View From the Top: Darren Crall, PGA of America

The region cheered in 2018 when PGA of America announced it would move its headquarters to Frisco from Palm Beach County, Florida. The association’s new 100,000-square-foot home base will anchor a $520 million, 650-acre mixed-use development that also will feature a 500-room Omni resort, retail village, parks, and two championship golf courses, called the East Course and West Course. Both courses are on track to be playable by early 2022; the headquarters is slated to open in June of that year.

What attracted PGA of America to North Texas and Frisco in particular?

The PGA of America was initially drawn to Frisco for several reasons. The central location and multiple airports significantly enhance domestic and international travel to and from our headquarters and education center for our PGA members, business partners, leaders, and staff. Also, Frisco is home to a diverse, well-educated, and talented workforce, and its “Sports City USA” commitment was highly attractive. The market offers a robust, sports-friendly corporate culture and is highly committed to charitable pursuits. And the City of Frisco has a successful track record of public-private partnerships. All of this was exceedingly attractive.

Was there one particular reason that stood out? 

We saw Frisco as a truly great place to live, work, play, and learn for our teammates and their families, regardless of age and stage of life. Specifically, the highly-rated Frisco Independent School District stood out as a tremendous benefit for current and future employees and their families. In addition, the new UNT campus was another bullseye for us, and we were impressed that both educational institutions immediately leaned in to offer a partnership mindset.

How will North Texas meet the needs of PGA of America as a place to grow and prosper?

This is, of course, a two-way street, as the PGA of America is deeply committed to being a highly-valued member of the community—from an economic driver to a civically minded and charitable contributor. We certainly anticipate strong market support for the 23 championships we have committed to bring PGA Frisco during an initial 12-year period. Frisco and the broader DFW market have shown extraordinary advocacy for the local sports franchises and major sporting events, and we are keen to showcase an array of world class talent and event operations for area fans and companies to support and enjoy up close and personal.

What kind of jobs are going to be moving here in the short and long term?

PGA Frisco will proudly become the global headquarters for the PGA of America. We have already relocated more than 30 teammates, including me, as we forge ahead with the project, establish roots, and showcase our commitment to the community through these culture carriers. Additional employees will move to our temporary office at Hall Park in Frisco over the next 18 months until the permanent headquarters is completed. Jobs being relocated include both traditional and golf specific corporate roles such as: PGA REACH (foundation), coaching and player development, education, career services, people (HR), public relations, technology, commercial, finance, legal, championships, and executive.

What has you most excited about PGA of America’s future?

In partnership with the City of Frisco and Omni Stillwater Woods, the PGA of America is excited to introduce, invite, and welcome the citizens of Frisco and DFW to a truly beautiful 650-acre campus that we intend to be a positive addition to the community. Although we’d love everyone to play golf at one or both of our extraordinary golf courses, the PGA Frisco campus also will feature a 500-room resort style hotel; a unique, interactive golf experience zone; a golf laboratory and performance center; a short course with lights for both daytime and nighttime play; and a 3-acre hike and bike trail. For the PGA of America, the excitement is centered around offering a multitude of ways for everyone—regardless of age and golf acumen—to have fun at PGA Frisco all the while enjoying the breathtaking views of the golf courses.

A version of this story first published in the Summer 2020 edition of the Dallas-Fort Worth Real Estate Review.

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