Floridians may be feeling the sting of a big loss if the rumored plans become a reality and West Palm Beach loses the PGA of America to Frisco Texas, according to a report from Golf.com.
Geoff Lofstead, executive director of the South Florida PGA based in Atlantis, said all he has been told so far is that “absolutely no decision has been made on the future. What that means I don’t really know, but there has definitely not been a decision made.”
GA of America staffers declined all interview requests Thursday, offering only the following statement: “Last year we issued a proposal to a number of markets that are potentially well suited and interested in developing a new headquarters campus for us. The due diligence phase is ongoing and no decisions have been made.”
A Golf.com report stated that the organization, whose primary purpose is to serve the 28,000 club pros across the U.S., is “poised” to move its approximately 210 staff members to Panther Creek, just north of Dallas. But members of that staff insisted privately Thursday that the process is ongoing and no decision has been made.
Palm Beach County was among the markets solicited. Kelly Smallridge, CEO, and President of the county’s Business Development Board told The Post Thursday that she was approached by a consultant about nine months ago and told the PGA of America was outgrowing its two buildings that comprise about 60,000 square feet of office space and looking for alternatives.
The move to Frisco’s Panther Creek, home to the Frisco Star and to the Dallas Cowboys Headquarters, would drastically reshape the golf landscape of North Texas bringing two new 18-hole semi-public courses. One will be designed by Gil Hanse, whose portfolio of original courses includes the 2016 Olympic Golf Course for Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and the illustrious Vineyard Club Course in Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard Massachusettes in 2015. The other course is to be designed by Beau Welling whose completed courses include the 27 Club of Tianjin, China in 2015 and the Greenville Country Club Course, Greenville South Carolina, in 2013.
The first course could be delivered as early as 2020, and if that happens, will go a long way in helping Frisco host events like the Ryders Cup and the PGA Championship.
We don’t know what the future will bring in terms of the PGA but we at the Ritz Group are thrilled to see our lovely DFW area becoming the competitor it is. We’re definitely looking forward to what the future brings and we have our ears to the ground on this story as it develops. Keep checking back to our blog for updates.
Hopefully, we’ll see you on the course!