M.G. Orender of the PGA of America and United States Captain Hal Sutton
September 14, 2004
JULIUS MASON: Hello, ladies and gentlemen, M.G. Orender, the President of the PGA of America and the United States Captain Hal Sutton joining us to talk about Ryder Cup and some of the neat things that are happening because of the Ryder Cup in Michigan and around the nation and what that I'd like to go ahead and turn it over to the President of the PGA of America, Mr. M.G. Orender.
M.G. ORENDER: Thank you, Julius, there's a lot of excitement getting ready to happen on the golf course but because of that excitement there are some wonderful things happening off of the golf course as a result of the Ryder Cup Matches.
As you all know, in 1999 we began a program, Ryder Cup Player Charity program which allowed the players to do two things. One, to direct up to $100,000 to the University of their choice and $100,000 to the charity of their choice.
On behalf of the U.S. Ryder Cup Team and their Captain Hal Sutton it's our pleasure to continue that program and direct 2.6 million to those programs as a result of proceeds of the Ryder Cup. 1.3 will go to a designated charity and $1.3 million will fund the Golf and Business For Life Program and those of you not familiar Golf and Business For Life it was a program that was started in 1999 at Purdue University at the suggestion of Pete and Alice Dye, and the program is funded by the PGA through this program directed by the players.
What we do is we take college juniors and seniors and we use golf and PGA golf professionals to teach those young people, not only how to play golf, but how to use golf as a business tool when they graduate to help with his or her careers.
The additional charities are wide-ranging that the players direct their money to. I can only speak, as a Ponte Vedra resident, to two programs in Ponte Vedra, one was funded by David Duval and the other by Jim Furyk. They are both programs that directly impact children, the building of soccer fields, baseball fields and junior programs in my community that my children and many other children have the opportunity to avail themselves of. So the programs are varying from women's homes to children's programs all across the country.
This brings a total since 1999 of $7.8 million that the PGA has contributed on behalf of Ryder Cup players to the Player Charity Program.
We are very proud of that program. With the latest contribution of 16 universities this year that was directed by the players, we now have 52 universities nationwide that are participating in Golf For Business and Life.
In addition to the Ryder Cup player charities, we have extended our commitment to philanthropy starting this year. We have developed two new programs. The first program that we've added this year is called the Ryder Cup Captain's Challenge presented by Cadillac. It will feature nine past Ryder Cup Captains with amateurs playing in that event which will be held tomorrow.
The next is a Ryder Cup Champions Invitational presented by MGM Grand featuring sports and entertainment celebrities that will be played on Thursday, as well as a program called Legends Fore Children presented by the Children's Charity Coalition which will be an extravaganza of Motown music, food, personalities and orchestras. The bottom line is that between those programs we will raise an additional $1 million that will all go to Detroit-area charity programs.
While all of that is going on, Oakland Hills took 160 tickets that the PGA of America made available to them and used those for local fund-raisers, a total of 76 charities in the southeast Michigan area were able to generate $400,000 as a result of that program.
The PGA Foundation has donated to some 300 PGA Chalet credentials for today and Wednesday's practice rounds to 12 charities. They are going to use those to bring out and entertain prospective donors and participants in their charities. So the open end of that is, as we would say, priceless. There's no way of knowing how much money ultimately will be raised from that program.
Additionally we have the Lighthouse of Oakland County which is also a big winner. They have provided volunteers to restaurant associates, and they will be given ten percent of the profits from all food and beverage this week which will be an additional $100,000. These are just examples of the impact that the Ryder Cup is having in this immediate area.
And what I'm very excited about and you've heard me talk about it all year is Play Golf America. Play Golf America is an example of the way that the PGA uses the profits from the Ryder Cup to help to grow the game and communities. We have a program here in Detroit called Midnight Golf that we have been participating in for the last few years, and it's a wonderful program. It takes teenage children who, when they get out of school in the afternoon, they have generally single-parent homes. They don't have anyone to supervise them, and it creates a safe place for them to go using golf as a hook to go in and do their homework, to learn responsibilities, and to learn the game of golf.
Midnight Golf is growing because of the contributions of the PGA of America that are those are just examples. We are very proud of not only those programs but we are proud of the success of the Ryder Cup, and overall I would tell you, since 1991, because of the Ryder Cup, we have been able to invest $38 million directly into the growth of the game and the support of the industry of golf in this country.
So we are very pleased with the growth of that. We are very grateful to the players. These are the best players in the world. They could be doing a lot of things but they choose to take this week and come here for professional golfers. This is the Olympics of golf and they know they are here to represent their country, but they are also very much aware of the good things that this week, the fruits of their labor this week bring to the golf community and to communities all around the country. We are very proud of the success of the Ryder Cup and we very proud of these outreach programs.
Thank you, Julius.
JULIUS MASON: M.G. thank you very much. Hal Sutton, you've had an opportunity to reach out three times as a Ryder Cup Team member through this program. If you have an opportunity just to share a little bit about who is benefitting in your backyard.
HAL SUTTON: I got my education at Centenary College in Louisiana. They have been the beneficiary of three times $100,000 for their program. Martin Stuart, who is a Class A professional who is also a good friend of mine, teaches that program for Centenary College. On behalf of the American players, we were all taught by Class A professionals, they are all part of the 28,000 professionals that are members of the PGA of America. They all benefit from this and as we benefitted from their knowledge, they got some of their knowledge from other professional golfers.
So, this has been a win/win for everybody. I think another little side note of this is to tell you where the Ryder Cup, how many different places it touches. Bob Seeger came to the room last night to pick up some tickets that he had bought, paid $15,000 for these tickets that went to junior golf. You know, so there are a lot of people in the world that are paying a bunch of money to do things so that golf can grow. It's a great game and anybody, I'm a friend of anybody that helps this game grow and it's certainly the PGA of America is doing just that.
JULIUS MASON: Thank you, Captain, M.G. We're happy to entertain questions, folks.
Q. M.G. it sounds like you're going to have about 40,000 people a day coming through here and you had about the same number at The Country Club and you had problems with people hitting the beer tents too hard. What have you done in terms of controlling the alcohol consumption here and are you at all concerned about 40,000 being maybe too many people for this venue?
M.G. ORENDER: 38,000 is the cap, and that includes volunteers, all of the people working here on the property. We have tried to reduce the number slightly.
With regard to the alcohol we have created both at the corporate venues and the public venues. And basically once they go in, they can have all the fun they want, but they are not going to bring the beverages back out on the golf course. We have signs there and security and we are going to try to contain it to those areas. And for those what want to sit in front of the television or the big screens and have a great time, let them have it and those that want to come out on the golf course and come out and have a good time.
We learned something at The Belfry, frankly. We watched the way it was conducted there and it worked very well. We are trying the same thing here. And as a second or as a follow-up to that, the security, our people here know that anyone that exhibits unruly behavior, we are going to get them off the property. We are not going to tolerate it. We are going to conduct these matches in the spirit the way they are intended to be and we want the fans to be loud and have fun but we expect them to conduct themselves properly.
Q. Could either of you sum up what you think it means to the players that so much of these proceeds goes to charities and goes to different groups to help out in the community?
CAPTAIN HAL SUTTON: I think we posted the letters, Julius did, in the team room last night from all of the alma maters where the guys donated the money.
The first thing when we got back from the Big Rock last night is everybody walked over and read the letters from the president of the college or the head of the athletic department. It means a lot to them. They are proud to be able to do that for their alma mater but more importantly they are proud to be part of growing the game. And because of the PGA of America, they have helped the players afford doing that, basically, and because of the Ryder Cup, the PGA of America can do it.
Q. M.G., you about half-answered this already, but with respect to the fans and what's going to be allowable in terms of cheering and the rah-rah and the hubba-hubba, is it going to be zero tolerance in terms of directing comments at certain players? Obviously that's going to be a subjective call that someone is going to have to make. How are you looking at that and what guidance are you going to impart to the security?
M.G. ORENDER: We are not expecting to throttle enthusiasm. People that cheer loudly that's part of the atmosphere of the Ryder Cup and that's fine. Spectators that are out there, if they abuse a player or officials from either side, the security, our security staff has been asked to deal with it. We don't need to have them here. Because you've got -- it's like any sporting event, 99.9 percent of the people out there are great fans and know how to conduct themselves. People unfortunately remember that 1/10th of one percent. We want the fans here to have a great experience. The players are going to have a great experience. They are out there to play these Matches with everything they have got from both sides and we want to make sure that they are conducted in a spirited and proper manner.
Q. Recalling back to '99 when the turmoil came up at Medinah about the money issue, are you surprised that out of that, rather in a tumultuous week, that the transition has come this smoothly this quick to a nice little system of the players designating the money to the charities where it's benefitting PGA programs, it's benefitting local programs and it's benefitting all manners of assistance that are dear to the players' hearts. Or was there a realization after '99 that something had to be done and fairly quickly?
M.G. ORENDER: First of all, the players in '99, all they were asking for is for some consideration; that they wanted -- they were proud to be Ryder Cup Team members. They wanted to be able to direct some money to charity. And once we understood that and they understood where the money went, there is no issues.
The players again last night when we were all together, those guys, as Hal said, those players appreciate being able to do something for their alma mater. They appreciate being able to do something in their community. One of the things I would encourage you to do is pick one of these up (media kit) on your a way out because it has by player all of the charities they have directed their money to and the universities.
The players are proud of that. Interestingly enough, Hal gave a very good answer a moment ago, but on the other side, there are many of these players who -- Davis's father obviously was a PGA a member, and as Hal said almost every up with of these guys lives were touched by PGA members. When they know that money is going to help grow the game or help elevate the standards and do things for those PGA members and make their careers better, these players have been fully supportive. We use the term surprised, but I'm not the least bit surprised it worked out that well. We just needed to sit down and listen to the players and I think we've addressed it. I think they have all been very satisfied since then.
CAPTAIN HAL SUTTON: I would echo that. Everybody is completely happy with everything that's going on. I hear no rumblings of anything any different than that, which is good because that means we can concentrate on making birdies this week.
M.G. ORENDER: That's right.
Q. M.G., are there any plans for extra security for Colin Montgomerie? In previous Ryder Cups in the U.S., he's been targeted by some of the fans and he's reacted.
M.G. ORENDER: If we have to, we'll put some more security to protect the fans. (Laughter.) No, not really.
I think the security that's out there is adequate for all of the players and officials and again if anyone misbehaves that we're aware of, we will certainly address it. We want everyone to be very happy here this week.
Q. I've just got back from Athens where you would not walk anywhere without being checked and what-have-you. Is the security this week greater than in previous Ryder Cups because of terrorists?
M.G. ORENDER: Well, I think we live in a day and age, that all sporting events, when you bring this caliber of athletes into one place and you have the attention of the world, have to have that.
I chose to use a different transportation mode this morning. I came through security and they are very thorough. I know that all of our vendors as far as their hiring practices, everyone is doing everything they can to ensure as much as humanly possible the safety of everyone from the hotels to the grounds here, and it is just the day and time we live in that we have to take other precautions.
JULIUS MASON: Questions? Questions twice? Captain Hal Sutton and M.G. Orender.
FastScripts by ASAP Sports ...
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