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A Publication of the National Golf Foundation

Questions, Answers and Insights for Everyone Interested in the Business of Golf

NGF TOP 100 BUSINESSES IN GOLF

USGA

Category

Corporate Headquarters

Liberty Corner, New Jersey

Website

Key Employees

Mike Davis – CEO
John Bodenhamer – Senior Managing Director, Championships
Rand Jerris – Senior Managing Director, Public Services
Thomas Pagel – Senior Managing Director, Governance
Charlie Pagnam – Chief Philanthropy Officer
Susan Pikitch – Chief Financial Officer
Navin Singh – Chief Commerical Officer
Chris Fraser – Chief Legal Officer
Emily von Doehren, Chief of Staff

Profile

The USGA celebrates, serves and advances the game of golf, and has been committed to the best interests of the game since its founding more than 120 years ago in 1894.

The USGA is best known for conducting the ultimate tests of golf through its 15 national championships, including the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open, U.S. Senior Open, and the U.S. Senior Women’s Open (beginning in 2018). The association also conducts 10 amateur championships and five international competitions, including the biennial Walker Cup and Curtis Cup matches.

Gary Woodland after winning the 2019 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links. (Photo courtesy: USGA)

 

The USGA also jointly administers the game globally with The R&A though the Rules of Golf, Rules of Amateur Status, equipment standards and World Amateur Golf Rankings, with a working jurisdiction in the United States, its territories and Mexico. In collaboration with the R&A, the USGA in 2020 launched the new World Handicap System (WHS) that is designed to provide golfers with a unified and more inclusive handicapping system for the first time.

At the grassroots level, the USGA collaborates with 59 Allied Golf Associations in every state in the U.S. to build programs that engage more golfers through playing opportunities, education, volunteerism, and funding technology that encourages decisions by data.

The organization heavily invests into initiatives the help grow and sustain the game, as the largest contributor to the First Tee and a founding partner of LPGA/USGA Girls Golf and the Drive, Chip and Putt program. The USGA is also involved with the Environmental Institute for Golf with the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America and provides funding for more than 100 student internships through its P.J. Boatwright, championship and headquarters programs to encourage careers in golf, and others. Additionally, the USGA’s PLAY9 initiative engages golfers at more than 600 USGA Member Clubs to fit golf into their busy lifestyles by playing 9 holes with friends and family.

The USGA is also one of the world’s foremost authorities on research, development and support of sustainable golf course management practices. It serves as a primary steward for the game’s history and invests in the development of the game through the delivery of its services and the work of the USGA Foundation.

The USGA’s campus in Liberty Corner, New Jersey, celebrates the past, present, and future of golf. The USGA Golf Museum is the nation’s oldest sports museum, and features more than 700,000 photographs as part of its comprehensive archive of golf artifacts.

The USGA headquarters in New Jersey. (Photo courtesy: USGA)

 

At its Research and Test Center, the USGA continually tests golf equipment for conformance to the game’s rules, receiving almost 3,000 equipment submissions each year.  The test center opened in 1984 to support the USGA’s role in establishing standards for the game of golf and, through rigorous testing and research programs, ensuring that technology doesn’t overtake skill as the major factor in success.

The USGA is also using science and innovation to fuel a healthy and sustainable future for the game – from turf grass and environmental research to water conservation efforts. To date the USGA has invested more than $40 million in research that helps golf facilities operate more efficiently and its agronomists make more than 1,400 annual course consulting service visits.

Leading the game forward, and stewarding its best interests, is a strong responsibility, and yet it’s one in which everyone at the USGA is deeply committed,” said Mike Davis, the USGA’s CEO.

“We know how important it is to rally the game a positive, healthy direction, and it’s not something that can be done by one organization alone,” Davis added. “By 2025, we believe golf is capable of reducing its critical resource consumption by 25%, and at the same, we can increase golfer satisfaction by 20%. The USGA Strategic Plan is 100% focused on this, as we believe in that commitment and outcome is an opportunity to do right by the game, and also by all those who love and play it.”

NGF Takeaways

From the fairway grass you walk on, to the Rules you play by, to the Handicap Index you keep, or the championships you’re inspired by, the USGA is at the hub of the game, touching virtually every aspect of golf.

The USGA also continues to evolve and modernize, with recent examples being its updated rules of golf and the World Handicapping System. In coming year, the organization will continue to lean on its investment in data and technology to fuel further innovation intended to benefit everyone in the game.

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