The Forecaddie got so excited about the PGA Championship coming to a legitimate public course that he called up Bethpage Black looking for a lesson. Of course, The Man Out Front is a bit of a diva, so he could work only with a Class A PGA Professional.
Turns out, such a commonplace Class A professional has not been an option in years at Bethpage. Given that the PGA of America is a members’ organization that annually highlights the role of the host professional at the PGA Championship, this little oversight apparently needed remedying.
Even though Bethpage has a wonderful Golf Channel Academy branded operation headed by Kelley Brooke and a diverse team of teachers, none are Class A PGA pros and only one appears to be attempting to go through the PGA certification process. So the PGA of America likely wisely realized all of the good vibes from going to a public venue might take a beating from the lack of a Class A pro on the staff.
If nothing else, the void wasn’t exactly selling the world on the merits of the PGA program. But now a new name has turned up on the Bethpage instruction academy page, minus a biography to this point given the recency of Charlie Bolling joining the team. He’s a longtime area pro who was last seen trying some European Senior Tour golf and running his own golf business called Delivery Point Golf.
A longtime fixture on Long Island, Bolling gives the PGA of America some nice cover if anyone asks whether they have one of their Class A pros at the complex. Even better for Bolling’s job security, the Ryder Cup is five years away and that’s a PGA of America event, too.
As for next year’s public course venue in San Francisco? TPC Harding Park has fine Class A pros in Mark Favell and Mitch Lowe. Whew. Gwk
(Note: This story appears in the May 2019 issue of Golfweek.)