Deane Beman

 

Deane R. Beman (born April 22, 1938) is an American professional golfer, golf administrator, and golf course architect.

Beman was born in Washington, D.C. and attended the University of Maryland, College Park, where he was a two-time All-American on the varsity golf team. Following graduation, Beman had a career in the insurance field. During his golf career, Beman qualified for his first U.S. Open at age 17 in 1955.  He qualified for the Masters Tournament 14 times. He won the U.S. Amateur twice and the British Amateur once. He also lost a playoff to Gary Cowan for the 1966 U.S. Amateur. Beman turned professional in 1967 at age 29 and won four times on the PGA Tour between 1969 and 1973. Beman led for two rounds at the 1969 U.S. Open and finished one shot out of a playoff. He was a short hitter by top-class standards, with an outstanding short game, and was renowned as one of the best putters in the world. Injuries curtailed his playing career. He retired as a player and closed his business practice to become Commissioner because he believed he could contribute more to the sport as a commissioner than he ever could as a player.

Beman was the second commissioner of the PGA Tour, serving from 1974 to 1994. He introduced The Players Championship concept during this time, and developed a network of Tournament Players Club courses around the U.S., along with Tour-logoed clothing, expanding the Tour’s financial clout. He converted the Tour into a 501-C6 organization, one of several moves that would transform the Tour’s financial fortunes. He introduced pension plans for Tour players. Under his watch, the Tour’s board passed a policy requiring all tournaments to support a charitable initiative. Tour charitable contributions grew from less than $1 million a year in 1974 to more than $30 million in 1994. He is the architect of the Tour’s successful television model, which still exists today. He formed the Senior PGA Tour, now known as the Champions Tour, for players 50 and older in 1980 and the Ben Hogan Tour (now known as the Web.com Tour) as golf’s developmental circuit in 1990. In 1983, the Tour expanded the number of exempt players from the top-60 on the season money list to the top-125. At a February 28, 1994 meeting, the Tour’s Board approved the capstone of his legacy, The Presidents Cup, an international competition. Later during that same meeting, Beman announced his plan to retire. It was the 20th anniversary of his appointment as Tour commissioner. From $400,000 in assets in 1974, when Beman succeeded Dey, the Tour reported $260 million in assets in 1994 when Beman resigned. He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2000 and was awarded the seventh PGA Tour Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007.

After stepping down as Commissioner in June 1994, Beman resumed his playing career, and competed in 69 Senior PGA Tour events through the 2005 Constellation Energy Classic. He co-designed Cannon Ridge Golf Club, which opened in 2003, with architect Bobby Weed. He still plays regularly, as he likes to say, “only once a day.”

A book chronicling his 20-year tenure as Commissioner was published in 2011, entitled “Deane Beman: Golf’s Driving Force,” by Adam Schupak.

Deane Beman is the Co-Inventor of the Cure RX2 putter and part owner of Cure Putters.