I held off serving up the weekend leftovers for one more day because of the long weekend and I’m glad I did, given the announcement that came out of the PGA of Canada on Tuesday that Kevin Thistle has been named its CEO, replacing Gary Bernard, who retired earlier this year.
It was no secret that this announcement was coming, just a matter of when the PGA of Canada was going to hit the send button on the release, I spoke with Kevin just last week about the blogs he’s been doing for GNN since our beginning and he didn’t mention what came on Tuesday. He shall be sternly reprimanded.
Seriously, we wish him the best in his new role as most are judging by tweets that began shortly after the announcement. You can read more here.
I’ve known Thistle since his early days at Angus Glen in Markham, Ont., where I not only watched him grow the business there with his focus on customer service and personal attention, but also direct such major events such as Canadians Opens, the Canadian Women’s Open and a Skins Game.
Those who just meet him might be concerned about his coffee intake, but his high energy level comes naturally without caffeine and he’s the eternal optimist. You could throw a mud pie in his face and he’d thank you and tell you he needed a facial anyway.
Even when the economy hits a rough patch of road, as it has several times during the time I’ve known him, Thistle talks not about the negative impact on business, but the opportunities it presents.
The next step, of course, is getting people to buy into that optimism even when the going gets tough and Thistle is renowned for his people skills, which will serve him well in any dispute resolution, a skill he’ll inevitably require in the relationship between provincial zones and the national office.
One advantage he’ll have in that relationship between the zones and the national office is his recent involvement in the PGA of Alberta as its national representative, something he took after leaving Ontario to join the Windmill Golf Group, based in Calgary.
That gave Thistle a close-up look at two different provincial zones after he served the PGA of Ontario in the same capacity to go along with sitting on the national association’s board, as well.
Add to that the relationships he has in other segments of the golf industry outside of golf professionals and it’s understandable that golf professionals may be caught up in Thistle’s trademark enthusiasm.
You can hear Thistle’s thoughts here.
More leftovers: J.J. Regan of Burlington, Ont., won the Great Lakes Tour Chanmpionship at the Legends on the Niagara Battlefield Course last week and that circuit’s Order of Merit for the year ….Graham DeLaet, Adam Hadwin and Nick Taylor are at this week’s CIMB Classic in Kuala Lumpur … The PGA Tour Champions schedule resumes this week in Cary, N.C., at the SAS Championship, where Stephen Ames and Rod Spittle are in the field … The LPGA begins its Asian swing at the KEB Hana Bank Championship in Incheon, South Korea, where Brooke Henderson, just off her win in New Zealand and Alena Sharp will tee it up … The majority of respondents, or 71 per cent, to last week’s GNN Poll like the idea of women being added to the Presidents Cup for a mixed gender competition to raise the profile of women’s golf, the event itself and the game overall … This week’s poll asks if the golf operation where you’re employed has received enough information to properly deal with legalized use of marijuana on the premises, with legislation due to kick in next July. So far, it’s a runaway as 96 per cent of respondents say no. If you haven’t already, you can cast your vote on the GNN home page.