Atlanta Athletic Club's Bud Taylor, PGA, Embracing the Excitement of Hosting a Major Championship
Bud Taylor has only been the Director of Golf at the Atlanta Athletic Club
for four months, but he’s already embraced the excitement and culture of
the storied club as it gets ready to host the KPMG Women’s PGA
“It’s in our mission statement – the importance of championship golf to our
club and culture. The opportunity to be part of more championship golf is
something the club is all about,” said Taylor, a former PGA of America
“It’s built in our mission statement so you can’t speak much higher than that
of a club that’s interested in hosting major championship golf. It’s what
you’re all about.”
Taylor said there has been a lot of excitement in the build-up to the event,
and with the U.S. Women’s Open just a few weeks ago, he said there was
a renewed focus on women’s major championship golf.
There will be upwards of 8,000 spectators per day on site to witness the
best players in the world take on AAC. The club is hosting a major on the
LPGA Tour schedule for the first time since 1990. It, of course, hosted the
PGA Championship in 1981, 2001, and 2011.
Taylor said there’s been a ton of history at AAC and they’re looking forward
to adding that during the Women’s PGA Championship. He references
David Toms’ iconic ace on No.15 en route to winning the PGA
Championship in 2011 as one of those special moments.
“There will be the focus on 17, being a par-3 over water, and 18 and all of
the excitement that can take place when you’re playing that hole – that will
be really neat as well,” said Taylor.
Both Taylor and director of agronomy Lukus Harvey believe that someone
who is on with their ball-striking is going to have success at the KPMG
Women’s PGA Championship.
“There is a fair amount of forced carries out here especially on the par-3’s
and throughout the golf course water can come into play. The rough is…
plenty juicy,” says Harvey. “You don’t want to be behind the pin. Anyone
that knows this golf course or to be successful is going to be below the hole
because they can get away from you a little bit.”
“A good drive sets you up for your approach into the greens and a lot of the
greens have movement in them,” adds Taylor, “so your ability to control the
spin on the ball as you’re coming in is going to be important.”
Taylor says there are a lot of options that can be presented at AAC as well
– there’s potential to stretch the course out, he says, and there are a lot of
tightly-mowed areas around the greens. Imagination plus length plus a tight
short game are all going to be key at the KPMG Women’s PGA
Championship, making it a very complete examination.
As a PGA Professional, it’s extra special for Taylor to host the KPMG
Women’s PGA Championship at his new spot.
He spent the last five years at the Greensboro Country Club and before
that was at Old Palm Golf Club, the Ritz Carlton Golf Club in Jupiter, Fla.,
and worked with the PGA of America as the Director of Golf at PGA Golf
Club in Port St. Lucie, Fla.
“To be a PGA member and to know all the hard work and the commitment
of the PGA staff and the tournament staff and the volunteer leadership that
the PGA is made up of… it’s a worth-wile undertaking and I’m excited to
see it, 100 percent,” says Taylor.
And, he says, everyone at the golf club is all-in to making this week a
successful one. The membership has been very warm and welcoming to
any ideas and the whole club team is travelling down the same road
together, which is important.
“One of the greatest assets that our club has is the competency level of our
club leadership, whether that’s our GM or CFO or the volunteer leadership
and executive committee. These people really get it when it comes to what
does member service look like and hosting major championships,” says
Taylor. “Whatever it is, they’ve got their eye on the ball.”