USGA Executive Director Mike Davis recently issued an open letter to the membership. It was, in my mind, out of focus. I listed my criticisms in a previous post, so I won’t repeat them here. This, however, is the letter Mike Davis SHOULD have written:
Dear USGA Member,
As another year comes to a close, I would like to thank you for your support of the United States Golf Association and all of our activities to preserve and protect the wonderful game of golf. As a USGA member, you play a valuable role in helping professional staff and volunteers serve golfers at all levels through numerous activities that make the game more fun and welcoming. Thanks also to the volunteers without whom our national championships would not be possible.
Since 1997, members have allowed the USGA to offer more than $60 million in grants to more than 900 non-profit organizations that serve youth through golf and its values. To date, more than 2.5 million young people have benefited from such programs.
Our belief that golf should be available for everyone has led to the development of “Modified Rules of Golf For Golfers With Disabilities.” The USGA has provided in excess of $5 million in grants to more than 150 non-profit organizations serving individuals with disabilities throughout golf. To date, more than 75,000 individuals have benefited from such programs.
The USGA also continues to preserve the history of the game. The Jack Nicklaus wing of the USGA museum, announced this summer, is scheduled to open in 2015.
Because the availability of water is a major concern for golf’s future, the USGA in November convened “water summit” that brought together experts from golf, science, industry and government to lay out a road map that will address one of the game’s biggest challenges. The USGA Green Section promotes responsible course-maintenance practices and funds research to develop new grasses that are more resistant to heat and require less water.
The USGA also has worked with other golf organizations, such as the PGA of America, the PGA Tour, the LPGA and The Masters to develop programs such as the First Tee and Tee It Forward.
In 2012, we continued our mission to establish uniform rules and equipment standards to preserve the traditional character and challenge of the game. While we recognize that any rules change or clarification can be controversial, our first priority is always the good of the game. This year, we collaborated with The R&A to publish the latest edition of the Rules of Golf. For the first time, the book has the same look and design regardless of where you are in the world.
Since 1894, one of our primary missions is to conduct national championships, and there was plenty of memorable action in 2012, including Webb Simpson’s gutsy play at the U.S. Open, Na Yeon Choi’s remarkable third-round 65 in the U.S. Women’s Open, and the stirring finish at the U.S. Amateur by Steven Fox, who won the last three holes of his 37-hole triumph over Michael Weaver. U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur champion Meghan Stasi and U.S. Mid-Amateur winner Nathan Smith captured their respective championship for a fourth time. Paul Simson won the USGA Senior Amateur for the second time in three years, while Ellen Port added the USGA Senior Women’s Amateur to four U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur victories.
All of us at the USGA look forward to your continued support in 2013 and beyond. To learn more about everything that we do for the good of the game, visit http://www.usga.org.
Thank you again for your support of the USGA, and best wishes for a happy and healthy 2013.
Sincerely, Mike Davis
USGA Executive Director