The PGA TOUR has announced that Joie Chitwood has been named Executive Director of the 2026 Presidents Cup, which will be contested at Medinah Country Club. With the 2026 event, Medinah Country Club will join Muirfield Village in Ohio as the only courses in the United States to host both the Presidents Cup and the Ryder Cup.
Chitwood comes to the Presidents Cup after spending two years as Vice President of Corporate Development for Arnold Palmer Enterprises, which included his role as Tournament Director of the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard. Chitwood also oversaw the Arnold Palmer Cup, a collegiate team competition featuring the top U.S. and International players that was hosted in 2015 and 2021 at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove.
The majority of Chitwood’s career in the sports industry has been in motorsports, including the construction of Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet. As Vice President and General Manager, Chitwood oversaw marketing, PR, sponsorships, ticketing, hospitality, operations, and legislative affairs for both the Chicagoland Speedway and Route 66 Raceway.
“What’s pretty interesting is back in the Arnold Palmer days, for me, I connected with so many people who were in golf that had come from racing, so there was a lot of crossover between the two” said Chitwood. “But for me, when you think about what I’ve been able to do in the Chicago market and build Chicagoland Speedway. I lived up there and actually then attended the events every year at Chicagoland Speedway. So I feel comfortable with the market.”
After launching the Chicagoland Speedway, Chitwood returned to Indianapolis as President and Chief Operating Officer of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where he oversaw all business functions for the world’s largest sporting venue. From 2009-19, he rose to Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of International Speedway Corporation in Daytona Beach, Florida, where he was tasked with improving the nationwide performance of 13 motor racing facilities.
The 2026 Presidents Cup will take place on Course #3 at Medinah, which has hosted the 2019 BMW Championship, 2012 Ryder Cup, two PGA Championships, three U.S. Opens, the 1988 U.S. Senior Open and three Western Opens (BMW Championship). Course #3 is currently being renovated by golf course architecture firm OCM Golf.
Chitwood is excited about the renovation “kudos to the members there for approving the project, to renovate the course. I think that’s just gonna make this competition spectacular in terms of the new holes or the renovated holes as part of it. When you think about setting the stage for an international event, you look at that iconic clubhouse at Medinah, you look at their expertise and experience with hosting big events.”
Eclipsing the success of the 2022 Presidents Cup at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina will be a tough task. The event shattered all previous sales and attendance records. The 2024 Presidents Cup will take place at The Royal Montreal Golf Club in Montreal, September 24-29.
“The event at Quail Hollow was just outstanding” said Chitwood. “So you look at the successes that they had there, what can we learn, what will be applied into Montreal? And then by the time Medinah rolls around, I think we’ll be prepared to put one in the record books that everybody can be very, very proud of.”
Since the inception of the Presidents Cup in 1994, more than $56 million has been raised for charity from event proceeds and contributions. Citi, Cognizant and Rolex are the exclusive Global Partners of the Presidents Cup.
“We have a very special brand in the President’s Cup” said Chitwood “You marry that with Medinah and you have a recipe for success. But you have to be thoughtful in the approach. You have to make sure it lives up to everyone’s expectations.
We want to produce an excellent event that meets all the objectives of everybody, whether it’s the member base, whether it’s the competitors, whether it’s the partners that we bring in, or just a fan who shows up to see a great USA versus International competition.”
The new Executive Director has already visited the site and plans to return next week with the goal of beginning the planning process as soon as possible. “It is 2026 and yes, it’s three and a half years away” said Chitwood “That sounds like a lot of time. It’s not really when you think about it. A lot of effort and planning to do to make sure that the property is ready to host a great event.
Obviously with the event three and a half years from now, we focus on what we can control, and right now it’s providing the best venue and the best build. The best golf course for a phenomenal sporting event.
When you think about an event that is that many years away as many of the plans as we can put into place today. You never know how things might change and how you have to be nimble and flexible to respond to the market, or if there’s other changes or opportunities that we can take advantage of.
I think that’s always the challenge – you can have the best plan, but how do you react when you’re thrown a curve ball here or there? And I think that’s true of any sporting event, any live sporting event.
You have to always be prepared for what wasn’t planned, and it doesn’t mean you didn’t have a great plan. It’s just things that will happen. So, having that ability to be nimble and flexible and be prepared.”
The 2012 Ryder Cup Miracle at Medinah was held at Medinah Country Club and was a memorable experience. Making the 2026 Presidents Cup unique and memorable for everyone involved is already a focus for Executive Director Chitwood.
“I was at that event, so I got to witness a fantastic event. I also have had a chance to play the Medinah Golf course on my own personally. So I have a little bit of experience there with the property. But I think you, you take those lessons learned.
When you think about redesigning six of the holes, you look at the routing of the golf course and the best holes that will factor into match play. You also take a look at the ability to build venues differently now and provide experiences that weren’t available in 2012.
I think those will be the things that set us apart. And again, you just think about from 10 years ago to now how the world has changed. Whether it’s how people enjoy sports and events digitally, how we produce content, or venues on site.
The fact that we’re going to have new holes to be part of it, I think all those will factor into the next version of a great match play situation with USA versus International. I think that’s what’s going to really impress people about the golf course itself and then the venues and the experiences that we can add that weren’t available back then.”
Throughout their 90-year history of hosting golf’s most prestigious championships, Medinah Country Club has produced some of golf’s most memorable outcomes. It’s safe to assume that the 2026 Presidents Cup matches will provide the next exciting chapter on the historic Course #3.