Golf News for Tuesday, January 29, 2013 | People

Michael O'Donnell, Mike Quirk named to PGA of America positions

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- The PGA of America has named Michael O'Donnell, who has an extensive background with Nike Golf and Nike Golf Learning Centers/American Golf, as its new senior director of Golf 2.0 and Player Development. In addition, Mike Quirk, who previously served as director of Merchandising and Licensing for the U.S. Open, was appointed as The PGA's new senior director of Merchandising.

O'Donnell, who is the founder/principle of Emfor Enterprises, a business services consulting company, will steer the industry's retail plan for growing the game, Golf 2.0, while reporting to PGA of America Chief Operations Officer Darrell Crall. He will oversee all PGA of America Golf 2.0 and Player Development programs and promotions. In addition, O'Donnell will coordinate resources to help drive PGA member and PGA Section participation and consumer awareness. He will work closely with Allied Associations to develop, support and deliver various player development programs. O'Donnell will also identify opportunities to further the Association's Golf 2.0 strategic plan and its position as the leading organization in growth of the game efforts.

Quirk will oversee the development and implementation of The PGA of America's strategic initiatives and strategy for all of its merchandising, licensing and retail programs and operations including: On-Site Event Sales and Operations, Corporate Merchandise Sales, Licensing, PGA Authentic, Member Programs and Retail Development. He will work under the direction of Kevin Carter, the managing director of Business Development, to define, develop and execute The PGA's merchandising strategy.

"The PGA of America is delighted to add to our senior management team both Michael O'Donnell and Mike Quirk," said Pete Bevacqua, chief executive officer of The PGA of America. "O'Donnell brings a wealth of experience and expertise within the golf industry to drive our Golf 2.0 growth of the game and player development initiatives, which are the foundation for making golf a game for everyone. As well, Mike Quirk brings a tremendous array of retail knowledge and expertise to The PGA, after a decade of managing and steering the merchandising of world class golf operations and championships at the USGA."

For seven years, O'Donnell served as a marketing manager for Nike Golf, in Beaverton, Ore., where he focused on brand authentication at more than 1,100 green grass facilities. In 1999, O'Donnell began a five-year stint as vice president of American Golf Corporation, in Santa Monica, Calif., where he developed, integrated and managed the golf program for the world's largest multi-course owner/operator, with a focus on growing the game. During this time, he served on the Curriculum Committee for Golf 20/20. O'Donnell also was the head coach of the Canadian Ladies National Team from 1991-92; and the Director of Golf at Eaglequest Golf Centers in Vancouver from 1997-98, and at Westwood Plateau in Coquitlam, Canada from 1994-96.

As the USGA's director of U.S. Open Merchandising and Licensing, Quirk managed product and vendor relations, oversaw its point-of-sale operation and worked with its merchandise volunteer program. He joined the USGA as the Merchandising Department's assistant coordinator of operations in 2002. He was promoted to coordinator of operations the following year and moved to assistant manager for U.S. Open Merchandise in 2004, and eventually manager in 2005. He handled the daily operations of the on-site merchandise pavilion, developed an annual merchandise buy plan, directed inventory procedures and also helped design U.S. Open volunteer uniforms.

About The PGA of America
Since its founding in 1916, The PGA of America has maintained a twofold mission: to establish and elevate the standards of the profession and to grow interest and participation in the game of golf. By establishing and elevating the standards of the golf profession through world-class education, career services, marketing and research programs, The PGA enables its professionals to maximize their performance in their respective career paths and showcases them as experts in the game and in the multi-billion dollar golf industry. By creating and delivering world-class championships and innovative programs, The PGA of America elevates the public's interest in the game, the desire to play more golf, and ensures accessibility to the game for everyone, everywhere. As The PGA nears its centennial, the PGA brand represents the very best in golf.