Message from Philadelphia PGA President Jeff Kiddie
Happy New Year to you! It has been a few months since our Section’s Fall Meeting. During this time, our board has been busy wrapping up 2019 and finishing our planning process for 2020. In December the board met to finalize the 2020 budget. There are many things that go under consideration in this process and you should be proud of how thorough and thoughtful our staff and board is to make sure we are in the best financial position possible.
In this year’s budgetary process, we came to the realization that we are not in the position to maintain the dues structure that we have been operating under for over 10 years. Over these past 10 years we were able to operate without a dues increase despite adding new staff members, retaining long standing staff members, buying a home office and absorbing the rising costs of health insurance and other expenses related to operating a business. With those costs continuing to rise, as well as the federal government raising the “standard salary level,” we need to raise our dues to cover these costs. The board unanimously approved to raise the dues five percent for the 2020 calendar year. We applaud Geoff Surrette and his entire team for running the Section for the past 10 years without a dues increase to the membership, but much like our own clubs, if we aren’t raising the dues with the rising costs we won’t be able to continue the existing staff and service levels.
This leads me to a related subject. The Section’s Junior Tour is a major component to our operating income. Over the past two years we have seen a decline in the number of members of our tour. Brian Schulte and his team have come up with an action plan for 2020 to try and gain back some of these lost members, but the reality may be that there is just more competition than we used to have with the growth of tours like the AJGA, IJGT, U.S. Kids and Hurricane Tour. Our tour offers a valuable offering to a cross section of youth golfers with the sweet spot being emerging competitive golfers that are 11 to 14 years old. We will continue to invest and promote the Junior Tour but we need your help in doing this. Whenever possible, please display the marketing materials that the Section provides you. Each of us are given one free membership to give to a youth golfer. Be sure to give this to one of your juniors. We can make an impact on this tour and the financial benefit it has for our Section. If each of us were able to get one new tour member, we would grow the tour by leaps and bounds. The Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour is a great product at a very reasonable price. Please help us succeed by promoting the Tour to your members/customers.
The 2020 season will be an exciting season of championship golf. The Philadelphia PGA Section will host its sixth PGA Championship (1938, 1942, 1958 and 1962 PGA Championship, 2003 Senior PGA Championship) when the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship comes to Aronimink Golf Club. Part of the responsibility in hosting these championships is for Section members to serve as volunteers for the event. Bob Hennefer, Director of Section Affairs, is our Volunteer Chairman. He will be sending out communications to complete his roster of volunteers. Please try to make yourself and/or your staff members available to volunteer. With another championship coming in 2026, we want to show the PGA of America that we are energetic and engaged PGA Professionals that want our Section to shine.
The plan is to write a monthly message to keep you informed of what is new in our Section. Feel free to reach out directly to me or Geoff Surrette with any comments or questions. All the best for the start of your New Year and hopefully you are enjoying some downtime.
Jeff Kiddie, PGA
Philadelphia PGA Section