Ballard appointed as the new golf course superintendent at Valhalla Golf Club
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (May 21, 2020) – Valhalla superintendent Roger Meier has been named the first-ever senior director of Golf Maintenance Operations for the PGA of America and PGA Frisco. He will lead the agronomy team for the golf courses that are being built near Dallas by renowned architects Gil Hanse and Beau Welling.
After a projected opening in 2022, the facility is slated to host 26 PGA of America Championship events, highlighted by the 2027 and 2034 PGA Championship; 2023 and 2029 KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship; and 2025 and 2031 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.
In addition, John Ballard was named as the Golf Course Superintendent at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky. He is assuming the role that Meier previously held at the facility. Meier will continue to serve Valhalla in an oversight and consulting capacity.
Meier has served the PGA of America for nine years, where he oversaw extensive upgrades to Valhalla’s infrastructure, including the renovation and redesign of the course, working in conjunction with Nicklaus Design. During his tenure, Valhalla hosted the 2011 Senior PGA Championship, 2014 PGA Championship and the 2018 Boys Junior PGA Championship.
Prior to Valhalla, Meier also spent five years with Harrah’s Entertainment as a Golf Course Superintendent, managing Chariot Run Golf Club in Laconia, Indiana. In addition, he previously served as a Lead Assistant at TPC River’s Bend in Cincinnati.
He has been involved with several governing bodies within the golf industry, including serving as President of the Kentuckiana Golf Course Superintendents Association. Meier was recently awarded a lifetime membership for his contributions over the past decade to the KGCSA.
“We’re proud to welcome Roger Meier to PGA Frisco,” said Senior Director of PGA Golf Properties Jimmy Terry, PGA. “Roger has extensive experience and knowledge in construction and grow-in projects, as well as providing extraordinary course conditions for our members and guests daily.
“From hosting some of the PGA of America’s most prestigious championships at Valhalla to working with golf course architects like Jack Nicklaus, Roger will bring an impressive array of turfgrass management expertise to the PGA’s future home in Texas.”
Meier is a graduate of the State University of New York at Cobleskill, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Turfgrass Science and Management.
“After serving at such a world-class facility in Valhalla Golf Club, it’s exciting for me to join our PGA team in Texas and play a role in the development of the golf courses at PGA Frisco, the future home of the PGA of America,” said Meier. “It’s a thrill to work with two of the game’s most renowned architects in Gil Hanse and Beau Welling, and I am excited about being part of a facility that will one day not only play host to the PGA’s most prestigious events, but also provide a fun and enjoyable experience for players of all levels.”
As well, Ballard has over 20 years of experience in turfgrass management. He served 18 years at Audubon Country Club in Louisville as its Superintendent; and another three years at the University of Louisville Golf Club in the same role.
A Certified Golf Course Superintendent, Ballard earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Horticulture with a minor in Business Administration from the University of Tennessee, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude.
“We are delighted to have John Ballard as Valhalla’s next Golf Course Superintendent, and we look forward to enjoying the turfgrass management expertise he will bring to Valhalla,” said Valhalla Golf Club General Manager Keith Reese. “John has a great vision for Valhalla and the skills necessary to carry our Club to new heights. He is committed to building a strong team with the goal of achieving excellence. We believe he will do an exceptional job in providing a world-class golf experience at Valhalla.”
“I am extremely grateful and excited about the opportunity to lead Valhalla’s golf course forward,” said Ballard. “It is a special place with a rich history that I will embrace and build upon. I intend to use my skillset to benefit the members and guests who step foot on the property, creating an exciting experience.”