For almost three decades Derek Sprague has been welcoming golfers to upstate New York and the Malone Golf Club. Located a short jaunt from the St. Lawrence River, many of those visitors have been Canadians from the Flagstick print coverage region in Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec.
They have flocked there for the service and, in times of financial upheaval, the generous exchange rate on the Canadian dollar for their golf specials.
Now, after 27 years, the General Manager and Director of Golf at the 36-hole facility is moving on.
Word came Tuesday, January 12th, that Sprague, the current President of the PGA of America, was joining the Liberty National Golf Club as the Managing Director. While he is working from the premium Jersey City-based club founded by Paul and Dan Fireman, he will actually be employed by the PGA TOUR as part of an operational agreement between the club and the TOUR.
There is no proof to substantiate it but one person affiliated with the TOUR indicated to Flagstick.com that the 48-year old Sprague might just be getting started with the TOUR, with plans to groom him into bigger roles.
The award-winning golf professional, who started his term as the PGA of America President in November, 2014, is heading into the new role with the same enthusiasm that brought him much success in Malone.
“Liberty National is an iconic facility and under the Firemans’ leadership has established an impressive legacy in a short period of time and has an exciting future,” said Sprague. “I am thrilled to be joining the PGA TOUR team and look forward to serving the Liberty National members and guests as we look ahead to The Presidents Cup 2017. I will always cherish my time at Malone Golf Club and would like to express my gratitude to the Malone Golf Club’s Board of Directors, members and staff.”
Liberty National will utilize Sprague’s expertise in the extensive new partnership with the PGA TOUR that was announced in 2014 and spans 25 years. As Sprague indicated, the club will host The Presidents Cup in 2017 and will host up to 10 PGA TOUR events during the length of the contract.
“We believe that this new management agreement will provide the expertise and resources that will continue to enhance the Liberty experience into the future. We welcome Derek and look forward to this unprecedented partnership,” said Dan Fireman.
“We are excited to have someone as highly regarded as Derek to serve the Club’s membership and their guests, as well as handle preparations for future high-profile events,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Finchem.