Last Week's Program: February 5, 2018
No Longer on the Road Again
Jeff Hintz settles in as CEO of Minnesota PGA 
Jeff Hintz, CEO of the Minnesota PGA spoke to Coon Rapids Rotary on February 5, 2018.
If the past was any indication of the future, it's quite likely that Jeff Hintz wouldn't be here now.  The former Director of the 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National in Chaska, probably would have moved on to another event on the PGA tour.  That had been his history, until he decided to stay in Minnesota with his family after the 2016 Ryder Cup was over.  In January of 2017, he was named CEO of the Minnesota PGA section, which represents more than 600 PGA members in Minnesota, North and South Dakota.  The Minnesota PGA's office is located on the lower level of the Clubhouse at Bunker Hills.  Last Monday, Jeff spoke to Coon Rapids Rotary about the work of the Minnesota PGA, what went into organizing the 2016 Ryder Cup - along with his insights on the value of mega events like Super Bowl LII, which was hosted earlier this month at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
Hintz started his career as an intern with the Coldwell Banker Burnet Senior Classic in 1999 and eventually moved around to various cities on the PGA tour to assist with event planning on the regular PGA Tour and Senior Tour.  Eventually he was tabbed for the 2016 Ryder Cup, which brought he and his family to Minnesota.  The 41st Ryder Cup was played at Hazeltine National and required 4,000 volunteers to assist the 295,000 guests who visited the event in October of 2016.  The tournament included new twists on a traditionally button-up, stoic audience: music, a kiss cam and other things meant to entertain the masses.  He believes the 2016 event helped transform the sport and make it more accessible to the public.
Hintz also spoke about the important work of the Minnesota PGA in helping to promote the game to the next generation of players.  The Drive, Chip & Putt program is geared toward youth and lasts 10 weeks in the summer.  There were 1,800 youth who played in 180 events in 2017.  Additional programming is offered for veterans and disadvantaged populations to make the game more inclusive.  Golf is going through a transition.  The number of courses has been in decline in recent years, leading to fewer job opportunities for PGA professionals in the teaching and management fields.  The Minnesota PGA is doing its best to change those trends.  Thanks to Jeff Hintz for his remarks and to Tim Anderson for arranging the program.