United States Golf Association

Last updated

United States Golf Association
United States Golf Association Logo.svg
AbbreviationUSGA
FormationDecember 22, 1894 (1894-12-22),
127 years ago (as the Amateur Golf Association
of the United States)
Type NGO
HeadquartersGolf House,
Liberty Corner, New Jersey
Region served
United States, Mexico
Membership
700,000
CEO
Mike Whan
President
J. Stuart Francis
Affiliations The R&A
Staff
300
Volunteers
1,200
Website usga.org
The USGA Museum in Liberty Corner, New Jersey USGA Museum, Liberty Corner, NJ.jpg
The USGA Museum in Liberty Corner, New Jersey

The United States Golf Association (USGA) is the United States national association of golf courses, clubs and facilities and the governing body of golf for the U.S. and Mexico. [1] Together with The R&A, the USGA produces and interprets the rules of golf. The USGA also provides a national handicap system for golfers, conducts 14 national championships, including the U.S. Open, U.S. Women's Open and U.S. Senior Open, and tests golf equipment for conformity with regulations. The USGA and the USGA Museum are located in Liberty Corner, New Jersey. [2]

Contents

History

The USGA was originally formed in 1894 to resolve the question of a national amateur championship. Earlier that year, the Newport Country Club and Saint Andrew's Golf Club, Yonkers, New York, both declared the winners of their tournaments the "national amateur champion." That autumn, delegates from Newport, St. Andrew's, The Country Club, Chicago Golf Club, and Shinnecock Hills Golf Club met in New York City to form a national governing body, which would administer the championship and also the Rules of Golf for the country. On December 22, 1894, the Amateur Golf Association of the United States was officially formed, and was shortly thereafter renamed the "United States Golf Association". Theodore Havemeyer was the first president, and the U.S. Amateur trophy is named in his honor.

The first U.S. Amateur was held in 1895 at the Newport Country Club, with Charles B. Macdonald (who was runner-up at both of the previous year's tournaments) winning the championship. The first U.S. Open was held the following day, almost as an afterthought. It was not until 1898 that the two events were held at separate clubs. Today, the USGA administers 14 separate national championships, ten of which are expressly for amateurs.

The USGA gradually expanded its membership from the original five clubs. There were 267 club members in 1910, and 1,138 clubs by 1932. Membership fell off during the Great Depression and World War II, but recovered by 1947. By 1980 there were over 5,000 clubs, and today membership exceeds 9,700. [3]

On September 17, 1956, Ann Gregory began competing in the U.S. Women's Amateur Championship, thus becoming the first African-American woman to play in a national championship conducted by the USGA. [4]

Competitions organized by the USGA

Mike Davis (on left), former executive director of the USGA, walking down the 18th fairway at the 2018 U.S. Open. Mike Davis USGA.jpg
Mike Davis (on left), former executive director of the USGA, walking down the 18th fairway at the 2018 U.S. Open.

The USGA organizes or co-organizes the following competitions:

Open championships

An "open" golf championship is one that both professionals and amateurs may enter. In practice, such events are always won by professionals nowadays. The two leading opens in the U.S. are:

The last win by an amateur at the U.S. Open was 89 years ago in 1933 and an amateur has won the women's event only once, 55 years ago in 1967.

The USGA also conducts the U.S. Senior Open for competitors 50 and over. This is one of the five majors recognized by the world's dominant tour for golfers 50 and over, PGA Tour Champions. The overwhelming majority of the competitors play regularly on this tour. Many of the remaining players compete on the European counterpart of PGA Tour Champions, the European Senior Tour, which recognizes the U.S. Senior Open as one of its three majors. The USGA added a women's counterpart in 2018.

Individual amateur championships

Professional golf in the US is mainly run by the PGA Tour, the LPGA, and the PGA of America. However, the USGA organizes the 10 national amateur championships. The leading events are open to all age groups, but are usually won by golfers in their early twenties:

There are two championships for players under age 19:

And two for senior golfers:

Because the U.S. Amateur and U.S. Women's Amateur became increasingly dominated by future tournament professionals, two national championships were added in the 1980s for "career amateurs" who were 25 years of age & older:

Team amateur championships

These team events were announced by the USGA in 2013 as the replacements for the discontinued Public Links championships and played for the first time in 2015. Both are contested by two-member teams in four-ball matches. Partners are not required to be from the same club, political subdivision, or country. [6]

State team championships

The USGA men's and women's state team championships were first conducted in 1995 as a part of the USGA's Centennial celebration. The two championships were conducted biennially in odd-numbered years through 2009. Since 2010, the men's championship has been conducted in even-numbered years and the women's championship in odd-numbered years. According to NCAA rules, college golfers are not eligible.

International team competitions

The USGA, in cooperation with The R&A, co-organizes two biennial amateur team competitions between the United States and a joint team representing Great Britain and Ireland (in political terms, Ireland and the United Kingdom).

Through its membership of the International Golf Federation the USGA is involved in the administration of the two "World Amateur Team Championships", which are played biennially in even-numbered years.

Discontinued championships

There had been two events for "public-course" golfers, but the USGA announced in 2013 that both would be discontinued after their 2014 editions. [6] Members of private golf clubs were excluded from these championships.

Multiple event winners

Only eight golfers have won more than one USGA individual event in the same year:

Five people have won three different USGA individual events in their careers:

Fifty–one other people have won two different USGA individual events in their careers, and two have won USGA individual and team events:

Note: Multiple winners of individual events can be found in that event's article.

Most career USGA championships won

Virtual USGA Championship

The USGA partnered with World Golf Tour in 2009 to co-host the first annual Virtual USGA Championship online. The Virtual U.S. Open attracted hundreds of thousands of players from more than 180 countries. The first-place winner took home a replica of the U.S. Open trophy and won a trip for two to Pebble Beach for the next year's event. [7]

See also

Related Research Articles

The United States Open Championship, commonly known as the U.S. Open, is the annual open national championship of golf in the United States. It is the third of the four major championships in golf, and is on the official schedule of both the PGA Tour and the European Tour. Since 1898 the competition has been 72 holes of stroke play, with the winner being the player with the lowest total number of strokes. It is staged by the United States Golf Association (USGA) in mid-June, scheduled so that, if there are no weather delays, the final round is played on the third Sunday. The U.S. Open is staged at a variety of courses, set up in such a way that scoring is very difficult, with a premium placed on accurate driving. As of 2022, the U.S. Open awards a $17.5 million purse, the largest of all four major championships.

The following is a partial timeline of the history of golf.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">U.S. Women's Open</span> Annual golf tournament

The U.S. Women's Open, one of 15 national golf championships conducted by the United States Golf Association (USGA), is the oldest of the LPGA Tour's five major championships, which includes the Chevron Championship, Women's PGA Championship, Women's Open Championship, and The Evian Championship.

The United States Amateur Championship, commonly known as the U.S. Amateur, is the leading annual golf tournament in the United States for amateur golfers. It is organized by the United States Golf Association and is currently held each August over a 7-day period.

The U.S. Mid-Amateur, often called the Mid-Am for short, is the leading annual golf tournament in the United States for post-college amateur golfers, organized by the USGA.

The U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship, often referred to as the Public Links or the Publinx, was a men's amateur golf tournament, one of 10 individual amateur championships organized by the United States Golf Association. The USGA typically called the event the U.S. Amateur Public Links, which it has registered as a service mark. The tournament was devised as a championship for golfers who played on public courses, as members of private clubs were barred from entry. In February 2013, the USGA announced that the event would be discontinued after its 2014 edition, and would be replaced by a new men's amateur four-ball championship.

The United States Girls' Junior Championship is one of the thirteen U.S. national golf championships organized by the United States Golf Association. It is open to amateur girls who are under 19 on the last day of the competition and have a USGA handicap index of 9.4 or less. It consists of two days of stroke play, with the leading 64 competitors then playing a match play competition to decide the champion.

The U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur is one of thirteen United States Golf Association national championships. First played in 1987, it provides amateur women over the age of 25 an opportunity to compete for a national championship. Entrants must have a handicap index of 9.4 or lower.

The R&A Golf governing body

The R&A is the collective name of a group of companies that together play a significant role within the game of golf. Historically, "the R&A" was a colloquial name for the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews; in 2004, the club spun off its previous governance and tournament organisation roles into the current R&A group, with the club itself reverting to a private members-only club. The R&A is based in St Andrews in Scotland.

The United States Senior Men's Amateur Golf Championship is a national tournament for amateur golf competitors at least 55 years of age. It is operated by the United States Golf Association (USGA).

Champions Golf Club

Champions Golf Club is a 36-hole private golf club located in Houston, Texas. Established in 1957 by multiple major champions Jack Burke Jr. and Jimmy Demaret, who were both raised in the city, Champions carries a long history for Houston golf. Burke (b.1923) won the Masters and PGA Championship in 1956 and Demaret (1910–1983) was the first to win three Masters.

The U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links Championship, often referred to as the Public Links or the Publinx, was a women's amateur golf tournament, one of 10 individual amateur championships organized by the USGA and first played in 1977. The USGA officially called the event the U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links, which it has registered as a service mark. The tournament was devised as a championship for female amateurs who play on public courses, as members of private clubs were barred from entry. In February 2013, the USGA announced that both this event and its men's counterpart, the U.S. Amateur Public Links, would be discontinued after their 2014 editions, and would be replaced by new amateur four-ball championships for both men and women.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Chambers Bay</span>

Chambers Bay is a public golf course in the northwest United States, located in University Place, Washington, on the Puget Sound southwest of Tacoma. The British links-style course is owned by Pierce County and opened for play on June 23, 2007. It hosted the U.S. Amateur in 2010 and the U.S. Open in 2015.

The United States Junior Amateur Championship is one of the fourteen U.S. national golf championships organized by the United States Golf Association. It is open to amateur boys who are under 19 on the last day of the competition and have a USGA Handicap Index of 4.4 or less. The competition was established in 1948. It consists of two days of stroke play, with the leading 64 competitors then playing a match play competition to decide the champion.

The U.S. Women's Amateur is the leading golf tournament in the United States for female amateur golfers. It is played annually and is one of the 13 United States national golf championships organized by the United States Golf Association (USGA). Female amateurs from all nations are eligible to compete and there are no age restrictions. It was established in 1895, one month after the men's U.S. Amateur and U.S. Open. It is the third oldest USGA championship, over a half century older than the U.S. Women's Open, which was first played in 1946. Along with the British Ladies Amateur, the U.S. Women's Amateur is considered the highest honor in women's amateur golf.

Lucy Li American professional golfer (born 2002)

Lucy Li is an American professional golfer. She currently holds records as the youngest qualifier for the U.S. Women's Amateur and the U.S. Women's Open. She is the second-youngest qualifier for the U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links, and the youngest ever to advance to match play in that event. Li was an age group winner at the inaugural Masters Drive, Chip, and Putt Championship in Augusta, Georgia. As of 2014, she is a student of Jim McLean.

Brooklawn Country Club

Brooklawn Country Club is a private country club in Fairfield, Connecticut. Founded in 1895, Brooklawn became one of the earliest members of the United States Golf Association (USGA) when it was admitted on January 22, 1896. Sited on the property's highest point, the club's 57,667-square-foot clubhouse was opened in 1916.

The U.S. Senior Women's Open is one of fourteen U.S. national golf championships organized by the United States Golf Association. The newest USGA championship, it is open to women whose 50th birthday falls on or before the first day of competition and hold a handicap index not exceeding 7.4. It is part of the Legends of the LPGA Tour. The inaugural championship was held in 2018 at the Chicago Golf Club in Wheaton, Illinois.

Katherine Rowena Graham was an organizational leader in women's amateur golf and a member of the Tennessee Golf Hall of Fame. Her contribution to golf was her administrative and officiating capabilities more than her individual golfing skill. She was chairman of the United States Golf Association (USGA) Women's Committee 1987 and 1988, the highest volunteer position in women's golf. The committee conducts or supervises golf tournaments for women, mostly amateur events and selects the Curtis Cup members.

Lori Castillo is an American professional golfer from Hawaii. She is one of only three golfers to have won both U.S. Girls' Junior (1978) and U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links, and was the first female to hold two USGA titles at the same time, joining only Chick Evans, Bobby Jones and Jack Nicklaus. She won the 1984 Wirral Caldy Classic on the Ladies European Tour and won the Hawaii State Open a record five times. She competed as Lori Planos during her marriage to Gary Planos of Kapalua Resort.

References

  1. "USGA: Our History" . Retrieved August 14, 2015.
  2. "About the USGA Golf Museum". United States Golf Association.
  3. "Club membership history". USGA. Archived from the original on April 18, 2008. Retrieved October 1, 2008.
  4. "2005 News Archive". USGA. Archived from the original on August 26, 2009. Retrieved February 14, 2015.
  5. "U.S. Senior Women's Open To Debut in 2018". USGA. February 7, 2015. Retrieved February 7, 2015.
  6. 1 2 "Changes Made to USGA Championship Roster" (Press release). United States Golf Association. February 11, 2013. Archived from the original on February 13, 2013. Retrieved February 12, 2013.
  7. Gaudiosi, John (March 18, 2010). "GDC 2010: World Golf Tour Partners with USGA for Virtual Competition". GamerLive.TV. Retrieved May 1, 2010.