May 1, 2021 President’s Report

What a great few weeks this has been for golf! Importantly, it has been a great few weeks for diversity in golf. Once again, the Augusta National Golf Club did an incredible job with the Women’s Amateur event. It was amazing to watch those talented women playing at Augusta National the week before the Masters. What a performance by the 17-year-old Japanese player Tsubasa Kajitani, winning in a playoff. Another great win the following weekend, was by Hideki Matsuyama. He was winning the Masters with the weight of the Japanese nation on his shoulders. Sandwiched in between was the Drive Chip and Putt, again hosted by the Augusta National Golf Club and supported by the Augusta National, USGA, and the PGA of America. It was amazing watching these young men and women compete and hear their stories, seeing their mothers and fathers encouraging them, hugging them, and being supportive parents. These fantastic kids of all shapes, sizes, and ethnic backgrounds were playing the game we all love. Yes, the future of our game is in excellent hands. I can’t wait to see some of these kids come back to Augusta and compete in either the Augusta Women’s Amateur or the Masters.

Frank mentioned in his article earlier that I was afforded the unbelievable chance to attend the Masters on Thursday. Last year, a few Black PGA members suggested that it might be time to honor Lee Edler for being the first Black PGA member to compete in the Masters. The Masters’ organization agreed. For me, it was an experience of a lifetime. To finally see a man who had to endure hate mail, death threats to himself and his family for simply being invited to play in the Masters, finally being honored by the Masters is not something I ever believed I would see happen.

To see how far we diversity has developed in golf over the years is fantastic. The game has come a long way. It is truly a game for all of the world to be able to play. We respect diversity and inclusion and we still have a ways to go, but I believe we are on a good path.

I hope you are all ramping up for the season. It will be a great one.

Please stay healthy and safe and reach out to someone you have not talked to in a while.

Howie Pruitt, PGA
Director, Golf Operations, Aspen Lakes GC
President, Pacific Northwest Section

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