PGA of America Mourns Lack of Pat Rielly

Home » PGA of America Mourns Lack of Pat Rielly

Pat Rielly, former president of the PGA of America, handed away on Might 4 at Eisenhower Medical Middle in Rancho Mirage, Calif., as a result of coronary heart failure on the age of 87.

Rielly served as president throughout considered one of golf’s watershed moments in race relations throughout the 1990 PGA Championship, and was a pacesetter who utilized the mandatory toughness throughout his 55 years of PGA membership after serving 4 years of service within the U.S. Marine Corps, the place he attained the rank of captain earlier than his discharge in 1964.

“The PGA of America mourns the passing of our twenty sixth President, Pat Rielly,” PGA President Jim Richerson mentioned. “As a former Marine, Pat knew all about excellence in management, and he proved that point and time once more by means of his varied roles in our affiliation.

“Pat led by instance in his efforts to assist place PGA Professionals as enterprise leaders and to position the very best pursuits of the PGA Skilled on the heart of all vital selections. We lengthen our sympathies to Pat’s spouse, Sue, and kids Suzie, Mike, Maggi, and Rick.”

Rielly struggled with stuttering as a teenager, however like most challenges that life scattered in his path, he navigated round them.

And when Rielly spoke for the PGA of America, folks listened.

“When Pat Rielly spoke earlier than the embers at annual assembly, you possibly can hear a pin drop,” his eldest son Rick, mentioned. “He turned some of the prolific audio system I’ve been round. He all the time noticed the tip outcome, and at any time when confronted with making selections, it was for the precise causes.

“He all the time talked in regards to the rank and file PGA members. … He was my idol, my hero.”  

Pat Rielly was the PGA Head Skilled at Annandale Golf Membership in Pasadena from 1972-2002.

When he concluded his two-year PGA presidency in 1990, Rielly drew reward for a time period that included the elevation of the PGA’s TV properties, the Ryder Cup and the PGA Championship, securing what’s now the annual PGA Merchandise Present, and continuous concentrate on a greater future for PGA Members.

But, it was the way in which he dealt with the sensitivity of the 1990 Shoal Creek controversy previous to the PGA Championship that turned golf’s opening step into a brand new period of inclusion.


Rielly helped lead the cost for golf in requiring all future PGA of America Championship venues to have open membership insurance policies, a call the remainder of the game adopted shortly thereafter.

“The management instance he set and his work ethic had an influence,” mentioned Mike Rielly, Chief Govt Officer of the UC Berkeley Govt Training on the Haas College of Enterprise.

Patrick John Rielly was born on March 6, 1935, in Farrell, Pa., and was delivered into the world in an condo, not in a hospital, on a ground above an ice cream retailer.

His household mentioned that Rielly developed a lifelong love for ice cream, however every little thing was hard-earned. His mom washed dishes at Sharon Nation Membership, which led to Rielly and his brother caddying to assist put meals on the desk.

A standout highschool quarterback, Rielly earned a scholarship to Penn State in soccer and observe. He met his future spouse, Sue, on campus. Sue would later turn into his anchor in a public lifetime of service by means of golf.

Rielly was captain of the Nittany Lions’ golf staff his senior 12 months, and graduated in 1958, with a B.S. diploma in Enterprise Administration and Labor Administration Relations. 

Following his service within the U.S. Marine Corps, Rielly turned to skilled golf, and was elected to PGA Membership in 1966. He was a member of the Southern California PGA Board of Administrators from 1962-85, and  was Part President from 1971-73.

Rielly was the 1979 Part Merchandiser of the 12 months, the identical 12 months he accomplished a three-year time period on the PGA’s nationwide Board of Administrators. In 1993, Rielly entered the SCPGA Corridor of Fame and in 2005, he was inducted into the PGA Corridor of Fame. 

Maybe one Rielly honor, the 1983 nationwide Invoice Strausbaugh Award, epitomized his ardour for the PGA Skilled. The award honors distinguished work in mentoring fellow PGA Professionals in enhancing their employment conditions and thru service to the neighborhood. Rielly might have certified many years earlier.

“Pat single-handedly helped me get into the PGA,” mentioned former PGA President Tom Addis III, who met Rielly in 1969, whereas an assistant skilled at Singing Hills Nation Membership in El Cajon.

Rielly additionally competed within the 1954 U.S. Open, the 1968 PGA Championship and two PGA Skilled Championships. He received the 1955 All-Faculty Golf Match, the 1969 San Diego County PGA Match Play Championship, and appeared in PGA Tour occasions that included the Bing Crosby Pebble Seaside Nationwide Professional-Am, the Bob Hope Desert Traditional, the Los Angeles Open and San Diego Open. 

A funeral service was performed on Might 13 at Holy Household Catholic Church in South Pasadena.

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