Jerry Pate wears many hats–most of them golf hats. From his tournament wins as an amateur, his storied days on the PGA Tour, his comeback success on the Champions Tour, and his diversified golf industry businesses, much of Jerry Pate’s life has centered on the game of golf.
A Georgia native, golf first captivated Jerry at the age of six when his family moved to Alabama and joined the Anniston Country Club. There he began laying the groundwork that would carry him to the University of Alabama and victories as an amateur including the 1974 U.S. Amateur, 1974 World Amateur and team play on victorious Eisenhower Cup and Walker Cup teams. Although injuries shortened his professional career, Jerry added wins at the 1976 U.S. Open, 1977 Phoenix Open, 1982 Players Championship and numerous other tournaments in the U.S. and internationally. He was also a member of three victorious Ryder Cup teams.
Jerry’s path, however, did not always take him straight down the middle of life’s fairway. The academic accomplishments begun at the University of Alabama in the 1970s did not culminate until 2001, when Jerry was awarded his Bachelor of Administrative Science degree, coincidentally as part of the same graduating class as his daughter, Jenni.
During his playing career, injuries, surgeries and exhaustive rehabs lurked like bad lies. Yet in life, as in golf, how you recover from hazards is often the measure of the man. Jerry played his way out of the rough, with his priorities established: faith, family, business and golf, precisely in that order. No doubt, this focus made his 2006 and 2008 wins on the Champions Tour even sweeter.
Jerry spent ten years as a color analyst for CBS, ABC and BBC golf broadcasts. He is both a PGA Tour and PGA of America member. Over the years, he has served the golf industry and the community in many capacities, including Co-Chairman of First Tee of Alabama, Chair of the Golf Course Superintendents’ Association Foundation, and as a member of the USGA Green Section Committee, the Golf Course Superintendents’ Association of America, the Florida Turf Grass Association and the Alabama Turf Grass Association. In addition to sitting on various other Boards, he is an active member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and above all else, is a devoted father of three and husband to Soozie, his bride of more than 30 years.
Jerry Pate Design
Jerry became involved in designing golf courses in 1978. Through his company, Jerry Pate Design (JPD), he has created award-winning courses and course redesigns across the U.S. Balancing visual appeal, challenge and playability, the company has designed public, private and resort courses in all types of environmental settings.
You’ll find Jerry Pate Design courses along the wetlands of coastal Florida, the beachside dunes of Alabama, in the desert sands of California, the mountainous terrain of the Lower Appalachians, the glacial plains of Michigan and the long-leaf pine savannahs of Mississippi. You will also find the company’s designs transforming environmentally degraded sites including abandoned phosphate mines, residential landfills and depleted farmlands, turning compromised land areas into aesthetically rich, tournament quality courses that are enticing for players at all skill levels.
On the list of original design or course renovations handled by JPD are: Rancho La Quinta Country Club (La Quinta, California); TPC Valley Course (Ponte Vedra, Florida); Trump National Golf Club (Colts Neck, New Jersey); the Dancing Rabbit Azaleas and Oaks courses (Philadelphia,
Services JPD offers :
• Golf course renovation/remodel design
• Project management
• Design coordination for all phases of a project
• Construction management (having previously
offered golf course construction services, the
JPD team is uniquely qualified to provide
oversite for all phases of course construction or
• Conceptual project design and master planning
for assessing feasibility and viability of a project
• Renovation master planning
• Site planning
• Landscape architecture
• Promotional support, including appearances by
Jerry throughout the project for promotional
events and the grand opening, along with Jerry
Pate branding likenesses specifically for use in
advertising and marketing material to publicize
the golf course as a Jerry Pate Design
The list of awards won by Jerry Pate Design, both for new courses and existing course renovation is lengthy. Included on the list are courses named to both the Golf Digest and Golf Magazine lists of America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses and their lists of America’s 100 Greatest Courses. JPD courses have also made the list for Golfweek’s America’s 100 Best Classic Courses, America’s Best Top 100 Resort Courses and Best Casino Courses.
Wausau Farms, Inc., located in Chipley, Florida, is a Jerry Pate company offering a full line of hybrid bermudagrasses and planting services. Specializing in genetically matched Tifway Bermudagrass (commonly called Tifton 419), Wausau Farms provides sprigging service utilizing equipment that is equally well suited for planting on large athletic fields and fairways or on and around golf course tees and greens.
Tifton 419 typically thrives in warm-humid and warm semi-arid climates. It is medium fine in texture, dark green in color, has minimal seed head formation and has a high shoot density. Both the root system and the stoloniferous portions of the plant develop aggressively, making sprigging with Tifton 419 an affordable way to establish a hybrid bermudagrass turf area. Wassau Farms products are suitable for golf course fairways and roughs, sports fields and residential neighborhoods.
Jerry Pate Turf and Irrigation
Jerry Pate Turf and Irrigation, Inc. is headquartered in Pensacola, Florida (home base for all of Jerry’s companies), with offices in Atlanta, Memphis and Birmingham. The company’s newest location in Pelham (Birmingham) is a site Jerry selected for its easy access from major highways and the convenience it offers many of the company’s customers.
The new Birmingham facility is 22,000 square feet in size. Wesley Pate and Robbie Duncan manage operations in this new venue and Jerry’s brother, Scott Pate is the company’s regional manager overseeing both the Memphis and Birmingham offices.
Jerry Pate Turf and Irrigation is a wholesale distributorship for Toro, Echo, Shindaiwa, Bear Cat, Club Car and other leading equipment and irrigation components. Products and services include consulting and design, training, service, repairs (including mobile servicing and repairs) parts and equipment sales of products that include but is not limited to: golf cars, aerators, chippers, shredders, grinders, sprayers, field groomers, bunker rakes, greens mowers, rotary deck mowers, reel mowers, top dressers and utility vehicles. For many products, leasing, pre-owns and financing are available.
As part of the company’s commitment to service and support, Jerry Pate Turf and Irrigation offers:
• Educational seminars and service
schools (more than 50 each year)
• A call center for technical support
• The JP Onlin e website for easy ordering
Toro has honored Jerry Pate Turf and Irrigation with its top award: The Distributor of Excellence Award. This recognition is given annually to only one company in each of four geographic regions
1.) the U.S.; 2.) Europe, the Middle East and Africa; 3.) Asia Pacific and 4.) Canada and Latin America. Winners of the award have demonstrated exemplary achievements in customer care, customer satisfaction, market share performance and financial health. Honored by the tribute, Jerry pointed out, “The United States represents 70 percent of Toro’s worldwide business, so this is an important award for all of the Toro distributor partners.”
The company has also received five consecutive Best in Division Awards for the Residential Landscape Contractors Division, a record never achieved by any company during Toro’s more than 100 years in business.
At the 2015 Golf Industry Show in San Antonio, Texas, Jerry Pate Turf and Irrigation was named the Club Car distributor of the year, honoring the company’s overall superior performance. At the same event, the company also received the Club Car Black and Gold designation for 2015, recognizing its exemplary business performance and customer service.
Looking Back and Looking Ahead
As you look back at Jerry Pate’s playing career, you immediately realize that his name is written on one of golf’s shortest lists: only eleven men have ever won both the U.S. Amateur and the U.S. Open. With such a legacy, you might wonder what is left for Jerry to accomplish.
But Jerry doesn’t see it that way. Driven to excel in everything he undertakes, he has set his sights on delivering customer care and service at the highest level to the golf course superintendents and golf operators who entrust him with their business. As his companies grow and his industry awards accumulate, it is clear that Jerry Pate is still out there and still winning.