Jupiter, Florida, United States: Former PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem has been presented with the National Golf Foundation (NGF) Graffis Award.
The presentation took place at the annual NGF Golf Business Symposium in recognition of his golf business leadership and contributions to the growth of the game.
Finchem was Commissioner of the PGA Tour from 1994 through 2016 and established a legacy of growth, new events and prosperity over his 22-year tenure. During that time, the PGA Tour’s revenues increased from US$285 million to more than US$2 billion, while prize money climbed from US$56 million to almost US$300 million.
Finchem significantly expanded the Tour’s global footprint, helped successfully negotiate television deals that drove purse increases and deftly guided the PGA Tour through the financial crisis of the late 2000s.
Today, the organisation has more than 750 employees and is building a new 187,000-square foot global headquarters in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Both the Presidents Cup and World Golf Championships were introduced during Finchem’s leadership, as was The First Tee programme.
“We’re excited to celebrate Tim’s contributions as a leader and a champion of grow-the-game efforts,” said NGF President and Chief Executive Officer Joe Beditz. “After more than two decades of leadership at the PGA Tour, the game of golf is in a better place because of Tim Finchem.”
The Graffis Award is named in honour of the NGF’s founders, Herb and Joe Graffis, the former having been inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1977 for his extensive contributions to the business of golf and his advancement of the game. The award reinforces the NGF’s position mission to foster the growth and vitality of the game and business of golf.
Previous winners of the NGF’s Graffis Award include Byron Nelson, Karsten Solheim, Judy Bell and Tom Watson.