CEO & President
David Abeles is President and CEO of TaylorMade Golf Company, overseeing all business units for the TaylorMade, Adams and Ashworth brands.
A 15-year veteran of the company, Abeles has served in many executive capacities: Director of Sales overseeing the North and South American business operations for the TaylorMade brand, General Manager for the Asia Pacific region, and as Executive Vice President and General Manager, responsible for global commercial operations of the organization.
In between stints at TaylorMade, Abeles served as Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing at the Cobra Golf division, where he was integral to the resurgence of the Cobra Golf brand.
Abeles was also the CEO at Competitor Group Inc., a San Diego-based global services, media and event entertainment company dedicated to the active lifestyle industry.
A graduate of the University of Connecticut, David’s love of golf began at an early age. Abeles, his wife and three sons, reside in San Diego, California.
Joe Louis Barrow Jr
For 18 years, Barrow served as CEO of The First Tee. Under his leadership from 2000 to 2017, he initiated character-building programs that reached more than 15 million young people in all 50 states and three international locales. He led The First Tee’s evolution from an access-to-the-game focus to a positive, youth development organization that improved the lives of young people at more than 1,200 golf courses, 10,000 elementary schools and 1,300 youth-serving locations.
In June 2010, Metropolitan Golf Writers Association awarded Barrow with the Gold Tee, its highest award, for outstanding leadership and achievements in the golf industry.
In March 2011, Barrow was inducted into the National Black Golf Hall of Fame, joining his father on the 25th anniversary of the same recognition.
President & CEO
Joe Beditz joined the NGF in 1984, and has served as the organization’s President and Chief Executive since 1989. Under his leadership the NGF has become one of the foremost golf market research and consulting organizations in the world.
He has published numerous studies and reports on the state of the game and the business of golf, and is frequently asked to consult on consumer and economic trends affecting golf.
A graduate of the University of North Dakota, Joe also holds a Ph.D. from Florida State University.
He is a member of McArthur Golf Club in Hobe Sound, Florida, and the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, where he says he plays golf in spite of his ability, not because of it.
President & CEO
Oliver “Chip” Brewer is a proven leader in the golf industry where he has held executive positions since 1998. He has extensive knowledge of all facets of the golf business, particularly in sales, marketing and product development.
Prior to joining Callaway, Brewer served as CEO of Adams Golf, where he was widely credited with transforming Adams from a single-product focus to a diversified brand portfolio that drove the company to profitability.
Brewer currently serves on the board of Callaway and Topgolf. And on the board of The Legacy charitable foundation in San Diego.
Brewer has an Economics degree from the College of William and Mary, where he played on the golf team, and later earned his MBA from Harvard University.
Group Vice President
Bill Brown is an executive with Toro’s golf-focused businesses, including turf equipment and irrigation.
Brown joined Toro in 1993 as marketing manager for the Wheel Horse lawn and garden tractor business. He has held many top management positions at Toro, including the commercial, international and residential and landscape contractor businesses. He was appointed group vice president, residential and contractor businesses in January 2016, and is also responsible for the BOSS® professional snow & ice management business.
Brown received a civil engineering degree from Princeton and an MBA from Harvard. Brown is a proud board member for the Northern Star Council of the Boy Scouts of America and The Toro Foundation.
Bill Golden is the CEO of Golf Tourism Solutions, an agency responsible for marketing Myrtle Beach as a golf destination and assisting golf courses with their marketing and technology.
GTS launched on January 1, 2018 and assumed responsibility for the destination’s marketing efforts from Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday, an organization he led as president for 10 years. As part of the effort, Golden also leads the organization’s thriving tournament division and its efforts to procure outside funds through sponsorship and grants.
Golden has also been vital to the area’s expansion of air service options -- eight airlines now offer more than fifty nonstops to Myrtle Beach.
Bill is also a devoted champion of the First Tee of Coastal Carolinas.
A native of Stamford, Connecticut, he received his Communications degree from Villanova University, where he was a member of the golf team.
Bill and his wife Amy have two sons. William is a junior at Citadel while Patrick is a freshman on the College of Charleston golf team.
Chairman & CEO
Mr. Hill is co-founder, Chairman and CEO of Billy Casper Golf. He is a former Chairman of the Board of the NGF, a board member of the NGCOA as well as the Golf USA Tee Time Coalition that promotes adoption of online tee time guidelines and best practices for technology companies, online agents, marketers, golf course operators, general consumers, and the media. He also serves on the National Employment Committee of the PGA.
Prior to BCG, Mr. Hill was in the financial advisory business. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and holds an MBA from Columbia University.
Sarah Hirshland was recently named the new CEO of the U.S. Olympic Committee, responsible for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams.
Hirshland will join the USOC after seven years at the USGA. In her position as Chief Commercial Officer with the USGA, she oversaw many of the USGA's revenue-generating functions and directed the USGA's global content and media distribution, integrated marketing and communications and public relations. She oversaw the USGA’s handicap computation and tournament management services, known as GHIN, and worked closely with key USGA partners and more than 12,000 golf clubs to deliver these important technology services.
Prior to the USGA, Hirshland was in charge of strategic business development at Wasserman Media Group in L.A., leading the development of sports marketing strategies for American Express, Nationwide, Nokia, Scotts and Wachovia.
Hirshland graduated from Duke University. She and her husband Keith have three children.
John K. Solheim
Solheim is President of PING, which was founded by his grandfather, Karsten Solheim.
He started at PING as a design engineer and project manager. As VP of Engineering he guided the company’s product development efforts, overseeing a staff of 60.
In 2011, he was named President of PING Golf Japan, where he oversaw all aspects of the company’s business in Japan and Asia. In 2017, he became President, the role he serves in today.
Solheim graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Arizona State University, where he also completed an Executive MBA degree.
John K., as he’s known, is married with four children. He enjoys traveling with his family, competing in triathlons, playing golf and music.
President & CEO
Annika is often regarded as the best female golfer of all-time. During her 15-year Hall of Fame career, she won countless awards. She amassed 89 worldwide professional victories, including 72 LPGA wins, 10 of which are majors. She’s the first and only female to break 60 in an official tournament, garnering her the nickname, “Mrs. 59.”
Annika became the first woman in 58 years to compete in a PGA tour event when she teed it up in the 2003 Bank of America Colonial. She is the LPGA’s all-time leading money winner with over $22 Million in earnings. Annika was the Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year from 2003-2005, and the Golf Writers Association of America Female Athlete of the Year in 1995, 1997 and from 2000-2005.
In 2007, Annika created the ANNIKA Foundation, which provides golf opportunities at the junior, collegiate and professional levels while teaching young people the importance of living a healthy, active lifestyle through fitness and nutrition.
Annika is now focused on her family and the ANNIKA brand of businesses: ANNIKA Course Design and the ANNIKA Collection of high-end female golf apparel with Cutter & Buck.
President & CEO
During his nine years at the helm of PGA TOUR Superstore, Dick Sullivan and his team tripled the store count and built a robust online business. In 2017, the company achieved record comp store sales growth and overall sales growth of 23%.
Prior to Sullivan’s current position, he was instrumental in helping build two of the most respected brands in America – The Home Depot and the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons – as CMO for both organizations.
In addition to serving the NGF’s Board of Directors, Sullivan serves on the Board of Floor & Decor.
Sullivan hails from Needham, Massachusetts and is a graduate of Roger Williams University in Rhode Island. He lives in metro-Atlanta with his wife Shanna and their children.