Tim Finchem on East Lake: “It’s a game changer.”

On Tuesday morning, PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem addressed the media gathered at East Lake Golf Club for his annual State of the PGA TOUR conversation. He touched on several points related to the tournament and the game of golf, as well as sharing his thoughts on the progress and work done by the East Lake Foundation:

Of course, I think everybody knows the story when Tom Cousins reached out to us about possibly playing a competition here. Part of our team came up, looked around the property, called me and said, The golf course is pretty good but not sure we want to play here. We had a couple whiskey bottles thrown at us, a couple gunshots went off. Those were the early days before this whole area became transformed with the genius of Tom Cousins.

So we decided to try to play something special here just to really take advantage of the golf course, but communicate what has happened here. And, of course, the rest is history. Now, East Lake Foundation has fueled what is Purpose-Built Communities, which is in one way or the other now in 40 different cities getting going. It’s a game changer.

One of the single most difficult things in our country is to change the intransigency of inner city poverty and lack of education. It’s disheartening we’re not hearing that subject discussed in the presidential election. That ought to be one of the top ten things these candidates are talking about. How do you deal with this problem? I think, if they were talking about it, this would be an example of the kind of thing that can be done. We’re very proud of our partnership with Tom and the foundation. We look forward to many more years of being here.