Category - Member Events
A Legendary Week at the 2023 PGA Annual Meeting
By Kayla Gutierrez
(Hayden Lewis/PGA of America)
It’s hard to put into words how special this week really was. If I only had one word to describe my experience at 107th PGA Annual Meeting it would be . . .
For many reasons last week in Frisco, Texas, was incredibly special. As a senior representing Florida Gulf Coast University as a PGA WORKS Scholar and University Leader, I was extremely honored.
From the moment I set foot on the PGA Frisco campus, I was immediately immersed in the vibrant energy and unique camaraderie amongst PGA of America Golf Professionals from across the nation. I instantly knew I was in store for a great experience.
The PGA of America National Awards ceremony on opening night was a fantastic start to the week, an evening dedicated to celebrating the remarkable achievements, commitments and performances of PGA Professionals, both on and off the golf course. As a future PGA Member, being present in that room was an immensely rewarding experience. Surrounded by some of the industry's finest, I had the opportunity to learn about the journeys and accomplishments of all 12 honorees. Each story was a testament to the dedication, skill, and passion required to excel in the world of golf.
In true golf pro fashion, we were up bright and early the following morning. The day began with an informal session followed by breakout sessions that included panels of engaging and knowledgeable PGA Golf Professionals and industry executives who each brought a diverse perspective and expertise to the table. For us PGM students, these conversations sparked an inquisitive interest and curiosity about all aspects of the golf industry. These interactions allowed us to ask questions, form relationships and make connections, and gain knowledge and advice from the best of the best.
But the real magic happened outside of the room.
The opportunity to engage with professionals and other PGM University students has provided us with invaluable lessons that will aid us in both our academic and professional careers. Through these conversations, we built a network through sharing our own experiences and journeys.
“This experience was truly eye opening for me," said Kennedy Daigle of Florida Gulf Coast University. "I walked away with a lot of knowledge about the industry that I never knew before. I also connected with a lot of different people which helped give me a great perspective for what I want to do in the future.“
The evening of Nov. 8 might’ve been the cherry on top of Annual Meeting week, however, as it featured the PGA of America Hall of Fame ceremony . . . certainly a night for the books.
Seated in the same room with PGA of America Hall of Fame inductees was an experience that left me both truly inspired and deeply honored. Among this year's remarkable inductees were individuals who have significantly shaped the world of golf: LPGA legend Kathy Whitworth, PGA Professionals Herb Wimberly, Don Wegrzyn, Robert F. Dolan Jr., Suzy Whaley, and the esteemed CBS Sports broadcaster Jim Nantz, with CBS Sports' Amanda Renner as Master of Ceremonies.
From meeting some of the best PGA of America Golf Professionals in the country, to touring the new Home of the PGA of America, this week was truly legendary and one I will cherish for a lifetime.
Each of them, legends in their own way, have contributed immensely to the sport. Witnessing these outstanding professionals receive their well-deserved accolades was a moment of profound inspiration for an aspiring PGA Golf Professional like myself.
And for the first time ever this week, the PGA of America had the opportunity to showcase the new PGA Frisco campus and the Association's home building on full display for hundreds of PGA Professionals to witness at the 107th Annual PGA Meeting.
PGA Frisco is like a golfer’s wonderland. From beginner to advanced golfers, PGA Frisco has something for everyone. With the Omni PGA Frisco Resort, two championship golf courses, the Northern Texas PGA Section, and the PGA District featuring a par-3 course (The Swing), putting green (The Dance Floor), dining and shops, the campus is unbelievable.
But the real action goes down at the Home of the PGA of America, with hundreds of individuals working hard every day to make the game better for everyone. Fortunately for us, we had the chance to see it’s impacts firsthand.
The state-of-the-art HQ is more than just a building; it's a symbol of the PGA's commitment to the future of the sport. Equipped with cutting-edge technology, exceptional training grounds, and resources that cater to every facet of golf, it stands as a beacon for innovation and development in the industry. As PGM students, this new home of the PGA of America really excites us about the future of the game and becoming PGA members.
“This week has far surpassed my expectations of what I thought coming to PGA Frisco would be," said Willow Merry of Mississippi State University. "This experience has proved the future of the game is strong, and the PGA of America is in great hands. I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to come here and meet everyone, build relationships, form new friendships, and work together to grow the game of golf for everyone. That’s what truly made this week so incredibly special.”