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Championship office for PGA at Bethpage Black is now open

Left to right, Oyster Bay Town Councilman Thomas

Left to right, Oyster Bay Town Councilman Thomas Hand, Nassau County Industrial Development Agency Chairman Richard Kessel, Nassau County Deputy Executive for Parks and Public Works Brian Schneider, Long Island Regional Director of NYS Parks And Recreation Wayne Horsley, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, and Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor Joseph Saladino pose with the trophy at the 2019 PGA Championship ribbon cutting ceremony at Bethpage State golf course on Thursday, July 12, 2018. Credit: Peter Frutkoff

Shimmering with the sun directly overhead, the Wanamaker Trophy was front and center.

The silver cup — standing 28 inches tall and weighing 27 pounds — was proudly displayed Thursday afternoon during a ribbon cutting ceremony to commemorate the PGA Championship office’s opening ahead of the event in 2019.

The trophy will be awarded at the 101st PGA Championship on Bethpage Black next May 13-19. The Black hosted the U.S. Open in 2002 and 2009 and the PGA Tour’s Barclays playoff event in 2012 and 2016. The PGA of America is using the course for its championship for the first time. The Black will also host the 2024 Ryder Cup.

“Bethpage is not a stranger to major golf,” championship director Scott Reid said as he addressed the executives, fans and media gathered in front of the office, a trailer that has been in operation since October and is located across from the tennis bubble.

Because Bethpage is a public course, both Reid and championship general chairman Charlie Robson are excited about the prospects of one of golf’s four major tournaments.

“We have such strong growth of the game initiatives that it plays well into the hand of it being at a true public facility,” Reid said. “Really, you don’t find too many major championships at a true public facility. It’s a great caveat to what we do as an organization day in and day out.”

With the need for “3,500-plus” volunteers, Reid said he’s expecting heavy involvement from the local community. The event only needs “about 600 more volunteers,” Reid said, exemplifying the buzz for an event that is roughly 10 months away.

“The one thing that we’ve been trying to do, is we’ve been trying to reach out to the local community,” Robson said. “We want to make sure we highlight the value of the tournament to the county, to the people.”

The PGA of America plans to have shuttle services from the Farmingdale train station and the Jones Beach parking lots.

Nassau County executive Laura Curran said the two tournaments are expected to have an economic impact of about $100 million.

“The fact that it’s such a perfect venue for a Ryder Cup and for a PGA Championship,” Robson said, “from our standpoint, it was a natural.”

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