NGF TOP 100 BUSINESSES IN GOLF
Mike Davis, CEO
John Bodenhamer, Senior Managing Director, Championships and Governance
Mike Butz, Senior Managing Director, Open Championships & Association Relations
Sarah Hirshland, Senior Managing Director, Business Affairs
Rand Jerris, Senior Managing Director, Public Services
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 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.
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, the Golf Course Superintendent’s “Environmental Institute for Golf,” a founding partner of LPGA/USGA Girls Golf and the Drive, Chip and Putt program, funding for more than 100 student internships through its P.J. Boatwright, championship and headquarters programs to encourage careers in golf, and others. Now in its fourth year, PLAY9 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 also jointly administers the game globally with The R&A though the playing, equipment and Amateur Status rules, with operating jurisdiction in the U.S. and Mexico.
The USGA Handicap System is used in more than 40 countries globally, as well as the USGA Golf Course Rating System, currently used in 95 percent of the world’s golf courses. Together, they provide golfers with valuable tools to play on an equitable basis, no matter their skill level.
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’s newly-renovated Administration building is a 21st century work space that promotes collaboration between and amongst USGA Staff, as well as welcoming in all members of the extended golf community.
And, at the USGA’s Research and Test Center, science and innovation are fueling 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.
“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.”
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 is also transforming rapidly. It will be interesting to watch how the organization’s investment of data and technology over the coming years will fuel innovation, to benefit everyone in the game.