Ted Bishop never got the memo. The one that reads ‘‘PGA of America presidents are supposed to be seen and not heard.’’
Bishop, who was ousted today as PGA president after a tweet calling Ian Poulter a “Lil Girl,’’ never understood that the position of PGA president is largely ceremonial. The job, if it can be called that, is to raise the Wanamaker Trophy at the conclusion of the PGA Championship and recite some carefully scripted speeches a few times per year.
Bishop never understand – or refused to understand – that the PGA president shouldn’t deviate from the script. In the world of the PGA of America, the true power belongs to a few men inside the big white headquarters building in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
In the past – under the autocratic regimes of past PGA Chief Executive Officers Jim Awtrey and Joe Steranka – presidents were kept on tight leashes. Bishop was tough to tame. He said what he thought – regardless of how ill-timed or moronic – and apparently believed the role of PGA president was that of some kind of powerbroker. He went head-to-head with golf’s true powerbrokers, including PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem and R&A Chief Executive Peter Dawson, and always came out looking like a junior varsity benchwarmer playing against the varsity.
Often in the past two years Bishop appeared to be more interested in furthering his own career than furthering the cause of his organization and its 27,000 members.
But that’s not why the PGA of America’s board of directors gave Bishop the boot less than a month before the latter’s term as president was to expire.
In the movie, “Patton,’’ Karl Malden’s Gen. Omar Bradley tells this to George C. Scott’s Gen. George Patton: “You don’t know when to shut up, George. You’re a pain in the neck.’’
In the end, Ted Bishop didn’t know when to shut up.