THE TOUCH OF A TYKE

Who is Kerry Haigh – and why is a York­shire­man set­ting up Bel­lerive?

Golf World (UK) - - PGA CHAMPIONSHIP -

Born in Don­caster but now a res­i­dent of Jupiter, Florida, Kerry Haigh is the Chief Cham­pi­onships Of­fi­cer of the PGA of Amer­ica. He’s the man ul­ti­mately re­spon­si­ble for how the course will play.

So, how does a man from Don­caster end up set­ting up the PGA Cham­pi­onship course?

The short ver­sion is that I was of­fered a po­si­tion at the LPGA in 1985. I’d worked for the PGA of Great Bri­tain and Ire­land for four years and was ready to learn more about the golf busi­ness, the rules and how Cham­pi­onships are man­aged. I al­ways had a love for the game and the rules and that helped me de­velop an in­ter­est in how cour­ses are de­signed and how they should be set up. I’ve been with the PGA of Amer­ica since 1989.

How will Bel­lerive set up – what do you have in store?

My phi­los­o­phy has al­ways been pretty sim­ple and that won’t change for this one. I’m keen to bring out the course’s char­ac­ter­is­tics, to make play­ers of all abil­i­ties think about how they might want to play a par­tic­u­lar hole and to not get in the way of the play­ers and don’t be seen. A good course set-up guy should not get in the way of great golfers and great cour­ses. My phi­los­o­phy has al­ways been to sim­ply al­low the play­ers to show­case their skills. And of course, I try to pro­vide a va­ri­ety of hole lo­ca­tions – easy and dif­fi­cult – and use com­mon sense based on the day’s weather fore­cast.

Which US PGA Cham­pi­onship setup are you most proud of?

I hon­estly can’t spec­ify a favourite, there have been so many. I’m al­ways fo­cus­ing on the next one.

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