Deane Beman, 2015 PGA of America Distinguished Service Award Recipient

Deane Beman, 2015 PGA of America's Distinguished Service Award Recipient.

Deane Beman, 2015 PGA of America’s Distinguished Service Award Recipient.

While I attended the PGA of America Award Ceremony I did not have the opportunity to meet or interview Mr. Beman.

I feel like I have met him through the reading of Adam Schupak‘s biographical book—Golf’s Driving Force, the inside story of the man who transformed golf into a billion-dollar business. It reads like a Harvard Business School case study and is a fascinating account of Deane Beman, his life, his personality and his relationships throughout that both challenged him and helped him accomplish what he did. I highly recommend reading this book!

Beman onstage being interviewed by Marr.

Beman onstage being interviewed by Marr.

The Award Ceremony which includes an introduction via an inspiring 10-minute video of Beman’s life and an on-stage interview with host David Marr III was awesome! One thing I did learn of is Deane’s passion for PGA Golf Professionals and his mandate that the General Manager at every TPC facility will be a PGA certified Golf Professional. I know from first hand experience and observation how well this works at the flagship TPC Sawgrass with Bill Hughes running the operation.

Beman's book written by Adam Schupak. A must read for anyone in the golf business or that loves the game of golf!

Beman’s book written by Adam Schupak. A must read for anyone in the golf business or that loves the game of golf!

Although a 4-time winner on the PGA TOUR Beman’s personal test of mettle was in defeat rather than victory where “one has to be stronger to pick yourself up.” I admire his commitment to finish on top against the best golfers in the world, deflecting the commissioner’s job until after he staged a comeback from injury and won again on tour.

All the things that he accomplished came down to “only counting as a failure if it stays failed; it is not a failure if you don’t quit” mentality, persistence and perseverance. Television, Champions Tour, Tour, the TPC network, charitable donations and The President’s Cup all had earlier versions that were perfected into what we know them as today.

Congratulations Mr. Beman!

PGA of America’s Highest Annual Honor to” be bestowed Nov. 13


Part of the program.

Part of the program.

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Former PGA TOUR Commissioner Deane Beman, the guiding force in elevating the profile of the tour professional while expanding golf’s global charitable reach and interest in the game, has been named the recipient of the 2015 PGA Distinguished Service Award.

Beman, 77, and a 40-year PGA Life Member, will receive the PGA of America’s highest annual honor on Nov. 13, at a ceremony in conjunction with the 99th PGA Annual Meeting in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

A native of Washington, D.C. who attended the University of Maryland, Beman became one of the country’s foremost amateur golfers. He won the 1959 British Amateur before capturing the 1960 and 1963 U.S. Amateur Championships. He competed in 11 USGA international events, including four Walker Cup Teams. He turned professional in 1967 and went on to win four times on the PGA TOUR.

With Adam Schupak, author of Beman's book.

With Adam Schupak, author of Beman’s book.

Beman succeeded Joe Dey in 1974 as the TOUR’s second commissioner, beginning a 20-year term that took professional golf to new heights in popularity. He nurtured television’s connection to the game, which resulted in increased tournament purses; and ushered in the creation of the Senior PGA Tour (now Champions Tour) and the Ben Hogan Tour (now Tour) to develop tomorrow’s stars and contributing to playing opportunities for PGA Professionals.

Through the course of his tenure as Commissioner and to this day, Beman is a true friend to the PGA of America. He worked closely with the PGA to grow the game and benefit the membership. Beman also remains a vocal supporter of the key role the PGA member plays in serving as the tangible connection between the game and those who play it in the United States.

With Alice & Pete Dye, his partners designing the Stadium Course were there to pay tribute to Beman.

With Alice & Pete Dye, his partners designing the Stadium Course were there to pay tribute to Beman.

“Deane Beman’s vision and leadership helped drive professional golf to the forefront of the sporting public’s consciousness and become a staple for viewers throughout the world,” said PGA of America President Derek Sprague. “Deane’s leadership extended the careers of Tour professionals and benefited PGA members as well, while also ensuring that golf remains one of sports’ leading catalysts for charitable endeavors. For his career of remarkable achievement in our industry, the PGA of America takes great pride in presenting Deane Beman with the 2015 PGA Distinguished Service Award.”

Under Beman’s watch, the PGA TOUR’s board instituted a policy requiring all tournaments to support a charitable initiative. During Beman’s two decades at the TOUR helm, charitable contributions grew from less than $1 million to than $30 million in 1994. Today, the golf industry generates an estimated $3.5 billion annually to charity.

“I am extremely honored to receive this prestigious award. The PGA Professionals in my golf life have been the bedrock of the development of golf in America,” said Beman. “I have enormous respect for those individuals who nurture the enthusiasm for those who quest for the ultimate challenge of becoming an accomplished golfer.”

Beman also was called by some “the Father of Stadium Golf,” a concept that became a standard in a spectator-friendly golf experience. His vision took bloom in 1982 as designer Pete Dye opened the Players Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

In 1998, Beman also saw another of his dream projects reach fruition, with the opening of the World Golf Village near St. Augustine, Florida, which is the home of the World Golf Hall of Fame and where he was inducted as a contributor in 2000.

Prior to stepping down as commissioner in 1994, Beman capped his legacy with the PGA TOUR by opening the Presidents Cup, a biennial international competition matching the best American golfers and international players outside Europe.

Beman and his wife, Judy, live in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. They have five children and 10 grandchildren.

Begun in 1988, the PGA Distinguished Service Award honors outstanding individuals who display leadership and humanitarian qualities, including integrity, sportsmanship and enthusiasm for the game of golf. Previous honorees include Bob Hope, Byron Nelson, Arnold Palmer, Patty Berg, Jack Nicklaus, and former Presidents Gerald Ford (1991), George H.W. Bush (1997) and William J. “Bill” Clinton (2014).

PGA Distinguished Service Award Recipients

1988 Herb Graffis
1989 Bob Hope
1990 No recipient
1991 The Hon. Gerald R. Ford
1992 Gene Sarazen
1993 Byron Nelson
1994 Arnold Palmer
1995 Patty Berg
1996 Frank Chirkinian
1997 The Hon. George H.W. Bush
1998 Paul Runyan
1999 Bill Dickey
2000 Jack Nicklaus
2001 Mark McCormack

2002 Tim Finchem

2003 Vince Gill

2004 Pete Dye

2005 Wally Uihlein

2006 Fred Ridley

2007 Jack Burke Jr.

2008 Dennis Walters

2009 William Powell

2010 Billy Casper

2011 Larry Nelson

2012 Dave Stockton

2013 Lee Trevino

2014 The Hon. William J. Clinton

2015 Deane Beman

Source: PGA of America