Only two days into his term as Canadian PGA president, Glenn Cundari understands the urgency of bolting from the gate and balancing that with the knowledge that he can’t try to “change the world in 24 hours.”
“Literally, it’s a historic day for the Canadian PGA,” he said in Moncton, where he named president on Wednesday, when another big story took place with the passing of the Professional Advancement, Career Enhancement (PACE) program voted in by the membership.
The passing of PACE combined with yet another big story that could break at any time means all hands on deck for Cundari, the board of directors and staff at the national office.
PACE, which was defeated once, is designed to ensure that Canadian PGA members have standardized training and knowledge of the golf industry, support members throughout their careers, enhance career opportunities and encourage development in specialized fields.
“Inevitably, there are going to be some things that come up that we didn’t cover off,” said Cundari of the need to react with revisions to PACE, a program that has evolved with aspects such as education and employment becoming priorities.
Now that the program is passed, the focus changes from information sessions with the Canadian PGA membership to communication with potential employers, notably the National Golf Course Owners Association, about PACE.
“The audience has changed. We have to meet with the NGCOA, their operators, their members and tell them the story,” he said.
“From the real life end, it’s about our members and about their employment opportunities and we have to really be out there helping (potential employers) understand what PACE is all about,” said Cundari, adding that internal changes will have to be dealt with in a review of the association’s strategic plan.
”Like any strategic plan, we’re in the process of reviewing our current one and frankly, we’re going to make some substantial changes to it, update it, have it more up to speed to where we are. We’ve changed so much so quickly in the last five years,” said Cundari.
Besides the passing of PACE information to potential employers of Canadian PGA members, the administrative side of the program will require staffing at the national office, which already has a couple of positions advertised.
“We’ve never really had a dedicated employment service in our office, so we know that’s a priority,” said Cundari, adding that is an issue that will be dealt with in the review of the strategic plan.
While PACE and the new president being named were the main stories out of the annual general meeting in Moncton, another bit of news that could break at any time is the revival of the Canadian PGA Championship, now into its fifth year of dormancy.
The last time that tournament was played, it was a Nationwide Tour event won by Jon Mills in 2005, but Cundari says the board is putting together the pieces of a new event.
Certainly, a title sponsor would be a big piece of that puzzle and Cundari admits that saying they are close on the tournament’s revival is an old story.
“I would describe it as we are razor thin close right now. We’ve been saying close now for a couple of years and I think people are getting fatigued of `Yeah, we’re close.’ We’ve heard that before,” said Cundari.
“We are literally right there,” he said. “We have everything we need right now, but the pieces have got to fit together and if the pieces don’t fit together, then it won’t work. We’ve got to take the building blocks and put them together,” he said.
There are other priorities as Cundari’s term progresses such as the progress of education programs that have evolved over the past few years and the Canadian PGA’s role in Long Term Player Development and junior development with the Royal Canadian Golf Association, a particular interest of Cundari’s over the years.
There has been a new branding/image enhancement initiative undertaken and Cundari says he hopes to continue to build the relationships with other global PGAs and domestic associations within the National Allied Golf Association that were strengthened by past presidents such as his predecessor Lindon Garron.
“Part of my job is not to fumble the ball that Lindon’s done a great job carrying,” said Cundari.
That will be accomplished over two years as opposed to a couple of days.