Ogdensburg native Adam Sperling has been one of the busiest men in the international sports world the past five years.
In 2017, at the age of 35, he accepted the challenge of becoming the executive director of the 2021 Presidents Cup at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, NC.
This week, he is directing the matchup of Team USA against The World. The Presidents Cup began in 1994 and was last contested in 2019.
Sperling’s father, Ogdensburg native Mark Sperling, who is now the executive director of Whiteface Club Resort and Golf Club in Lake Placid, told friends in an email that he and other family members were making the trip to Charlotte for this weekend and they hope to be Able to spend “maybe five minutes” with his son. It’s a hectic weekend, but as Adam Sperling has said many times, “you’ve got to bring this thing home,” which has been a challenge dealing with two unprecedented complications for the golf world — the COVID-19 pandemic that delayed the President’s Cup for a year and the founding of LIV Golf.
Although relatively young in international golf circles at 35 when he took on the Presidents Cup Directorship, Sperling carried a high-impact resume and a reputation as a decisive but personable manager.
As a sport management and media studies major at Ithaca College in 2003, he was in need of an internship to fulfill his degree requirements. He landed an interview that ultimately led to him working the 2003 Buick Classic at the Westchester Country Club in Rochester.
He has been involved with PGA events and the PGA since and is dedicated to the philanthropy of the PGA.
He earned the reputation of someone who could handle the highly visible interchanges with the biggest names in golf and television while also tending to the most minute behind-the-scenes details.
He has handled every duty with the passion he showed as a smooth-fielding first baseman through the Kiwanis Youth Baseball ranks to Ogdensburg Free Academy. While baseball was his first sporting love he dabbled in recreational golf at local courses.
Throughout his coast-to-coast travels in professional golf, he followed the mission of connecting golf to the people and the golf course to the community.
He has worked in PGA Corporate Office as operations manager in the Tour’s Championship Management division and in 2006 became director of operations for the Monterey Peninsula Foundation where he was responsible for the planning for both the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am and the Walmart First Tee Open.
He also enjoyed involvement with the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas where he served as executive director for three years.
“Sperling was among those called a ‘swamper’ because he got dirty every day, painting lumber, shoveling mulch and hanging windscreen. Through the grit, he fell in love with the creativity required to stage a live event, developing an appreciation for the thousands of small tasks that must come together flawlessly to turn a golf course into a golf tournament,” wrote Eric Prisbell in a profile in recent issue of the Sports Business Journal.
In the profile, Presidents Cup Tournament Chairman Johno Harris offered insight on what Adam Sperling had done to “bring it home.”
“Adam was able to really get everyone on the same page. It takes a little bit of being humble, thoughtful and smart. He’s done an unbelievable job of truly bringing all those constituents together,” Harris said.
“Typically, we get about a weeks’ worth of work done in a single day once we’re this close,” Sperling said on the progress made in a recent interview with WSOC-TV of Charlotte, NC.