Tone deaf PGA of America wants members to take out loan to pay dues during virus shutdown

March 28, 2020- by Steven E. Greer

I have been the most vocal critic of the PGA of America ever since I realized that it is a big bloated crooked sporting body akin to FIFA and the IOC. It exists to collect TV rights revenue for the Ryder Cup and PGA Championship, not to “further the game”

The CEO is Seth Waugh. He ran the scandalous Deutsche Bank after the financial collapse of 2008. Before he resigned, his bank was still servicing Jeffrey Epstein long after his conviction on charges related to pedophilia and underage prostitution.

Now, as the nation’s economy has shut down, hitting leisure and sports hard, with most golf instructors out of work, the PGA of America is insisting that their Ponzy scheme membership dues are still expected to be paid. The PGA has provided for 5% interest loans for those who cannot afford to pay. How kind of the PGA.

Well, this is causing a firestorm, as would be expected. Some PGA members have written the following:


PGA Member #1: “Hey, there is an absolute firestorm of pissed off PGA Members who saw an email and video from PGA HQ yesterday telling us that we still have to pay our PGA membership dues on time.  WTF? I’m so mad, I can’t see straight.

Other CEOs are taking pay cuts, including PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan who is not taking any comp…and his entire executive staff taking substantial pay cuts. That is NOT happening at PGA of America!


PGA Member #2: “If I can’t pay my association dues this year, the PGA of America wants me to take out a loan at 5% interest so I can stay an active member and not be dropped from membership.  Did they ever stop to consider that many of the 28,000+ golf professionals who are members of the PGA might not have enough income between now and July 31 due to COVID-19 to pay the mortgage/rent, let alone PGA Annual dues?

First, Section Championship during Ryder Cup week on US soil (minor I know but when the discussion comes up about benefits and who they cater to, I’ll chime in), now this.  I guess they missed the part where the PGA’s Mission is to serve the member and grow the game. *but only if you can pay during a global pandemic

This so disappointing.   Look around.  Coaches are facetiming lessons from their living rooms!!  Golf courses are closed!  Many of us are out of work and trying to figure out how to evolve.  Golf as we know it is absolutely changing.

The ones in charge aren’t innovating….they’re hiding behind reality and are completely reactionary.  I get that current times are uncertain….. so why not calm the F down about the money and work on solutions while your membership is turned on it’s head?

Amateur status never looked so good.  My 2-year countdown starts now.


PGA Member #3: “At a time when 28,000 men and women need their association the most, the PGA of America shanks it out of bounds again!  If you ever needed proof of just how out of touch the PGA is with their 41 Sections and their members and associates, read the email from Palm Beach Gardens regarding your dues.

It is unbelievable that with golf facilities closed, professionals and associates laid off, commerce at a stand still, and lessons and clinics cancelled in the interest of social distancing that the largest sports organization on the planet cannot figure out a way to postpone or prorate the dues in such a way that does not make its members YET AGAIN question the need to even be a PGA Member.

To suggest we take a loan at 4.99% to pay our dues only further shows lack of concern for the real debts your members are accruing every day of this crisis. You had an opportunity to stand by us and you blew it!

And I guarantee it is no surprise to any PGA Professional who has had the unfortunate need for the associations antiquated employment, education, or benefit assistance programs in the past. If it comes down to paying our vendors to stay in business, our mortgages to house our families or our grocery bills to feed them, and paying YOUR dues, I’d prepare yourselves for a reduction in the ranks.

Because as members and associates, as well as facilities re-forecasting their expenses begin weighing  the benefits against the cost after the financial ruin this crisis has and will continue to wrought on the business of golf, PGA membership will be seen for all that it really is; a magazine subscription meaningless to the 15,000 facilities in this country and only of value to the 10 best players in the 41 sections.  To manage a payment plan spread over 6 or 12 months interest free, or to defer dues till October would show understanding.

Your email and commitment to SOP shows a complete lack of understanding, and I don’t believe I am the only one who sees it.  #shameonyou

Update August 15, 2023-

A PGA professional sent me this:

So, my phone started ringing this morning and I’ve had a few phone calls and text from PGA Pros and even a national golf writer because PGA of America HQ just gave the hatchet to 22 headquarters staff and let them go because there’s a $6 million budget deficit. That is such a freaking joke. It’s ridiculous. They spent 35 million and a lot more on that new headquarters and it’s like a ghost town because nobody’s in there. They had all these people pick up their families and move from Florida to Texas and within a year they let them all go. We can add this to the Seth Waugh expose and for a so-called financial guy he’s doing a piss poor job if all of a sudden they’re 6 million in the hole.

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