THE TOUCH OF A TYKE
Who is Kerry Haigh – and why is a Yorkshireman setting up Bellerive?
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.