Colorado Golf’s loss is Ohio’s gain. After 12 years with the Colorado PGA Section, Chief Operating Officer Patrick Salva has become executive director of the Southern Ohio PGA Section. For the Ohio native it’ll be a sort of homecoming. He grew up in Fredericktown and received both his undergrad and master’s degrees in sports administration from Ohio University in Athens—both towns are two-hour drives from his new office in the Dayton suburb of Fairborn. “But believe it or not,” he laughs, “I’ve never been to Dayton.”
In 2008, Patrick Salva had never been to Colorado when he took the job as the section’s tournament manager. Over the next 12 years, he rapidly moved up the ranks to tournament director, assistant executive director for section affairs and then into his current position as COO.
In his new position, Salva will lead a smaller section (475 members compared to Colorado’s 820) that “is where the Colorado Section was when I started in terms of business operations.” That, he says, “was one of the things that drew me to the position—and it happens to be close to my family.”
During Salva’s 12 years in Larkspur, the Colorado PGA developed into a flagship among the nation’s 41 PGA sections, twice earning the PGA of America’s coveted Herb Graffis Award for “extraordinary and exemplary contributions and achievements in the area of Player Development.” Programs such as Golf in Schools, PGA H.O.P.E. (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere), F.L.A.M.E. (Finding Leaders Among Minorities Everywhere) and the PGA REACH Women’s Leadership Summit represent just some of the initiatives that have had impact on growth of the game. In the last five years, the Section has also helped to provide six wounded veterans with mortgage-free homes.
Salva played a major role in helping to cultivate partnerships for all of these initiatives. The achievement in which he takes the greatest pride, he says, “is the way we worked with the Colorado Golf Association to create the Junior Golf Alliance in 2016. The willingness and ability to look outside of the box to build a team that had never before been built between a professional section and an amateur organization was really a game-changer for junior golf in Colorado.” In addition to his title within the Section, Salva served as JGAC’s managing director.
“It’s a relationship business,” he says of the 650-700 Colorado PGA members he’s gotten to know personally. He knows he’ll have to build many new ones in Ohio. His job starts the first week of May, although he, wife Sarah and daughter Kemper will first need to self-quarantine for their first 14 days in the Buckeye State.
This article was also featured in the May 2020 issue of Colorado AvidGolfer.