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Ted Bishop “Unfriended” TSJ101 exclusive interview.

Ted Bishop-TSJ101 Exclusive PGA show / via flickr

PGA

You may think you can sum up Ted Bishop, former PGA president of America, by defining him from the infamous 22 hours that a “tweet” took him from the top of the golf world to being removed from his position, but there is always more to the story.   Bishop is about to release his new book and tell his story, it’s about more than what the title says.

TSJ101 had an exclusive interview with former PGA of America president Ted Bishop.  We talked about the upcoming release of his new book.

“UNFRIENDED” The Power Brokers, Political Correctness, and Hypocrisy in Golf.

A little about Ted Bishop’s family:

Ted Bishop and his wife Cindy, live in Franklin, Ind.  They are the parents of daughters, Ashley Davidson, a membership director and event coördinator at The Legends Golf Club; Ambry Bishop, a PGA assistant professional at St. Andrews Golf Club in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY., and the head women’s golf coach at St. Johns University.

His career:

Ted Bishop has served since 1991 as general manager and PGA director of golf at The Legends Golf Club.  The Legends Golf Club is located in Franklin, Indiana.  He served as The PGA of America’s national spokesperson for the Get Golf Ready new player development program, PGA Board of Directors (2006), and served on the PGA board of control from 2002-2005.

Bishop was elected as PGA secretary in 2008, and PGA Vice President in 2010 and later went on to become the 38th President of the PGA of America at the 96th annual meeting on Nov. 10, 2012.  He was named the 1998 Indiana PGA Golf Professional of the year and was also named as a two-time (1996-97) Section Bill Strausbaugh Award recipient and was the Sections 1991 Horton Smith award winner.  On the golf course Bishop also had success as a four-time Indiana Open qualifier.

Building the game

Bishop was also in the forefront in 2014 to combat the decline in America of golf by helping to create a 10 person task force to help reach out to the “non-traditional ” golf enthusiasts. He was inducted into the Indiana Golf Hall of Fame on Oct. 22, 2013.  Bishop still continues to grow the game of golf by hosting U.S. kids Golf events, and junior programs such as The Legends Junior Elite Program and The Legends Junior Elite Prep Program.

THE TWEET-  

On October 23, 2014 in response to golfer Ian Poulter criticizing Ryder Cup Captain Nick Faldo, Bishop took to Twitter in defense of Faldo who is considered an icon by many in the golf world.

Bishop who has well been known for his advocacy of woman in the golf world made a mistake. A mistake that many of us have probably made.  Bishop Tweeted before thinking about the current PC culture we live in.  He didn’t curse or go on an all evening rant.  He simply sent out one tweet and one Facebook post referring to Poulter as a “lil girl“.

By the time he realized the error in his choice of words, the end was already upon him. Bishop then released this response:


His response:

“I want to apologize to Ian Poulter and anyone else that I might have offended with my remarks on social media that appeared on October 23, 2014. Particularly, I have great remorse that my comments contained the words “little girl” because I have always been a great advocate for girls and women in golf.

My two children, both girls, have made their careers in golf. I have a 4-year old granddaughter who I hope will someday play the game. In my 37-year career in golf, I have worked with many women to grow the sport.  I have been a champion for inclusion and equal rights for women in golf.

However, this is a classic example of poor use of social media on my part.  If I had the chance to hit the delete button on the things that I sent out yesterday, I would without hesitation. The PGA of America asked me to avoid any interaction with the media in the past 24 hours.  That is why I did not issue a formal and public apology, which I have wanted to do since early this morning.

This afternoon I was asked by my fellow Officers to resign my position as President. I declined because I wanted to speak to our PGA Board of Directors. I wanted to offer a personal apology and let the due process take place in this matter. The Board heard me out and then voted to impeach me as the 38th President. That is the due process and I respect that, as painful as it might be.”


The interview

That brings us to today and Ted Bishop is ready to share his story.  It is a story of rise and fall, and survival that inspired him to share it with us all.

PRO GOLF show/ via flickr

PRO GOLF show/ via flckr

TSJ101–    First off, how are things going for you now that you are back full-time as general manager at The Legends Golf Club?

Ted Bishop–      “I have enjoyed being back at The Legends full-time.  My college degree was Agronomy and I am spending a lot of time working outside on the course and The Legends is in the best shape it has been in years.”


TSJ101–    Take me down the path from your beginnings in golf to becoming the 38th PGA of America president.

Ted Bishop–   “I started working at Rolling Hills Par 3 in my hometown of Logansport, Indiana. in the summer of 1970, it  was just a summer job.  I immediately fell in love with golf and worked there for five wonderful summers.  After I graduated from Purdue University I became the Pro/Superintendent at the Phil Harris Golf Course in Linton, Indiana  I was there for 17 years from 1976-1992.  We built The Legends Golf Club in 1991.  In 1989 I had become involved in the Indiana PGA Board of Directors and that led to being the President of the Indiana PGA in 1997-98.  I became the District VI PGA Director in 2006 and was elected PGA Secretary in 2008.  I served as the 38th President of the PGA of America from November 2012 until October 24, 2014.”


TSJ101–    What do you consider your proudest accomplishment as PGA of America president?

Ted Bishop–    “We accomplished many things, but probably rebuilding the relationship with the PGA Tour.  People get The PGA of America and the PGA tour confused.  Tour players play golf for a living and PGA club pro’s teach and promote the game.  In 1968, the Tour split from the PGA of America.  The relationship had been contentious for decades.  I was able to form a close relationship with PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem and we accomplished many great things for both of our organizations by working together.”


TSJ101–    So what motivated you to write this book you are about to release?

Ted Bishop–    “I suppose there was some self-validation with “Unfriended.”  It is the first time the story of my impeachment has been told from my standpoint. There are no filters or media interpretation of the events.  But, the book is more than that.  It was a chance for me to share my incredible journey in golf with others.”


TSJ101    What kind of reaction have you been getting from PGA golfers and former PGA golfers on your upcoming release of “Unfriended”?

Ted Bishop–    “I think people in the golf community are looking forward to it with great anticipation.  The tone of the book is positive and hopefully it will give people who even thought they knew me, a little better perspective on who I am and what impact I might have had on golf.”


TSJ101–    I read in an interview with Golf digest that Donald Trump gave you a call of support.  What was that like to receive a call from a man of his stature?

Ted Bishop–    Mr. Trump is a friend and it has been really cool to watch a friend rise to the position of the Presidential nominee.  It doesn’t surprise me because he has been successful at everything he has done-particularly his golf course developments.  He was great to me when I was going through the PGA debacle and because of that, I am loyal to him.  That is how I am with my friends.”


TSJ101     Speaking of friends. Very few of us get to see loyalty from a friend like that of which Legendary golfer Tom Watson has shown you.  What does it mean to see how he stood up for you through the PGA ordeal?

Ted Bishop–    “My friendship with Tom Watson means more to me than anything I have accomplished in golf.”


TSJ101     Have you received any more push back from the PGA on your upcoming book release?

Ted Bishop–    “I hired a First Amendment law firm-Levine, Sullivan, Koch and Schulz in Washington DC.  They are one of the top First Amendment firms in the country.  They reviewed my manuscript and I ultimately let the PGA of America read it before it went to the printer.  I did that because I knew that 100% of what was in “Unfriended” was true.  I had not violated my confidentiality or fiduciary responsibilities with the PGA.  At the end of the process, the PGA accepted “Unfriended“.”


TSJ101     So when do you expect the release date for “Unfriended“?

Ted Bishop–    “We are looking at a release the first week of June.  The book can be purchased at www.tedbishop.org, classicofgolf.com or Amazon.com.  The cost is $27.50 plus shipping.


TSJ101–    I appreciate you taking the time to talk to me and I look forward to the book.   Before we go I have one last question.  What advice would you give young golfer’s that may want to pursue a career as a PGA professional?

Ted Bishop–    “Golf is a tough business.  You better have a love and a passion for golf.  Lots of hours and probably not great pay.  But as Mr. Trump says, “the first element of success is loving what you do and having great passion for it”.”

Trump

PRO GOLF show/via flickr

TSJ101 would like to thank Ted Bishop for sharing his journey with us.

Look for the book:

UNFRIENDED

The power brokers, political correctness, and hypocrisy in golf to be released sometime before Father’s Day .

www.Tedbishop.org, Amazon.com and classicofgolf.com

   

 

 


 

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