The PGA of America Board of Directors has voted to remove President Ted Bishop from office with just over a month remaining in his term as president.
Bishop who has been a frequent user of social media, took to Twitter to be critical of golfer Ian Poulter. Poulter was a member of the European Ryder Cup Team, that recently defeated Team USA to retain the cup.
Poulter has been outspoken about the problems and comments of the USA Ryder Cup Team, Bishop responded to one of Poulters latest tweets by calling him a “little girl.”
According to a statement by the PGA, that was grounds to end Bishop’s term as president. But while it appears that comment was the straw that broke the camel’s back, it’s not the only reason Bishop was forced out.
The PGA membership in general has not been happy about the leadership under Bishop in several area’s for months. In addition to the fiasco after the Ryder Cup, and the way Bishop appointed Tom Watson to be captain of the team in the first place, had left people concerned about the direction the PGA was headed under Bishop’s leadership. Bishop took heat for keeping Dick’s Sporting Goods as an advertiser during PGA events, after the sporting goods chain layed of 480+ PGA professionals this summer.
The PGA of America Board of Directors felt the latest remarks by Bishop were inconsistent with the policies of the PGA.
“The PGA of America understands the enormous responsibility it has to lead this great game and enrich the lives in our society through golf,” said PGA Chief Executive Officer Pete Bevacqua. “We must demand of ourselves that we make golf both welcoming and inclusive to all who want to experience it, and everyone at the PGA of Maerica must lead by example.”
Under the Bylaws of the PGA Constitution,Vice President Derek Sprague has been appointed the Association’s Interim President until Nov. 22, when the election of new national officers takes place at the PGA’s 98th Annual Meeting. PGA Secretary will assume a dual role of VP and Secretary until the meeting and elections are held.
“The members and apprentices of the PGA of America must uphold the highest standards and value of the profession, as well as the manner in which we conduct ourselves at all times,” said Sprague the GM and Director of Golf at Malone (NY) Golf Club. “We apologize to any individual or group that felt diminished, in any way, by this unacceptable incident.”
Bishop took down the tweet against Poulter, and wanted to apologize sooner but was told not to comment by the PGA. Bishop apologized to the board and spoke to them before the vote was taken to remove him from office. He will not be given the term Honorary President that is given to the immediate past president, nor will his presidency be part of any official history of the PGA.
For more information and Bishop’s full statement, see PGA.COM.