Ted Bishop Fired As PGA President

Following ill-considered comments about Ian Poulter on social media, the PGA of America has removed Ted Bishop from office.

Poulter’s criticisms of Nick Faldo and Tom Watson in his new book prompted Bishop to call Poulter a “lil’ girl” on Twitter and equate him on Facebook to a “little school girl squealing during recess.”


From the PGA of America:

The PGA of America Board of Directors voted today to remove Ted Bishop, the 38th PGA President, from office for insensitive gender-based statements posted yesterday on social media. The Board deemed the remarks to be inconsistent with the policies of the PGA.

“The PGA of America understands the enormous responsibility it has to lead this great game and to enrich 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 America 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 98th PGA Annual Meeting. PGA Secretary Paul Levy will assume the dual responsibilities of Vice President and Secretary until the election.

“The Members and Apprentices of the PGA of America must uphold the highest standards and values of the profession, as well as the manner in which we conduct ourselves at all times,” said Sprague, the PGA General Manager and Director of Golf at Malone (New York) Golf Club. “We apologize to any individual or group that felt diminished, in any way, by this unacceptable incident.”

It is a sad finish to what I think had started as a rather promising term as PGA President. Bishop had some great ideas about revitalizing the game, defended the common player against the ridiculous belly putter ban and made what seemed at the time an inspired choice in Tom Watson as Ryder Cup Captain. He apparently rubbed many the wrong way, but often leaders find themselves in that position.

In the end, it likely was the Ryder Cup that brought about Bishop’s downfall. I believe that no Captain and no Captain’s picks would have made the difference in this last contest. The Europeans just have better players right now. The team meltdown following the event, however, and the criticism of Watson’s leadership turned a loss into a very ugly scene. I imagine that as the guy who picked Watson,  Bishop has been very sensitive lately.  That’s no excuse for Bishop’s remarks, but it perhaps is an explanation.



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3 thoughts on “Ted Bishop Fired As PGA President”

  1. My thoughts on Bishop’s comments:
    1. “Lil girl” is akin to bullying and hazing. And if the PGA of America would like to grow the game and bring in new players (starting with children) then they shouldn’t be bullying anyone. It sets a bad example.
    2. Bishop would have done better to read Poulter’s book and get from it the secret to Euro Ryder Cup success. He spells it out when he describes his own passion for it.
    3. Bishop is obviously still stinging from the Mickelson/Watson issue and can’t let it go. It’s one thing to defend Watson but Faldo is Europe’s guy and Bishop shouldn’t be trash talking Poulter on the Faldo issue.
    4. I didn’t see it as a sexism thing even though many women felt as if those comments pointed to an opinion that women were inferior to men.
    5. Poulter’s comments on Faldo are actually pretty restrained given what’s he’s capable of. In other parts of the book, Poulter writes about what he respects about Faldo. And it’s Faldo’s place to address Poulter’s comments. Not Bishop’s.
    6. Two ways to look at the dismissal: one, only a month to go before Bishop leaves anyway so just cut him loose now and two, there’s more to it than that and this was a culmination of several other actions. For Bishop to just come out with these comments out of the blue suggests that he may have been dealing with something else in his job that we don’t know about.

  2. A few thoughts. 
    As someone who’s 10 y/o girl is taking up the game, Bishop ticked me off with that.

    Who did he not tick off? Poulter.  Poulter (who I like, and took a moment to talk to my daughter last year and give her a ball ON SUNDAY at the St. Jude on 17 green) – is about noise and fun and publicity – he hasn’t won that much, or in a while (other than Ryder events) – but he’s got a good sponsorship package based on his personality and self-promotion.  He was trying to sell the book, and this just sold more books.

    Poulter being on that team has a right to speak about what may or may not have gone well and the captain… and more than that, he is the face of European Ryder Cup for the last few cups, which gives him even more of a right to speak up.

    Why does Bishop feel the need to speak up for Faldo.  Faldo doesn’t seem to have a problem with talking…  And shouldn’t Bishop be focused on the USA issues?  Why wade into a Euro issue?

    I think the removal was the right thing to do…. but the part where his presidency is being erased?  That is overreach.  He should be recognized as a past president.


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