EARLIER this week, Seth Waugh, 60, was appointed CEO of the PGA of America. He succeeds Pete Bevacqua, who left August 13 to become president of NBC Sports Group. John Easterbrook Jr. will continue to serve as interim CEO with Waugh expected to take over on September 24.
Waugh who is a Former CEO of Deutsche Bank Americas, comes to the head of the PGA with impeccable business credentials, a later-in-life immersion in—and love for—the game, a close-knit relationship with many of the sport’s power brokers, and five years in the organisation as an independent member of the board of directors and as a member of an advisory board to Bevacqua.
“We all have our stories, the pros that we grew up with, the ones we met later in life who had an impact on us,” Waugh told Golf Digest during a 20-minute telephone interview Tuesday afternoon. “It’s a noble profession. The average club pro is probably not seeing a lot of the benefits of the growth of the game at this point. You think of the business side, which has created great benefits for the association, but how do you pass that on and create value for the member? I think that’s the biggest problem that we have.
“I’d like to sit back 10 years from now and say, ‘We really made some lives better, made their livelihoods better.’ That turns me on. That’s how I’m wired. And that’s the largest reason why I want to do this.”
Waugh, who lives in North Palm Beach, Fla., is a native of Ayer, Mass., and a graduate of Amherst College, where he earned degrees in English and economics. His son Clancy, who played golf collegiately at Wake Forest and SMU, recently turned professional and is entered in one of the three Web.com Tour pre-qualifying tournaments that begins Wednesday. Waugh met his wife, Jane, about 2 and half years ago on a practice range in Eugene, Ore., while caddieing for Clancy in an amateur event.
He was with Deutsche Bank Americas for 13 years, including 10 as CEO, during which time he oversaw the creation of the Deutsche Bank Championship, the PGA Tour’s FedExCup Playoff event in Boston now known as the Dell Technologies Championship.