INDIAN WELLS, Calif. — PGA Master Professional Suzy Whaley was elected the 41st President of the PGA of America today at the Association’s 102nd Annual Meeting. Whaley is PGA Director of Golf at Suzy Whaley Golf in Cromwell, Connecticut and PGA Director of Instruction at the Country Club at Mirasol in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
Succeeding Whaley as Vice President is Jim Richerson, PGA, of Scottsdale, Arizona, who served the past two years as Secretary.
John Lindert, PGA of Grand Ledge, Michigan, is the newly-elected PGA Secretary. Also, Paul Levy, PGA, of Indian Wells, California, who served as the 40th PGA President, assumes the role of PGA Honorary President. He succeeds Derek Sprague, PGA, who completed his two-year term.
A pioneer in the golf industry, Suzy Whaley, PGA/LPGA, is the first woman to serve as a PGA Officer in the roles of PGA President, Vice President and Secretary. Recognized as one of the country’s top instructors, Whaley previously enjoyed a five-year tenure at Jim Flick Golf Schools, before becoming the Head Golf Professional at Blue Fox Run in Avon, Connecticut, in 2002. From 2004-06, she worked as an LPGA golf commentator for ESPN, and began her own instruction and coaching business, Suzy Whaley Golf, after ESPN.
“Serving the nearly 29,000 PGA Professionals as PGA President is the honor of a lifetime and my way of saying thank you for all the PGA of America has given me,” said Whaley. “I may be the first woman to serve as President, but first, I’m a PGA Professional, and I am incredibly excited by the opportunities that lie ahead. I look forward to helping advance the careers of our Members, by highlighting the profound impact PGA Professionals have as coaches, in operations and sales, and as executives. We’re committed to exploring innovative new approaches to coaching that deliver the experience today’s consumer is seeking.
“Together, we aim to invite everyone to join a game they can play for a lifetime, so our courses more closely resemble the communities we serve. I am grateful for the trust our Membership has placed in me, and I Iook forward to pursuing these opportunities with optimism, purpose and joy.”
Whaley’s resume includes numerous teaching awards including: Golf Digest Top 50 Instructor, LPGA Top 50 Instructor, two-time Connecticut PGA Teacher of the Year, 10-time Golf Digest State Teacher of the Year, U.S. Kids Golf Master Kids Teacher, PGA Master Professional and five-time PGA Jr. League National Finals Coach. She has instructed more than 300 children to collegiate golf.
A dual member of the PGA of America and LPGA Teaching & Club Professional division, Whaley was a LPGA Tour member in 1990 and 1993. She famously qualified and participated in the 2003 Greater Hartford Open, becoming the first woman since Babe Zaharias in 1945 to qualify for a PGA Tour event. This occurred after Whaley became the first PGA of America woman professional to win the Connecticut PGA Championship.
A member of the Connecticut and South Florida PGA Sections, she is the first person to represent both of these Sections as PGA President.