Calligraphers add style to PGA Championship

Terry Kocon is one of two calligraphers working at the tournament. Buy this photo

KIAWAH ISLAND – Just a touch of the enticements PGA of America likes to put into its spectator experience: scoreboard calligraphers.

The fancy lettering on the huge hand-lettered scoreboard at the entrance of the Ocean Course, as well as a second one inside the media tent, was the handiwork of specialists, themselves hand-picked by the tour. Terry Kocon is the letterer who worked the entrance scoreboard.

The Albuquerque, N.M., graphic designer subbed as a calligrapher at a college game 16 years ago, then made her way up through various leagues and tours. It's her seventh PGA Championship. Lettering is her passion — the elegance, the tradition.

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Kocon rues the disappearance of penmanship, much less calligraphy, as the world moves into the digital age. She thinks about getting into schools to teach her art, “at least the love of lettering, so it's not lost,” she said.

She has to work at top speed, staying organized and, above all, readable, balancing forms and colors across the board. There's a dig for it when a calligrapher gets too colorful or the script too fancy: fruit salad.

But she wouldn't trade it. She golfs, too, and will follow a few holes during her breaks.

“How else would I get to Kiawah? I'm just a worker bee,” she said.

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