7 Minute Miles

American Express at the PGA Championship

Posted Thursday, August 13th, 2009 10:54 pm GMT -5 in Golf

On Wednesday, I met with Ralph Andretta, executive vice president and general manager of cardmember services for American Express. A partner of the PGA of America since 2006, American Express has gone all out at this year’s PGA Championship to provide special extras to their card holders:

  • PGA Learning Center (located near the main entrance), featuring practice greens, a chipping area, video swing analysis, a closest to the pin golf simulator contest to win SkyMiles points, a rules of golf kiosk and an opportunity to get a 2-for-1 “Friend of a Cardmember” golf lesson with a local PGA professional.
  • The American Express Cardmember Club – an air conditioned hospitality tent located behind the 12th green that features televisions and refreshments available for purchase (the first drink is on them – while supplies last).
  • Championship Coursecast – a free portable radio that streams the Sirius XM radio broadcast of the Championship. This is also available to non-cardholders from 10AM – 12PM each day.
  • Championship Vision – a portable TV that features the live broadcast with many other data features. There are 1,000 units on site and they are distributed each day to cardmembers on a first-come, first-serve basis (a deposit of $350 is charged to the account if the device is damaged or lost).
  • Free PGA of America bag when you spend $150 or more in the Golf Shop and use the American Express card.
  • Free pocket course maps.

Don’t have a card? They will be happy to sign you up with a 35,000 SkyMile bonus. Mr. Andretta said they value the Twin Cities market and want to make a good impression with all of the customers impacted by Delta’s purchase of Northwest Airlines and the merging of their frequent flier programs (and affinity credit cards).

Personally, I tried both the video swing analysis and the Championship Coursecast and they are incredible. Stop in and check it out – additional photos of my visit are available in the photo gallery.

Originally published by DK on August 13, 2009 at 10:54 pm

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