairway off the tee,” says Jones. “Other than that, the only changes might be that the greens will be more receptive to approach shots, since the greens have matured.”
Jones says Bayonet Black Horse is a perfect fit for the PGA Professional Championship, with the two seaside courses conveniently located to accommodate the 312 PGA Professionals who hope to etch their name on the Walter Hagen Cup.
“The PGA of America must feel that Bayonet Black Horse is a great test of golf, which it has proven to be in each of the previous national championships,” says Jones. “What better place to have the PGA Professional Championship than overlooking the ocean on the Monterey Peninsula?”
This story originally appeared in the June 2018 edition of PGA Magazine.
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