Emerging Leaders Program


Increasing diversity in our sport, and specifically inside our organization, has been important to the PGA TOUR for many years. Although we have made strides, we know that our employee demographics are less diverse than our targeted audience. We are a relatively small employer with approximately 900 employees, and one of our cultural strengths is also a challenge: we enjoy a low turnover rate, and long-tenured employees, which we highly value. Therefore, our evolution toward a more diverse workforce will be a journey over time and not a short-term initiative. 


In 2015, the Executive Committee of the PGA TOUR approved the Emerging Leaders Program (ELP), designed to enhance the capability of our high-potential talent to move into more senior positions and deliver on current and future strategic initiatives. In addition, it supports high-potential talent retention by providing challenging assignments and a focus on their development--both of which have been shown to increase engagement.

The program adheres to recognized HIPO development best practices by having 50% of the focus on learning through relevant on-the-job experiences, 25% through relationships with others and 25% through coursework. Making the right HIPO selection decisions at the beginning of the process was critical to long-term success in managing a strong leadership pipeline. Nominations were vetted by the Executive Committee and were based on 360 Talent Management data, the ability to move up two or more levels in the organization, the PGA TOUR I-Competencies and critical attributes.


The success of the ELP is evaluated through

  • Retention and career progress of participants,
  • Impact on business objectives, and
  • Measurable increases in participants’ knowledge, skills and behaviors

43% of the inaugural ELP class was female and since the start of the class, 33% of the women have been promoted. In addition, the coursework prepared by the class helped jump start a new initiative within the marketing department focused on growing the PGA TOUR’s Hispanic fan base.


Nerissa Robinson
[email protected]

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