PGA Tour Senior Vice President Ross Berlin announces his resignation

by | Nov 17, 2021 | PGA

SAINT SIMONS ISLAND, Georgia – As Ross Berlin, Senior Vice President of Player Affairs for the PGA Tour, made the rounds at the practice area at Sea Island Resort on the Wednesday prior to the RSM Classic, player after player stopped him to see if the rumors were true. Even caddies wanted to know.

“Do you have a minute?” asked Tony Navarro, Nick Watney’s seasoned excavator. “I heard you were retiring. You are one of the greats. I just want to say that you will be missed very much, but I’m happy for you. “

The 65-year-old Berlin has announced that March 13th, the final round of the Players Championship 2022, will be his last day on the PGA Tour, on which he has worked in various stations for a total of 24 years.

“For me it is an achievement. That’s why you work, isn’t it? You work until you don’t have to, ”he said. “I met a lot of my financial and non-financial goals that were modest and I’m out.”

He added, “It’s the fourth quarter and I’ve found out.”

Berlin attended Wake Forest on a baseball scholarship, but early on in college he shifted his focus to his future. “I asked the legendary golf trainer Jesse Haddock for some career tips on how to become a sports agent,” Berlin told the Thomas M. Cooley Law School’s Western Michigan University alumni publication in June 2017. “He referred me to a man named Vinny Giles. a Richmond, Virginia attorney who owned a sports agency representing professional golfers such as Lanny Wadkins, Tom Kite, Jay Haas, and several others.

“He said, ‘If I were a young man, I would go to law school. I would practice law for about six or seven years to learn how to zealously represent a client. Then, if I still wanted to be a sports agent or a manager, I’d hang up my clapboard and go. ‘ I found this advice profound, simple and direct and that became my focus and the reason I decided to study law. “

Michelle Wie has announced that she will turn pro in Honolulu on Wednesday October 5th, 2005. Also seated are Michael Fasulo from Sony, Ross Berlin from the William Morris Agency and Bob Wood from Nike. Photo / Jeff Chiu / Associated Press

After graduating from law school, Berlin said he was hired as an associate at a Los Angeles sports and entertainment law firm for a princely salary of $ 18,000 a year and was promoted to general counsel to a public works / environmental systems company; then Senior Vice President of the Venues for the 1994 World Cup in the United States; followed by a job as a consultant for the 1997 Ryder Cup in Valderrama, Spain. This served as an introduction to the PGA Tour, first as vice president of sales and marketing for the World Golf Championships, and then on time off to join William Morris as a sports agent for the LPGA phenomenon Michelle Wie when she first turned pro. Eventually he returned to the tour in Player Relations.

March will be the culmination of a 45 year career in the sports industry.

“I’ll evaluate some things, maybe do my own thing. The only thing I’ve been thinking about is that I could teach it. I would like to do that, ”he said.

Why is now the right time for Berlin to get off the tour?

“Five reasons,” he said, “that I’ll tell you four of. One day I just woke up and was 65. Thirty didn’t bother me, 40 didn’t bother me, 50 didn’t bother me, 60 didn’t bother me. But I think the combination of 65, two, COVID (in April 2020 Berlin was the first tour operator to test positive), three, my financial goals were modest and I achieved them, and four, I didn’t want that do and have guys who say, ‘Is he still there?’ I wanted to go out while I still had a game. And the fifth I can’t tell you because it would hurt some feelings. “