Chairman gearing up for the upcoming KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship
By Ernst Lamothe Jr.
What is your role in the 2019 KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship?
I lead an executive committee dedicated to providing a world-class experience for fans and all attendees. I will also help oversee 1,600 volunteers who are instrumental in making this championship a success and run the grounds throughout tournament week. There are so many aspects to putting on a tournament like this from transportation, where we have to organize a fleet of vehicles, to crowd control, to people who are there to help spot the golf balls.
What do you enjoy about Oak Hill?
I have been a member of Oak Hill Country Club since 1993 and served on the board of governors from 2008-13. We have hosted some incredible tournaments since I have been a member. The 1995 Ryder Cup was one of my favorite events — to see the energy and competitiveness of the players was amazing. To see some great golfers compete over four days right in our area was truly special at the PGA Championship in 2003 and 2013. This year will be the sixth major PGA of America event to be staged at Oak Hill. We are very fortunate to have hosted all these events. I have worked every single event in Oak Hill since that 1995 Ryder Cup in some volunteer capacity because I enjoy it. I was even a caddie in the 1980 PGA Championship when I was still in high school.
Why do you think it’s important for Rochester to host these kinds of events?
In Rochester, we don’t have any professional sports anymore. These tournaments are what put Rochester on the major-sporting map. Why not feature one of the most beautiful golf courses in the world to everyone. Our course was ranked No. 22 in Golf Digest and it has been called an incredibly hard, but fair course. It is highly regarded and extremely challenging. Another thing that I think makes Oak Hill so special is the membership. We would not be able to achieve this kind of success and run these tournaments without all the diligent work of everyone involved. This is one of the most historic and prestigious events in senior golf. You will have more than 150 senior professional golfers in the world competing. The size and scope of this event is incredible. It’s expected to bring the strongest field in senior golf and a variety of family-friendly fan experiences to the area. We started tickets sales as early as 2017.
What do you enjoy about the Rochester area?
I’ve pretty much lived here all my life, other than the years I spent in New York City. This is a great place to raise a family and the quality of life is fantastic. I worked at Xerox for more than 30 years, most recently serving as the vice president of sales, east region, in production color. We have so many great amenities. The school system in the Rochester area is generally good. You have an opportunity to travel whether that is near the Finger Lakes or the Canadian border. We do have four seasons here. If you can handle the snow, and of course there is a lot of it, then you will absolutely enjoy living here. My wife, Karen, and I love Rochester and raised our three children, Ryan (25), Meaghan (23) and Colin (18), here.
Tell me something about yourself that people might not know?
My kids were competitive swimmers. I just had a love for the sport, so I was a deck referee for 15 years as part of USA Swimming. I also enjoy giving back to the community and it was a great way to support my kids as well.
What advice do you have for seniors?
I just barely made the cut to be a senior so I guess once I have some years in, I might have better advice. Well, I know all my kids will be officially out of the house soon so that is the time when my wife and I hope to go traveling more. I think traveling and just keeping active is the key to life at any age.