A Q&A with 2019 PGA Championship Director Scott Reid
In 2019, the PGA Championship makes its move to May with Bethpage State Park's famed Black Course serving as host to usher in the major's second century. Though still more than six months away, many details are beginning to come to fruition. For a look at preparations and planning for the PGA Championship's long-awaited return to Long Island, we checked in with 2019 PGA Championship Director Scott Reid:
Extra: As Championship Director, can you give us an idea of the range of committees that you’re tasked with overseeing?
Scott: As Championship Director, I am responsible for the overall operation of the Championship, including the hiring and management of an on-site team, financials, sales and marketing, operations, volunteers, etc.
E: What items have been of highest concern with the PGA Championship’s shift from August to May?
S: In regards to planning for the PGA Championship’s move to May, we’re keeping a close eye on weather during the infrastructure build. We’ll start building the Championship infrastructure in mid-February as it takes three months to complete. We’re also focused on raising overall awareness of the new date and its place on the yearly golf calendar.
E: In planning for the first PGA Championship to be held at Bethpage, how much are you able to draw on previous championships conducted at the venue?
S: Bethpage’s rich history of hosting major championships allows us a chance to review what worked best, but also bring to life the unique atmosphere that is a PGA Championship. No two PGA Championship setups are alike and the 101st PGA at Bethpage is no exception. Kerry Haigh, Chief Championships Officer of the PGA of America, will design a world-class experience for players and spectators.
E: Still more than six months out, what are the top priorities at this time and what type of plans are being finalized?
S: Over the next few months, our top priorities are ticket and hospitality sales. Tickets went on-sale Oct. 9 and we’ve been excited to see the response from the New York region. We’re also working on finalizing the overall site plans for the Championship.
E: Between early ticket registration and tickets now being on sale, how does the fan’s excitement level seem to stand for this championship?
S: We’ve seen lots of excitement, especially coming off a tremendous 100th PGA Championship in St. Louis. It’s a chance to be a part of the first PGA Championship held on Long Island in 80 years, as well as its return to May at one of the country’s most storied golf courses.
E: Can you describe the positive impact such a championship has on an area?
S: As we host an international audience at Bethpage this May, the PGA Championship will bring an estimated $100 million of economic impact to the area.
E: What are you personally looking forward to most about this year’s PGA Championship?
S: The PGA Championship celebrated 100 years at Bellerive in St. Louis this past August and now we get to kick off the next century with the 101st PGA at Bethpage. I’m looking forward to seeing the great New York sports fans come out to Bethpage again to celebrate an iconic major championship on Long Island.