Deane Beman Receives PGA Distinguished Service Award
Former PGA TOUR Commisioner Deane Beman, the guiding force in elevating the profile of the tour professional while expanding professional golf’s global charitable reach and interest in the game, has been named the 2015 recipient of the PGA Distinguished Service Award. Beman, 77, and a 40-year PGA Life Member, will receive the PGA of America’s highest annual honor on November 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. Deane turned professional in 1967 and went on to win four times on the PGA Tour.
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 the Champions Tour), and the Ben Hogan Tour(now the Web.com Tour) to develop tomorrow’s stars and contributing to playing opportunities for PGA Professionals.
Through the course of Deane”s tenure as Commissioner and to this day, Beman is a true friend of 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.
“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 Deane’s two decades at the helm, charitable contributions grew from less than $1 million to more than $10 million in 1994, and has grown to $3.5 billion today.
“I am extremely honored to receive this prestigious award. The PGA Professionals in my 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.”
Deane Beman has often been called ” the father of stadium golf”, a concept that became a standard in a spectator-friendly golf experience. His vision took bloom in 1982 with golf course architect Pete Dye’s design and the opening of the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. In 1998, he also saw another of his dream projects reach fruition, with the opening of the World Golf Village near St. Augustine, Florida, the home of the World Golf Hall of Fame, 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 1st President’s Cup, the biennial international competition matching the best Americans versus the rest of the world outside Europe.
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. Some of the previous honorees have been Presidents Gerald Ford, George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton, as well as Bob Hope, Byron Nelson, Arnold Palmer, Billy Casper and Jack Nicklausand patty Berg.
I have known Deane Beman for a long time and admired his vision, and ability to get things done as PGA TOUR Commissioner. Congratulations Comish.