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Ian Baker-Finch named new Australian PGA Chair

POSTED ON May 29, 2024 @ 2:46 pm

Image credit: PGA Australia

Major champion and Australian golf icon, Ian Baker-Finch, will succeed Rodger Davis as the next Chair of the PGA of Australia.

A member-elected Director for six years and Deputy Chair for the past two years, Baker-Finch officially starts as Chair today following the Annual General Meeting yesterday on May 28, marking the start of a three-year term.

He takes over from Rodger Davis who has helped to guide the PGA through a tremendous period of change in his six years as Chair.

The 1991 Open Champion at Royal Birkdale, Baker-Finch, 63, has become one of the most respected voices in world golf through his television commentary in both Australia and the United States.

Given his status within the game around the world, Baker-Finch hopes to use his position to further advance the game in Australia.

“Throughout the world, the popularity of golf is booming, and my central focus will be to leverage that interest to help the game continue to grow in my home country,” said Baker-Finch.

“The PGA Professionals that our organisation represents are at the forefront of delivering a wonderful golf experience, whether that be at golf courses, driving ranges or indoor golf centres.

“I am of the firm belief that by making the game of golf stronger, we grow opportunities for PGA Members to continue their role as custodians of the game in Australia.

“The PGA of Australia also operates the Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia and the WPGA Tour of Australasia, both of which are integral in developing our Tournament Professionals to become world-class players.

“Both tours have experienced significant growth in recent times and we are seeing increasing numbers of Australians represent our country on major world tours.

“It is vital that we continue to expand these opportunities and continue to inspire the next generation to strive for success in golf’s showpiece events.”

Baker-Finch’s ascension to the role of Chair follows in the footsteps of Rodger Davis, who has served with distinction and dedication.

Providing leadership through the challenges presented by the pandemic, Davis was on hand for the signing of the long-term Strategic Alliance with the DP World Tour, along with the opening of the PGA Learning Hub at Sandhurst in 2022, a facility that will provide world-leading education and training for those wishing to work in the golf industry.

“I am incredibly proud of what we have accomplished during my time as Chair of the PGA of Australia,” said Davis.

“Through the hard work of our leadership team and a Board that boasts a wide array of knowledge and skills, I am pleased to leave the PGA of Australia in a very strong position.

“I have no doubt that Ian will lead with passion and integrity and carry the PGA of Australia forward into an evolving and exciting future.”

PGA of Australia CEO, Gavin Kirkman, praised Davis for his contribution to the PGA the past six years and is excited by Baker-Finch’s willingness to elevate his role within the organisation.

“We are very fortunate as an organisation that we can call on such respected and accomplished people as Rodger Davis and Ian Baker-Finch to Chair the PGA of Australia Board,” Kirkman said.

“Rodger has left a lasting legacy through his contribution as Chair and I have no doubt Ian will have a similar impact in the next three years.

“You only need to spend a little time with Ian at a major to appreciate the respect and esteem with which he is held throughout the golf world.

“I am excited to see what we can accomplish with Ian leading our highly accomplished Board.”

Tour player Matt Griffin was appointed as a Director at the AGM following the completion of Davis’s six-year term, while PGA Professional Josh Madden was reappointed for a second term.

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