(MARANA, AZ) In March, Gerald Goodman was named executive director of the Accenture Match Play Championship. Goodman’s appointment marks a return to the PGA TOUR, as this 20-plus-year veteran of the golf industry began his career with the organization in 1989 as a marketing manager. Most recently, he was tournament director of PGA TOUR events held at Innisbrook Resort & Golf Club in the Tampa/St. Petersburg, Fla., area from 1995-2010.
We took some time out to get to know the busy Goodman, now that he’s settled into his role at the Accenture Match Play Championship and as a Tucson resident.
Q. First of all, tell us how you’re enjoying the desert summer in your new, adopted town?
My wife and I love it. We are really enjoying exploring the area and experiencing the uniqueness of the desert. Being born and raised a Floridian, I will take this kind of heat with no humidity anytime!
Q. The Accenture Match Play Championship is already a world-class event, one of the top tournaments on golf’s global calendar. What are your goals for improving or changing the event?
With the help of the Conquistadores, we are working to improve the fan experience with changes like closer and easier parking access. The PGA TOUR is now allowing cell phones, which will be new for our event in 2012, and we’re looking at ways to engage our fans through their mobile devices and social media, on site.
Q. What’s the number-one selling point of the Accenture Match Play Championship? What makes it a can’t-miss event for fans and corporate partners?
The match-play format is our sport’s equivalent of the NCAA Final Four – a way to determine the best player in golf at the time. There is a certain energy and level of excitement due to the elimination nature of match play. Every sports fan needs to experience the excitement and win-or-go-home thrill that is unique to the Accenture Match Play Championship.
Q. Some readers may not realize how much the tournament gives back to this community. What kind of impact does this Accenture Match Play Championship have on local charities?
The economic impact is over $75 million to Southern Arizona. Through the Conquistadores, professional golf has helped raised more than $22 million for local youth athletic programs. At the PGA TOUR, we have a saying when it comes to charity that “Together, anything’s possible.” That theme is illustrated perfectly by the Accenture Match Play Championship, where our great title sponsor – Accenture, the Conquistadores, the PGA TOUR and the entire community support this world-class event and, in turn, benefit kids right here in Southern Arizona.
The Accenture Match Play Championship, which is the first of four World Golf Championships of the season, has been played in the Tucson area since 2007 and at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain since 2009. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.worldgolfchampionships.com.