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.
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.
Bradley A. Hamilton
Group VP, Commercial & International
Brad Hamilton first joined The Toro Company in 1988 as a marketing intern. He was appointed group vice president, commercial and international in November 2017.
Prior to his current role at Toro, he served as vice president, commercial, as well as general manager, commercial. He also served as managing director of distributor development and financial services distributor development and as director, marketing in the international division and various other positions in sales and marketing.
Hamilton earned a bachelor’s degree in Financial Economics and Biology from Gustavus Adolphus College in Saint Peter, Minnesota and an MBA from the University of Minnesota – Carlson School of Management.
Mike McCarley serves as President, GOLF for NBC Sports Group, overseeing all golf-related businesses and content, including GOLF Channel, broadcast golf coverage on NBC, GOLF Digital, GOLFNOW, GOLFPASS and the company’s portfolio of emerging digital businesses and golf lifestyle brands.
Providing more live tournament golf coverage than all other U.S. TV networks combined, GOLF Channel under McCarley’s leadership has expanded its programming slate and increased viewership almost 40% from prior years. McCarley has also played a key role in expanding NBC Sports Group’s live media rights for marquee events, including the PGA TOUR, The Open (R&A), Ryder Cup (PGA of America), LPGA Tour, European Tour and NCAA National Championships.
Prior to his current role, McCarley served as Senior VP Communications, Marketing and Promotions, NBC Sports & Olympics since August 2008.
A native of Memphis, Tennessee, and graduate of the University of Arizona, McCarley resides in the Orlando area with his wife and four children. He is a board member of the Arnold Palmer and Winnie Palmer Foundation.
Tim Schantz has over twenty five years' experience specializing in corporate and real estate transactional matters, with the last twenty years focused on the golf and leisure sector.
Prior to joining the Company in 1998, Schantz spent five years in the California offices of the international law firm Latham & Watkins, followed by three years as Vice President, Senior Corporate Counsel for the Phoenix based lodging company, Doubletree Corporation.
Schantz serves on the Company’s senior executive team and has responsibility for helping to guide all aspects of the Company's general matters and strategy.
A licensed attorney, Schantz received his B.A. from the University of Colorado and his J.D. from the University of Kansas.
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 10 years at the helm of PGA TOUR Superstore, Dick Sullivan and his team have tripled the company’s U.S. store count through coast-to-coast expansion and built a robust worldwide e-commerce business. With 35 stores in 15 states and a vibrant online presence, PGA TOUR Superstore serves more than 7.5 million customers annually and posted an overall sales growth of 14% in 2018.
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.
Home Depot’s sponsorship of the Olympics and NASCAR were among the successful marketing initiatives started during Sullivan’s tenure. Home Depot and Falcons owner Arthur Blank then brought him to the NFL, where Sullivan helped transform the Falcons into one of the most fan-friendly teams in sports. In his first year with the Falcons, Sullivan’s aggressive marketing campaign helped the team set a league record for the highest increase in new season ticket sales.
Sullivan is the Chairman of the NGF’s Board of Directors, the first executive from the golf retail side of the industry to be elected to the position in the NGF’s 82-year history. He also 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.