In good conscience we cannot allow Brandel Chamblee’s comment in a Golfweek Q&A on March 25 that golf instruction has been “bitch-slapped by reality” be allowed to stand without comment. It is offensive, sexist and disgraceful. Using such crude and hateful language is abhorrent in any context and in this case a direct contradiction to the countless programs and initiatives those in the industry provide to ensure everyone feels welcome in golf.
Chamblee is certainly entitled to his own opinion, but it is unfair to paint all instructors with the same ugly brush. Making the case that crowdsourcing golf instruction on social media and through YouTube videos is inherently more valuable than being coached by a PGA Professional is both farcical and disrespectful. We can’t speak for all instructors, but at the PGA of America we are proud of our members who choose to coach. They help millions enjoy the game more, play it at a higher level, and most importantly, play the game for as long as possible with the best experience possible.
The path required to earn PGA membership is extremely rigorous with an academic curriculum and testing based on scientific research and practical, hands-on experience over a period of four or more years. There are also demanding continuing education requirements, which include, among other subjects, best practices for using technology in coaching. But what truly sets PGA Professionals apart, in addition to this training and expertise, is the way they use their craft to help improve people’s lives by welcoming them into the game, by helping them to improve and to enjoy the game no matter where they happen to be on their golf journey.
The dedicated men and women of the PGA will continue to ensure the vitality of the game. Our coaches are crucial to the game’s success and longevity, and we are incredibly proud of the work they do to benefit all those who join us on the course.
PGA of America CEO
PGA of America President