Author: Joe

Knoll Leads by Five Shots Heading into the Championship’s Final Round

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Read Day 1 Recap Here

Philadelphia, Pa. – Once again bright skies and seasonable temperatures greeted players at the Union League Golf Club at Torresdale and Riverton Country Club for the second round of the 98th Philadelphia PGA Professional Championship. For round two, players switched courses, meaning those players who played at the Union League on day one moved to Riverton Country Club on day two and vice versa.

Looking to piggyback off his record setting day one, Alex Knoll (Glen Brook GC) was the first group off at Riverton Country Club. While he did not set another course record, Knoll did post an impressive 2-under (69) in difficult morning conditions. Knoll had three birdies against one bogey to reach 10-under (131) after 36-holes and giving him a sizeable lead heading into the final round.

Two players in the field made major moves up the leaderboard after posting low scores on day two of the Championship. The first player to make a move was Brendon Post (Univ of Delaware). Playing at the Union League, Post posted four birdies, including a stretch of three in four holes from 10-13, before a lone bogey on the par-5 16th hole dropped him back to 3-under for the day and 5-under (136) for the Championship, placing him in solo second place five shots behind Knoll.

The biggest move of the day came from Ryan Lagergren (Stonewall) who posted the best round of the day, a 7-under (64) at Riverton Country Club. Lagergren had six birdies and an eagle on the par-4 18th hole to help him overcome an early bogey. Lagergren’s 7-under second round helped to erase a 2-over (73) in his opening round at the Union League and vaulted him into third place alone.

The final round of the 98th Philadelphia PGA Professional Championship will get underway at 8:30 AM at the Union League Golf Club at Torresdale with the Championship leaders, Knoll, Post and Lagergen set to get their final rounds underway at 12:15 pm.

In addition to the William B. Packer trophy, awarded to the Philadelphia PGA Professional Champion, the tournament also serves as a qualifier into the 53rd PGA Professional Championship set to be held at the Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa in Austin, Texas, April 26-29, 2020.

The Philadelphia PGA has 11 qualifying spots into next year’s event. With five players currently tied for the eleventh and final qualifying spot and another twenty players within four shots of the last spot there is plenty up for grabs in tomorrow’s final round.

For complete coverage of the 98th Philadelphia PGA Professional Championship be sure to follow the action on or via social media on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook (@PhiladelphiaPGA) or the #PPGAChamp.

Alex Knoll has Record Day at the Union League Golf Club at Torresdale

The first round of the 98th Philadelphia PGA Professional Championship got underway early on Tuesday, September 17. The three-day, 54-hole championship will be held at host facility Union League Golf Club at Torresdale as well as secondary facility Riverton Country Club.

The Philadelphia PGA Professional Championship is one of the premier events on the Philadelphia PGA calendar. At stake this week is the Section’s top prize the William B. Packer trophy, awarded to the Championship’s top finisher. Additionally, Professionals are competing for one of 11 spots into next year’s 53rd PGA Professional Championship to be held at the Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa in Austin, Texas April 26-29, 2020.

For much of the day it looked as though the two courses would be the story of the Championship’s opening round. For much of the afternoon the best score posted at the Union League was even par (70). While scores at Riverton Country Club were slightly lower, the best number posted on day one was from a trio of players who finished at 3-under (68).

However, playing in the last group of the day at Union League, Alex Knoll (Glen Brook Golf Club) was about to embark on a record setting day. After making a par on his opening hole, Knoll birdied the short par-4 second hole. After a par on the third hole, Knoll found his second birdie of the day on the par-3 fourth hole.

“The course played tough today,” commented Knoll on his opening round. “I know it sounds cliché, but I tried to just play one shot at a time. I wanted to keep the ball below the hole to give myself a chance at birdie.”

After a string of pars to close out his outward nine, Knoll really got his round going on the back nine. Opening with an eagle on the par-5 tenth hole, Knoll then made par on the long par-3 eleventh hole. After consecutive birdies on holes 12 and 13, Knoll parred the par-3 14th hole and was sitting at 6-under as he got set to play par-4 15h hole.

“I knew I had something special going today,” said Knoll. “I tried to use my experience from last year’s PGA Professional Championship to calm my nerves.”

Once again Knoll posted consecutive birdies on the back nine after finding red figures on holes 15 and 16 and was now 8-under, five shots ahead of his closest competitor and eight shots better than those players playing Union League in round one.

After a bogey on the par-3 17th hole, his only blemish of the day, Knoll quickly righted the ship and found the fairway with his tee shot on the closing hole. After his approach shot found the green, Knoll and a 20’ putt for birdie and an opening round 62. Like his did for most of the day, Knoll confidently stepped over his putt and drained one more birdie, his seventh of the day.

“This is by far my lowest competitive round,” said Knoll of his 62. “I have gone low in a couple Pro-Ams but nothing like this.

Not only does Knoll’s 8-under (62) put him in great position after the Championship’s opening round, it also places him in Union League Golf Club history. Knoll’s 8-under round set the competitive course record at Union League, a mark previously held by the legendary Sam Snead who had posted a (64) in the Henry Hearst Invitational held in 1941.

“It will be a cool story to tell, saying I broke a course record once held by Sam Snead,” said Knoll. “However, my goal is still the same, to qualify for the PGA Professional Championship. There is still 36-holes to play and I can’t’ let myself get to think too far ahead.”

Knoll heads into the Championship’s second round with a five-shot lead over past champions Rich Steinmetz (Spring Ford Country Club) and Stu Ingraham (M Golf Range) as well as Dave Fields. All players will now switch courses for the Championship’s second round. At the end of round two, the field will be cut to the low 60 players and ties who will return to the Union League Golf Club at Torresdale on Thursday for the third and final round.

For complete coverage of the 98th Philadelphia PGA Professional Championship be sure to follow the action on or via social media on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook (@PhiladelphiaPGA) or the #PPGAChamp.

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Brian Kelly Goes Low and Edges Field at TaylorMade Classic 

Mt Laurel, N.J. – The annual TaylorMade Classic, was played on Monday, September 9 at Laurel Creek Country Club in Mount Laurel, NJ. The event featured over 100 players and was a combined event with the Section’s Philadelphia Assistants’ Organization (PAO).

Playing early in the day, Brian Kelly (Bucknell Golf Club) posted a number for everyone to chase. Kelly made his way around the par-71 6700 yards long course relatively unscathed finishing with a score of 5-under (66). Kelly carded four birdies and one bogey on his outward along with three birdies and one bogey on the inward nine to reach his final number. Kelly’ seven birdies were the most of any player in the field. However, with much of the field still to play, Kelly needed to watch the leaderboard throughout the afternoon to see if his number would hold.

The first player to make a run at Kelly was Rich Steinmetz (Spring Ford Country Club). Steinmetz was able to overcome an early bogey on the par-4 second hole, his only blemish on the day, by scattering five birdies throughout his round. Unfortunately for Steinmetz, he fell one shot shy of Kelly finishing with a final score of 4-under (67).

Throughout the afternoon several additional players made a run at Kelly and the top of the leaderboard. Billy Stewart (The ACE Club), Brian Bergstol (Shawnee Inn & Golf Resort), and Michael Tobiason (Deerfield Country Club) all tried to earn a victory at Laurel Creek but unfortunately for the trio they all came up one shot short with a score of 4-under (67).

With no players able to match Kelly at 5-under, he earned his first win of the 2019 season as well as his first TaylorMade Classic win. The victory was twice as nice for Kelly as he also took home the top spot in the tournament’s senior division. Finishing in solo second place with a score of 3-under (68) was Greg Farrow (Deerwood Country Club). Four players finished tied for third after posting a score of 1-under (70). Included in that group was Rick Flesher (Phila PGA), Eddie Perrino (Eagle Rock Resort), John Appleget (The Shore Club), and George Forster (Radnor Valley Country Club).

Despite falling just short in the overall tournament, Don DeAngelis (Spring Ford Country Club) took home the top spot in the Super Senior division after posting a 4-under (67).

Played in conjunction with the TaylorMade Classic, the Section’s Philadelphia Assistants’ Organization (PAO) also held their own tournament. With most players playing in both events, the PAO field was one of the largest of the 2019 season. At the end of regulation, three players found themselves tied at the top of the PAO leaderboard with matching scores of 4-under (67). However, only two players remained at the course at the end of the day to compete in the payoff. After two holes of a sudden death playoff, Michael Tobiason (Deerfield Country Club) defeated Brain Bergstol (Shawnee Inn & Golf Resort) with an eagle on the par-5 ninth hole. Finishing in third place in the PAO tournament was Billy Stewart (The ACE Club).

The Section would like to thank our tournament sponsors TaylorMade Golf and our Section representatives Mike Zupi and Jay Junkin as well as our supporting sponsor BagBoy.

The next event on the Philadelphia PGA tournament calendar is the 98th Philadelphia PGA Professional Championship set to be played September 16-18 at Union League Golf Club – Torresdale and Riverton Country Club.

For complete coverage of the Philadelphia PGA be sure to follow us on our Social Media Channels Facebook / Twitter / Instagram.

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George Forster birdies seventh playoff hole to win $100,000 first prize at Haverford Philadelphia PGA Championship

By: Joe Juliano

George Forster was hoping to leave the stress of competition behind as he traveled Wednesday to Sunnybrook Golf Club to continue a playoff for the title of the Haverford Philadelphia PGA Championship. But with $100,000 on the line, it wasn’t easy.

Ultimately, what began as a seven-man playoff came down to Forster, the long-time head professional at Radnor Valley Country Club, and Philadelphia Cricket Club assistant pro Rusty Harbold, and went to the seventh extra hole before Forster knocked in a 12-foot birdie putt for the victory, his second in the event.

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Teams from Stone Harbor and Commonwealth Win at Summer Pro-Lady Team Championship

Plymouth Meeting, Pa. – The second Pro-Lady Team Championship was held on Wednesday, August 29 at Sunnybrook Golf Club. The summer Pro-Lady Team Championship featured 48 teams from across the Philadelphia PGA, featuring one PGA Professional and three female amateurs. The Pro-Lady Team Championship featured both a Gross and Net competition.

Leading the way in the Net division was the team from Stone Harbor Golf Club featuring Professional Jay Gross and his partners Carolyn Gavaghan, Martha Freda, and Anne Oberg who posted a team score of 15-under (57) to win by two shots. Finishing just behind Stone Harbor in a tie for second place were a pair of teams that finished with a score of 13-under (59). The first team to get to 13-under was from Lehigh Country Club and featured Professional Chris Wegner and partners Linda Epstein, Erica Hyman, and Debbie Hawk. Joining Lehigh at 13-under was the team from Woodstone Country Club with Professional Ray Silnik and his partners Barbara Barry, Terry Zerby, and Suzy Armbruster.

In the Gross division, it was the team from Commonwealth National Golf Club featuring Professional Patrick Shine and partners Kere Averett, Karen Siegel, and Shannon Reilly that took home top honors after posting a 7-under (65). The Commonwealth team narrowly edged out a trio of teams who all finished with a score of 6-under (66). Commonwealth reached their magic number in large part because of a stretch of seven consecutive birdies towards the end of their round. The teams finishing one shot back included a team from the Philadelphia Cricket Club with Professional Michael Ferguson and partners Marji Goldman, Joanne Bidwell, and Soohee Lim. A team from Spring Ford Country Club with Professional Rich Steinmetz and partners Gwen Ward, Anne Giannopoulos, and Michelle Finley as well as a team from RiverCrest Golf Club and Preserve and Professional Mike Matson and partners Allie Robertson, Toni Barbine, and Delia Keys.

The Section thanks our tournament partners Lincoln Motor Company, SynLawn and Jo-Fit as well as the membership and staff of Sunnybrook Golf Club for their support of the Philadelphia PGA and the Pro-Lady Team Championship.

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Terry Hertzog Wins 2019 Pro-Am for Wishes on First Playoff Hole

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WEST CHESTER, Pa. – On a cool, late summer day, the second and final round of the 17th Pro-Am for Wishes was played at Penn Oaks Golf Club in West Chester, Pa. The second round of the 36-hole tournament featured 50 Section Professionals and one amateur, who qualified because of his performance in round one.

Sitting atop the leaderboard as play began on day two was Zac Oakley (Bidermann Golf Club) who posted a 4-under (67) on day one to lead by two shots. Joining Oakley in the tournament’s final pairing were Michael Little (Lookaway Golf Club) and Dustin Wallis (Dustin Wallis Golf) who both posted an opening 2-under (69). A pair of veteran players also found red figures on day one. Rich Steinmetz (Spring Ford Country Club) and Dave Quinn (Laurel Creek Country Club) each posted a 1-under (70) and were playing in the penultimate group.

As players made their way around the course it was a name that was just outside the top of the leaderboard that made the biggest move. Terry Hertzog (Country Club of York) posted an opening round 1-over (72) and found himself five shots behind Oakley. However, as Hertzog played his second-round things got off to a quick start after a birdie on the opening hole. Hertzog added an additional birdie on the par-4 eighth hole and made the turn at 2-under bringing him into red figures for the tournament.

As Hertzog played his way back to the clubhouse, he added three additional birdies, including one on his closing hole helping him to overcome a late bogey and bringing his two-day total to 3-under (139). Although he was now the low man in the clubhouse, there was a lot of play behind him meaning Hertzog would have to wait to see if his number was good enough.

Overnight leader Oakley got off to great start with two birdies and an eagle against only one bogey on his outward nine which brought him to 7-under for the tournament. However, Oakley was unable to find any more birdies and unfortunately for him a couple of bogeys as well as a double on his closing hole dropped him into a tie with Hertzog at 3-under (139).

With no other players left on the course, Hertzog and Oakley headed to the first tee at Penn Oaks to start their sudden death playoff. After both players found the fairway with their tee shots, Hertzog hit his approach shot close and was able to convert his birdie putt giving him the win and title of 2019 Pro-Am for Wishes Champion.

Rounding out the podium in the Professional division was John Appleget (The Shore Club) who posted the only other sub-par round on day two helping him to move up the leaderboard and bringing his 36-hole total to 1-under (141).

Hertzog and Appleget also finished first and second in the tournament’s senior division and were joined by third place finisher Dave Quinn who posted rounds of 70-74 to finish with a tournament total of 2-over (144).

Next up for the Philadelphia PGA is the Summer Pro-Lady Team at Sunnybrook GC on Wednesday, August 28 in Plymouth Meeting, Pa. The Section would like to thank everyone involved in the Pro-Am for Wishes, including Penn Oaks Golf Club and all the supporting sponsors.

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PGA Junior League All-Stars from the Penn State League Advance to the Regionals after Winning the Philadelphia Section Championship

Lower Gwynedd, Pa. (August 23, 2019) – On a warm and humid summer day, eight PGA Junior League All-Star teams from across the Philadelphia Section gathered at Cedarbrook Country Club in Blue Bell, Pa., to compete in the PGA Jr. League Philadelphia Section Championship presented by National Car Rental. Teams earned their spots in the Championship by winning one of four qualifying spots in the two Divisional Qualifiers (West Qualifier – Out Door CC & East Qualifier – Penn Oaks GC) that were played in the weeks leading up to the Section Championship on August 19.

In the Championship’s first matches, teams from the East Qualifier (HVCC 1 vs Jersey Shore and Radnor vs North Philly 2) played the front nine (holes 1-9) at Cedarbrook Country Club while teams from the West Qualifier (Penn State vs Scranton and Lancaster vs Phoenixville) played the back nine (holes 10-18). At the end of the morning matches, HVCC 1 advanced after winning 8.5 to 3.5 over the team from the Jersey Shore league and Radnor advanced after posting 10 points to North Philly 2’s 2 points. In the West side of the bracket, Penn State moved on to the semifinals by winning 10 points to 2 points over Scranton and Lancaster advanced by beating Phoenixville 8 to 4.

As play moved to the afternoon and the semifinal matches, the four remaining teams switched sides of the golf courses giving each team a new look at Cedarbrook. Throughout the semifinal matches the four remaining teams should a lot of grit but in the end advancing through the East bracket was the HVCC 1 league after they beat the Radnor all-stars 8.5 to 3.5. In the West bracket the all-stars from Penn State found themselves in the Championship match for a third consecutive year after they outlasted the team from Lancaster earning 7.5 of the 12 available points.

After storms delayed the start of the Championship match, the teams from Penn State and HVCC finally got on the course at 4:00 pm. As the teams played their third match of the day, they were battling more than just their opponents, they were also battling exhaustion after playing golf in the 90-degree temperature all day. However, both team put forth a valiant effort but, in the end, it was the all-star team from Penn State that came out on top besting the team from HVCC 9 to 3.

The Penn State team will now travel to the Region 2 Championship where they will play for one of 12 spots in the 2019 PGA Jr. League Championship presented by National Car Rental at Grayhawk Golf Club (Scottsdale, Arizona) Oct. 11-14. This year’s Region 2 Championship is scheduled to be played on September 14-15, 2019 at Seaview Golf Club in Galloway, NJ and in addition to the Philadelphia Section PGA will feature teams from the Central New York Section PGA, Metropolitan Section PGA and the New Jersey Section PGA.

Led by coach Steve Wager, PGA the PGA Junior League All-Star team from the Penn State League was comprised of Isaak Bloom (Bellefonte. Pa.), AJ Corson (State College, Pa.), Crosby Denis Duncansville, Pa.), JP Hay (State College, Pa.), Luke McGraw (Boalsburg, Pa.), Nate Price (State College, Pa.), Kevin Stolberg (State College, Pa.), Brady Wager (State College, Pa.), Maxwell Wager (State College, Pa.), Reese Walizer (Mill Hall, Pa.).

The PGA Jr. League Postseason presented by National Car Rental is designed to celebrate the recreational spring/summer season held in March through July, as well as provide a fun and welcoming environment for the 19 percent of PGA Jr. League players who identify as competitive golfers. Following the regular season, 10-player All-Star teams were formed from a combination of players in each local league.

PGA Jr. League brings friends and families together around fun, co-ed team golf experiences, all with expert coaching and instruction from PGA and LPGA Professionals. Kids wear numbered jerseys and play on teams with friends, using a scramble format for competition that encourages mentorship and promotes sportsmanship. A record 50,000 boys and girls participated in PGA Jr. League last year, growing from 42,000 players in 2017. For more information on PGA Jr. League, visit

As the Official Partner of PGA Jr. League, National Car Rental is committed to growing future business leaders by growing junior golf. National Car Rental helps provide fun, engaging and welcoming experiences for PGA Jr. League golfers and their families all season and postseason long.

John Pillar Captures Philadelphia Senior PGA Professional Championship

John Pillar Captures Philadelphia Senior PGA Professional Championship;
Earns Berth in 31st Senior PGA Professional Championship

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(Malvern, Pa.) (August 20, 2019) – John Pillar of (Hawley, Pa.), winner of the Philadelphia Section Senior PGA Professional Championship August 19-20, 2019 at Applebrook Golf Club will lead seven Section PGA Professionals to compete Oct. 3-6, in the 31st Senior PGA Professional Championship.

The national Championship, presented by Cadillac and supported by Golf Channel and John Deere, will be held at Omni Barton Creek Resort and Spa in Austin, Texas.

Pillar turned in a winning total of 8-under-par 134 to capture the Philadelphia Section Senior PGA Professional Championship presented by Cadillac. Bob Lennon of (Wilmington, Del.) finished three strokes back at 5-under-par 137. They are joined by Brian Kelly of (Lewisburg, Pa.), Terry Hertzog of (Lititz, Pa.), George Forster of (Blue Bell, Pa.), Dave Quinn of (Marlton, NJ), Eddie Perrino of (Mountain Top, Pa.).

“I feel grateful to join the list of Philadelphia PGA Senior Champions,” commented Pillar of his win. “We have such a strong contingent of senior players in our Section and to be considered in the same sentence as those legends is truly an honor. “I’d be remiss if I didn’t recognize everyone at Woodloch Springs, especially my staff, who do such an outstanding job at home allowing me to compete in these events. I also need to thank the membership and staff of Applebrook Golf Club for providing such an outstanding venue for us to play these past two days. I am looking forward to the National Championship and playing with the best players from across the country.”

Pillar now joins a short list of players who have won both the Philadelphia PGA Professional Championship (2009) and Philadelphia PGA Senior Championship.

The Senior PGA Professional Championship brings together a field of 264 contestants representing the PGA of America’s 41 nationwide Sections and features a total purse of $300,000. The first two rounds will be conducted on the Foothills and Coore Crenshaw Courses. The first cut will be made after 36 holes of play to the low 90 scorers and ties. The second cut will be made after 54 holes of play to the low 70 scorers and ties. The final two rounds will be played on the Foothills Course.

Designed by Tom Fazio, the Foothills Course was recently ranked as one of the top courses in Texas by Golf Magazine. The course is protected by cliffs, waterfalls and creeks, making for a beautiful, scenic round, but also emphasizes the importance of accuracy. Drives from the elevated tee boxes must be precise to hit the fairways, and even more so when approaching the small greens. Previously, the Foothills Course was home to the PGA Tour Champions Legends of Golf tournament from 1990-1994.

A collaboration between course architect Bill Coore and two-time Masters Champion, Ben Crenshaw, the Coore Crenshaw Course is designed with the ideology that nature is the best architect. Although the holes feature lush, wide fairways, the dense trees to their sides will swallow any ball that misses its mark. However, the real challenge is found on the large, undulated greens that are sure to stump and frustrate players. The course’s beauty is really seen on the signature 18th hole. Running slightly uphill, approach shots must carry a creek to the low-lying green which is designed to appear as though it was carved into the hillside.

Begun in 1989, the Senior PGA Professional Championship is modeled after the PGA Professional Championship, with a field of 50-and-older senior PGA Professionals who advanced through 41 Section Championships conducted from June through August this year.

The top 35 finishers in the national Championship earn a berth in the 81st KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship, which will be conducted in May 21-24, 2020, at Harbor Shores in Benton Harbor, Michigan.

The top five finishers earn an exemption into the final stage of the 2020 PGA Tour Champions National Finals in November 2019. Since its debut, many participants in the Senior PGA Professional Championship have used their success in the event as a springboard to a PGA Tour Champions career.

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Eric McNamee and Partners Win 2019 AC Team Stableford Championship

Cape May Court House, N.J, – Nearly two months after its originally scheduled date, the 2019 Atlantic City Team Stableford was played at Union League National, a new venue for the Philadelphia PGA, on a warm and humid summer afternoon. For this rescheduled event, 25 teams traveled down the AC Expressway to the New Jersey shore for the championships that pairs one PGA Professional with three amateur partners playing a stableford points.

In the Net division, Eric McNamee (Golf Galaxy – Montgomeryville) and his amateur partners Joseph Boyle, Walt Hoffner, and Jesse Brookreson combined for a team score of 94 points, four more than their closest opponent. Each member of the team contributed to the overall score including every member of the team carding a natural birdies.

In the Gross division, the team of Eric Figueroa (McCall Golf and Country Club) and his amateur partners Jon Stein, Pat Reynolds, and Russ Loue took home the tournament’s top spot. While each member of the team contributed to the overall score, it was the fantastic play of Figueroa, who posted a 4-under (68) on his ball that led to the team’s first place finish.

The Philadelphia PGA would like to thank our tournament sponsors the Morell Studios, Maui Jim, Red Arrow Markers, and Morgan Stanley for their support of the AC Stableford Team Championship. The Philadelphia PGA also thanks the membership and staff of Union League National for their support.

The next event on the Philadelphia PGA calendar is the Philadelphia Senior PGA Professional Championship set to be played on August 19-20 at Applebrook Golf Club in Malvern, Pa.

For more information, visit or follow us on social media: Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

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2019 Philadelphia PGA Golf Day Marathon

OCTOBER is PGA REACH Philadelphia MONTH OF GIVING and we are looking for Philadelphia Section Members and Associates to help the cause by participating in our Golf Marathon. PGA Professionals can choose to play 100 holes of golf on any one day during the month of October at their local club to help support programming for Youth, Military and Diversity. Participating Professionals will solicit donations from their members, customers, family or friends to help us reach our overall GOAL of $25,000! The money raised will help fund specific programs including Golf in Schools, PGA HOPE, and PGA Jr. League funding for kids in need of financial assistance