News

PGA of America REACH Foundation Philadelphia Receives $100,000 Endowment From Martonick Estate

Lower Gwynedd Township, Pa. (May 8, 2024) —The PGA of America REACH Foundation, the Philadelphia PGA Section’s 501(c)(3) charitable organization, is pleased to announce that it has received a $100,000 endowment from the estate of PGA of America Golf Professional Jason Martonick, who passed away in 2023.

Martonick was elected to PGA of America Membership in 2003 and was most recently the coach for Penn State Hazelton’s golf team. The endowment will help fund the foundation’s Youth, Military, and Diversity & Inclusion initiatives, including programs like PGA Jr. League, Golf in Schools, PGA HOPE Philadelphia (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere), and the Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour Diversity Scholarships.

“We are incredibly grateful for this generous endowment from the Martonick estate,” said PGA REACH Philadelphia Director Courtney Curcio. “This gift will help our foundation’s programming thrive for years, and will remain a testament to Jason’s heart and generosity.”

PGA REACH Philadelphia relies on private donations to fund its programs and volunteered time from our PGA of America Golf Professionals to activate them successfully.

For more information on PGA REACH Philadelphia and its mission to positively impact lives through golf, visit pgareachphiladelphia.com To donate to PGA REACH Philadelphia, please click here.

About PGA REACH Philadelphia 
PGA of America REACH Foundation Philadelphia is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 2018 as the charitable arm of the Philadelphia PGA Section, one of the 41 Sections within the PGA of America. PGA REACH Philadelphia is committed to serving our communities and growing the game of golf through our three pillars: Youth, Military, and Diversity.

About the Philadelphia PGA Section
The Philadelphia PGA Section, covering eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware, is one of 41 geographical managing entities of the PGA of America. This Section manages nearly 900 PGA of America Members and Associates who are employed at over 590 golf facilities in our region.Contact: Courtney Curcio, Director, ccurcio@pgahq.com

Labor Dept. Announces Final Rule Change to Employee Exemptions Under FLSA

The United States Department of Labor (DOL) has announced its final rule change to employee exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The final rule, “Defining and Delimiting the Exemptions for Executive, Administrative, Professional, Outside Sales, and Computer Employees,” raises the minimum salaries to qualify for certain FLSA overtime exemptions and provides for updates to the earning thresholds every three years based on up-to-date wage data. The final rule calls for an initial threshold increase to take effect by July 1, 2024, and then the full increase to take effect by January 1, 2025. 

PGA Career Services position: The PGA Career Services department highly recommends seeking the advice and counsel of an attorney to support your compliance efforts. It is important for employers to remember that some states have different duties and salary basis tests, and some require a daily overtime premium to be paid.

Regulation snapshot (click here to review the full regulation): The final rule changes the minimum weekly salary to qualify for one of the FLSA’s three white-collar overtime exemptions (executive, administrative, or professional) from $684 to $844 effective 7/1/2024. That minimum weekly salary then increases to $1,128 effective 1/1/2025.

In addition, the final rule changes the salary level to qualify for the highly compensated employee (HCE) exemption from $107,432/yr. to $132,964/yr. effective 7/1/2024. Then, effective 1/1/2025, the minimum annual salary increases to $151,164/yr.

This final rule does not change the existing job duties requirements of the FLSA’s three white-collar exemptions or HCE exemption. Information about the existing job duties requirements can be found by clicking here.

Since the first changes are scheduled to be effective July of this year, employers should move quickly to assess the classification status of their workers. As with previous attempts to modify overtime requirements, the final rule is likely to face legal challenges before it becomes effective.

Leaders in the golf industry should understand the potential sensitivity surrounding this topic. Examples to consider include:

  • If there is a change in pay for any employees, the message for their team of employees, who are the heart of their facility, and the connection to the consumers (members and guests) should be reviewed so they do not feel like they are being demoted or of less value.
  • For some employees, there could be a stigma if they have a new procedure to clock in/out.
  • This may also be the time to provide an education about the budget/finances of the facility. Understanding the revenues and expenses (including payroll) required to meet the financial expectations of the stakeholders. Just because the government increases the minimum salary requirements, does not necessarily equate to decreasing the stakeholders’ financial expectations.
  • Consider evaluating the impact on your budget based on the reality of hourly-based pay versus salary-based pay. Do you have a good idea of the hours worked by current salary-based staff to calculate the budget impact if pay changes to hourly-based?

Are there state laws or regulations that supersede this? The short answer is yes. For example – if the state law minimum salary amount is greater than the federal minimum salary amount. Please review your state or commonwealth’s website for their minimum salary and overtime regulations.

A question about the 10 p limit for commission included in the minimum salary amount. Is this determined on a weekly or annual basis? The 10 percent commission payment may be completed on an annual basis. Click here for the DOL’s website to answer questions on commissions.

Brian Bergstol Ties Tavistock Course Record En Route to 2024 TaylorMade Classic Victory

Tavistock, N.J. (May 6, 2024) — PGA of America Golf Professional Brian Bergstol of Shawnee Inn & Golf Resort in Shawnee on Delaware Pa., finished with an 8-under-par 64 at Tavistock Country Club to tie the course record and win the Philadelphia PGA Section’s 2024 TaylorMade Classic by two strokes points over Rusty Harbold, Philadelphia Cricket Club; Zach Barbin, Chesapeake Bay G.C.; and Anthony Sebastianelli, Rolling Green G.C. The tournament is a Philadelphia PGA Rolex / Haverford Trust Company Philadelphia PGA Player of the Year points event, and the first Silvercrest Cup qualifier of the year.

Bergstol, the 2022 Philadelphia PGA Professional Champion, made an impressive eight birdies and one eagle at Tavistock en route to his record-tying round of 64; Dan O’Rourke shot a 64 while competing in the 2017 New Jersey Golf Association Amateur Championship.

“I didn’t get off to the greatest start,” Bergstol said of his round. “I had to make a seven-footer to make a bogey on No. 1, but after that I hit it really solid.

“It’s nice to have the course record; for a sight unseen, I enjoyed the course and played pretty well.”

Returning for the third season, the Silvercrest Cup series will include four qualifying events for Philadelphia PGA Professionals, and will culminate in a $30,000 Silvercrest Cup final, hosted at Union League Liberty Hill in Lafayette Hill, Pa. For more information on the season-long race to the Silvercrest Cup, click here. In addition to receiving the winner’s share of the purse, Bergstol also took home an additional $2,500 from the Silvercrest Cup qualifier bonus pool.

J.T. Wambold, Yardley C.C., finished tied for fifth place at 5-under-par with John Pillar, C.C. at Woodloch Springs.

Pillar took home top honors in Senior Division, thanks to his 5-under-par 67. He bettered Dave McNabb, Applebrook G.C.; Mike Molino, Elmhurst C.C.; and PGA Life Member Brian Kelly by two strokes. Laurel Creek C.C.’s Dave Quinn finished in fifth place at 2-under-par.

PGA of America Life Member Wayne Phillips took top honors in the Super Senior Division with a 2-under-par 70. Phillips bettered Bill Sautter, Philadelphia Cricket Club, by one stroke. Greg Farrow, Deerwood C.C., finished in third place at even par, followed by Jack Brennan, Mountain View C.C., at 6-over-par, and PGA Life Member Michael Versuk at 7-over-par.

The Philadelphia Assistants’ Organization (PAO) held an event concurrently with the TaylorMade Classic, with Bergstol bettering Barbin and Sebastianelli by two strokes. Wambold finished in fourth place, three behind the winner, followed by Bidermann G.C.’s Zac Oakley, who qualified for the Corebridge Financial PGA Team at last week’s PGA Professional Championship to compete in the 2024 PGA Championship. Rolling Green G.C.’s Braden Shattuck also made the team and will compete in the major championship.

To view the full 2024 TaylorMade Classic leaderboard, click here.

The 2024 Philadelphia PGA TaylorMade Classic is presented by TaylorMade Golf, and is supported by Silvercrest Asset Management Group, Ohana Farm LLC, and Jani-King. The Philadelphia PGA Section and its PGA of America Golf Professionals thank our partners, Tavistock Country Club, its membership, management, and staff, as the event would not have been possible without their support.

The next Philadelphia PGA Rolex / The Haverford Trust Company Player of the Year tournament and Silvercrest Cup qualifier on the schedule is the Delaware Valley Open at Bellewood Country Club in Pottstown, Pa., on Monday, May 20.

About the Philadelphia PGA Section
The Philadelphia PGA Section, covering eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware, is one of 41 geographical managing entities of the PGA of America. This Section manages nearly 900 PGA of America Members and Associates who are employed at over 590 golf facilities in our region.

Contact: Matt Frey, PGA, Communications Director, mfrey@pgahq.com

Oakley, Shattuck to Compete in 2024 PGA Championship

Lower Gwynedd Township, Pa. (May 2, 2024) — Two PGA of America Golf Professionals hailing from the Philadelphia PGA Section have secured their places on the Corebridge Financial PGA Team to compete in the 2024 PGA Championship on May 13-19.

Zac Oakley of Bidermann Golf Club in Wilmington, Del., and Braden Shattuck of Rolling Green Golf Club in Springfield, Pa., both tied for 16th place in the 2024 PGA Professional Championship at PGA Frisco in Frisco, Texas. Shattuck was defending champion, having won the championship last year at Twin Warriors Golf Club in New Mexico in his first PGA Professional Championship start. Oakley and Shattuck will both make their second major championship appearance, with Oakley having competed in the 2022 PGA Championship at Southern Hills Country Club in Oklahoma, and Shattuck playing in last year’s PGA Championship at Oak Hill Golf Club in New York.

To view the full leaderboard, click here.

Corebridge Financial broadened its partnership with the PGA of America to include the title sponsorship of the Corebridge Financial PGA Team at the PGA Championship, KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship and KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. For the PGA Championship, the team consists of talented PGA of America Golf Professionals from across the country.

Both PGA Members were part of a 13-player-strong contingent representing the Philadelphia PGA Section in the 2024 PGA Professional Championship. The group also included (in order of finish): Mike Meisenzahl, Little Mill C.C.; Trevor Bensel, Sandy Run C.C.; Danny Lewis, Philadelphia Cricket Club; Chris Krueger, Kings Creek C.C.; Dave Pagett, Whitemarsh Valley C.C.; Billy Stewart, Union League Liberty Hill; Michael Little, Clubhouse 54; Alex Knoll, Glen Brook G.C.; Rich Steinmetz, Spring Ford C.C.; Robert Fenton, Sunnybrook G.C.; and Brian Bergstol, Shawnee Inn & Golf Resort.

On behalf of our nearly 900 Philadelphia PGA of America Golf Professionals, we wish Zac and Braden the best of luck in Kentucky!

About the Philadelphia PGA Section
The Philadelphia PGA Section, covering eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware, is one of 41 geographical managing entities of the PGA of America. This Section manages nearly 900 PGA of America Members and Associates who are employed at over 590 golf facilities in our region.

Contact: Matt Frey, PGA, Communications Director, mfrey@pgahq.com

Remembering Dustin Wallis, PGA

We are saddened to inform you of the passing of PGA of America Member Dustin Wallis, who passed away yesterday, April 30. An Oklahoma native, Dustin had worked as a PGA coach at several facilities within our Section, including Galloway National G.C., the C.C. of York, Honey Run G.C., the C.C. at Woodloch Springs, and most recently Chester Valley G.C. Being so engaged in our tournament program, Dustin was a friend to many of us; he will be greatly missed and fondly remembered.

Our sincere condolences go out to Dustin’s family. To read his full obituary, click here.

In lieu of flowers the family welcomes donations to be made to PGA HOPE Philadelphia in Dustin’s honor by clicking here.

From the Desk of the Philadelphia PGA Director of Tournaments

As our Section’s director of tournaments, one of my goals is to ensure equitable opportunities for all of our PGA of America Golf Professionals who compete in our events, while also providing a friendly and enjoyable atmosphere for all competitors. The Section staff and Tournament Committee members have recently received feedback from some of our tournament players regarding the playing of music via Bluetooth speakers during our events.

At this time, we do not believe the creation of an official music policy is necessary for our tournaments. Still, I do want to address the matter before we progress further through our event calendar. We are not barring the playing of music or the use of Bluetooth speakers. Still, we kindly ask that those who do choose to play music during events be respectful of other players by playing their music at a reasonable volume that they can enjoy, and will not disturb others on the course.

Should we continue to receive feedback regarding this issue, our committee may vote to restrict the use of Bluetooth speakers during Section events. We appreciate everyone’s attention and interest in keeping our events enjoyable and professional for everyone!

Sincerely,

Dustin McCormick, PGA

Director of Tournaments, Philadelphia PGA Section
Head Golf Professional, Glen Brook Golf Club
dmac18@pga.com

Two Teams Tie for 2024 Philadelphia PGA Spring Pro-Pro Championship Title

Northfield, N.J. (April 29, 2024) — Pine Valley Golf Club’s David Clark, PGA, and Matthew Zehner, PGA, teamed together to tie Nick Iacono, Merion Golf Club, and Anthony Sebastianelli, Rolling Green Golf Club, in the 2024 Philadelphia PGA Spring Pro-Pro Championship at the famed Atlantic City Country Club.

The duo from Pine Valley combined to make five birdies and an eagle in the Four-Ball, better ball of partners format to finish at 7-under-par, while Iacono and Sebastianelli made seven team birdies to also finish with a 63.

Five teams tied for third place at 6-under-par: Brian Buskirk, HoneyBrook G.C., and Jeff Fick, Moselem Springs G.C.; Eric Kennedy, Overbrook G.C., and Dave McNabb, Applebrook G.C.; the Legacy Club at Woodcrest’s Stephen Sieracki and John DiMarco; Jason Gebhart, the Bridges G.C., and Parks Price, Hanover C.C.; and John Lynch, Bidermann G.C., and Dave Quinn, Laurel Creek C.C.

Congratulations are in order for Southmoore Golf Center’s Jim Muschlitz, PGA, as he made a hole-in-one on Atlantic City C.C.’s fourth hole. He hit a soft 7-iron from 140 yards. Well played, Jim!

To view the full 2024 Philadelphia PGA Spring Pro-Pro Championship leaderboard, click here.

The 2024 Philadelphia PGA Spring Pro-Pro Championship is supported by Evolve GolfL2 BrandsStretchLabMizuno, and the PGA Tour. The Philadelphia PGA Section and its PGA of America Golf Professionals thank our partners, Atlantic City Country Club, its membership, management, and staff, as the event would not have been possible without their support.

Far from the Philadelphia PGA Section, 13 Philadelphia PGA Members are competing in the 2024 PGA Professional Championship at PGA Frisco in Texas, where Rolling Green G.C. PGA Director of Instruction Braden Shattuck is defending champion. Also competing: Trevor Bensel, Sandy Run C.C.; Brian Bergstol, Shawnee Inn & Golf Resort; Robert Fenton, Sunnybrook G.C.; Alex Knoll, Glen Brook G.C.; Danny Lewis, Philadelphia Cricket Club; Michael Little, Clubhouse 54; Michael Meisenzahl, Little Mill C.C.; Zac Oakley, Bidermann G.C.; Dave Pagett, Whitemarsh Valley C.C.; Rich Steinmetz, Spring Ford C.C.; and Billy Stewart, Union League Liberty Hill. To view scores, click here.

About the Philadelphia PGA Section
The Philadelphia PGA Section, covering eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware, is one of 41 geographical managing entities of the PGA of America. This Section manages nearly 900 PGA of America Members and Associates who are employed at over 590 golf facilities in our region.

Contact: Matt Frey, PGA, Communications Director, mfrey@pgahq.com

PGA REACH Philadelphia Announces New Diversity Scholarship Class

Lower Gwynedd Township, Pa. (April 26, 2024) — PGA REACH Philadelphia, the 501(c)(3) charitable arm of the Philadelphia PGA Section,  is proud to announce six recipients of the Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour Diversity Scholarship: Sophia DeSantis, Glen Mills, Pa.; Addison Murphy,  Phoenixville, Pa.; Andi Jones, Glenside, Pa.; Tobias Elliott, Garnet Valley, Pa.; Brian Nishimura, Collegeville, Pa.; Jayden Rounbehler, Philadelphia, Pa.
The scholarship program was established in 2019 to promote greater diversity in golf and awards opportunities to junior golfers of different races, genders and socioeconomic statuses. Specifically, golfers receive a free membership to the Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour,  7 free tournament entries annually, until the age of 18, and are assigned a PGA of America Golf Professional as a mentor to coach them through challenges they are facing on and off the course.

This year’s class is supported by our partners Women Golfers Give Back and Valley Forge Tourism and Convention. The golf equipment is sponsored by the 1854 Foundation and purchased through Bill Lee, PGA at Cobra Puma Golf.

In addition to the six individuals that will receive the scholarship, PGA REACH Philadelphia has partnered with The First Tee of Greater Philadelphia to provide 16 additional members of The First Tee with two tournament entries and a Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour membership for the 2024 season.

“We are thrilled to announce the selection of six exceptional scholars from our largest pool of applicants. Each recipient embodies not only a passion for the game of golf but also a dedication to academic excellence and community involvement. We believe they will represent our program with distinction and contribute positively to the future of the sport,” said Courtney Curcio, PGA REACH Philadelphia Director.

This year’s scholarship recipients include:

Sophia DeSantis, 18, has been an avid golfer from an early age. Her hard work and passion for the game of golf has earned her several honors including captain of her high school golf team and a scholarship to play golf at a D1 college.

Tobias Elliott, 9, is a bright and kind individual who is very close with his family, particularly his twin brother. He is hungry to learn as much as he can and excited to get into the game of golf.

Addison Murphy, 13, has always loved watching golf with her grandfather. By being on the Philly Junior Tour, she is most excited to make new friends, see new courses and challenge herself.

Andi Jones, 16, was introduced to golf at a young age and has since advocated to bring a golf team back to her high school. She is eager to use the lessons she will learn by competing in tournaments to better herself and the world.

Brian Nishimura, 14, is a member of the First Tee of Philadelphia and enjoys the peace golf brings him. He is looking forward to absorbing as much knowledge as possible and growing in confidence as he competes.

Jayden Rounbehler, 18, is driven to achieve greater heights in his life, especially through his love of learning. He is new to the game of golf and excited for the opportunities ahead of him.

About PGA REACH Philadelphia 
PGA of America REACH Foundation Philadelphia is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 2018 as the charitable arm of the Philadelphia PGA Section, one of the 41 Sections within the PGA of America. PGA REACH Philadelphia is committed to serving our communities and growing the game of golf through our three pillars: Youth, Military, and Diversity.

For more information on PGA REACH Philadelphia and its mission to positively impact lives through golf, visit pgareachphiladelphia.com To donate to PGA REACH Philadelphia, please click here.

About the Philadelphia PGA Section
The Philadelphia PGA Section, covering eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware, is one of 41 geographical managing entities of the PGA of America. This Section manages nearly 900 PGA of America Members and Associates who are employed at over 590 golf facilities in our region.

Contact: Courtney Curcio, Director, ccurcio@pgahq.com

At the Turn (S1E2): We Work for the Benefit of the Doubt

Welcome to the latest episode of “At the Turn,” where Section Executive Director Geoff Surrette, PGA, shares wisdom and advice from PGA of America Golf Professionals.

This episode’s topic is “We work for the benefit of the doubt,” submitted by Merion Golf Club PGA Head Golf Professional Scott Nye. To watch the episode, click on the below button or screen capture.

For a mobile-friendly (vertical) version of the episode, click here.

If you are interested in appearing in a future episode, please complete this form by clicking here.

About the Philadelphia PGA Section
The Philadelphia PGA Section, covering eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware, is one of 41 geographical managing entities of the PGA of America. This Section manages nearly 900 PGA of America Members and Associates who are employed at over 590 golf facilities in our region.

Contact: Matt Frey, PGA, Communications Director, mfrey@pgahq.com

Thirteen Philadelphia PGA of America Golf Professionals to Compete in PGA Professional Championship

Thirteen Philadelphia PGA of America Golf Professionals will be competing in the 2024 PGA Professional Championship presented by Club Car, Corebridge Financial and Rolex. The championship will be played Sunday, April 28 to Wednesday, May 1, on the Fields Ranch East and West courses at PGA Frisco in Frisco, Texas.

The PGA Professional Championship, the national championship for PGA of America Golf Professionals from across the country, features a 312-player field representing all 41 PGA of America Sections. The top 20 finishers will earn a spot on the Corebridge Financial Team to compete two weeks later in the 2024 PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky, from May 13-19.

Defending Champion Braden Shattuck is set to make his second appearance in the PGA Professional Championship after becoming the 11th individual in the championship’s history to win in his first appearance. The PGA Director of Instruction at Rolling Green Golf Club in Springfield, Pennsylvania, shot 9-under-par 279 to win by one shot last May at Twin Warriors and Santa Ana Golf Clubs in Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico.

The PGA of America Members representing the Philadelphia PGA Section include:

  • Braden Shattuck, Rolling Green G.C., Springfield, Pa.
  • Trevor Bensel, Sandy Run C.C., Oreland, Pa.
  • Brian Bergstol, Shawnee Inn & Golf Resort, Shawnee on Delaware, Pa.
  • Robert Fenton, Sunnybrook G.C., Plymouth Meeting, Pa.
  • Alex Knoll, Glen Brook G.C., Stroudsburg, Pa.
  • Chris Krueger, Kings Creek C.C., Rehoboth Beach, Del.
  • Danny Lewis, Philadelphia (Pa.) Cricket Club
  • Michael Little, Clubhouse 54, North Wales, Pa.
  • Michael Meisenzahl, Little Mill C.C., Marlton, N.J.
  • Zac Oakley, Bidermann G.C., Wilmington, Del.
  • Dave Pagett, Whitemarsh Valley C.C., Lafayette Hill, Pa.
  • Rich Steinmetz, Spring Ford C.C., Royersford, Pa.
  • Billy Stewart, Union League Liberty Hill, Lafayette Hill, Pa.
For full coverage, click here.

About the Philadelphia PGA Section
The Philadelphia PGA Section, covering eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware, is one of 41 geographical managing entities of the PGA of America. This Section manages nearly 900 PGA of America Members and Associates who are employed at over 590 golf facilities in our region.

Contact: Matt Frey, PGA, Communications Director, mfrey@pgahq.com