Since becoming PGA of America's chief executive officer in 2018, Seth Waugh has seen golf expand and bring in new audiences even during a pandemic when sports were largely stopped. Sitting down with CBS Sports HQ at the 2022 PGA Show, Waugh dove into his experience with PGA of America and where he hopes the game go from here.
Among the rather unexpected events Waugh has witnessed in the game came recently when 50-year-old Phil Mickelson won the 2021 PGA Championship. Mickelson topped a strong leaderboard at one of the top events of the year, beating out Brooks Koepka, who is 20 years his junior, by two strokes.
"Sports is crazier than theatre. You just can't kind of make it up," Waugh said. Watch his full interview in the player above. "… You just kind of couldn't believe it was happening. … He's an amazing athlete, an amazing performer. One of those guys that gets better when it matters most."
When looking back at the win, Waugh said: "Am I surprised? Yeah. Am I shocked? Probably not. ... It's part of the beauty of this sport. … You can do it forever. … It's an awesome game."
What is also admired about the game right now is how it is growing along with the world around it, something Waugh encourages.
Speaking of progress of golf, Waugh said, "We have to sort of go where the puck's going. We can't be protecting our grandparents' game; we've got to figure out where it needs to go."
Waugh's perspective is golf needs to move faster or the game of golf going to get run over.
"We just got to embrace it rather than be afraid of it," he added.
Waugh has also seen golf expand: "The leadership of the game has never been more aligned towards making sure this is generational. … It's much more welcoming and invitational to invite everybody to play the game. And the fastest growing cohorts of this growth are juniors. … The other two fastest [growing groups] are women and people of color."