Lafayette, LA     February 6, 2018

In recognition of outstanding contributions to the game of golf, the United States Golf Association (USGA) announced its annual Service Awards winners, and Louisiana was well represented.  Dr. John A. Hendry of Lafayette, LA and Henri Wolbrette III were recognized on Saturday, Feb. 3 during a gala dinner at the USGA Annual Meeting in Miami Beach, Fla.  Both gentlemen earned the Isaac B. Grainger Award.  Established in 1995 as part of the USGA’s Centennial Celebration, the Isaac B. Grainger Award recognizes volunteers who have provided 25 years of service to the Association.  Grainger served as USGA president from 1954-1955 and led the USGA effort to develop the first unified code of the Rules of Golf with The R&A in 1951.

This year’s USGA Service Awards celebrate the leadership, dedication and exemplary efforts of individuals who have devoted their time and talents to serve the game.  “These extraordinary individuals are committed to leading with impact in their communities,” said Mike Davis, USGA CEO. “The USGA is proud to recognize them for their achievements and contributions to the game.”

​Other noteworthy announcements made at this year's USGA Annual Meeting are below. 

USGA Launches “Driving Golf Forward”

Multi-year Campaign Drives Deeper Impact in Golf Innovation, Accessibility, Historic Preservation and Golf Career Development

LIBERTY CORNER, N.J. (Feb. 3, 2018) - As part of its commitment to ensuring a healthy future for golf, the United States Golf Association (USGA) announced today the launch of Driving Golf Forward, a multi-year campaign focused on four key impact areas. USGA CEO/Executive Director Mike Davis introduced the campaign during the organization’s Annual Meeting in Miami Beach, Fla.

“The health and future of golf are fueled by strong leadership, resources and meaningful initiatives,” said Davis. “This campaign will support and develop programs that positively impact our game and create new opportunities for golf to grow and endure.”

The campaign will help fund cutting-edge innovation and industry-leading research designed to improve the golfer experience and help golf facilities reduce their reliance on critical resources such as water, nutrients, chemicals and energy by 25 percent by 2025. The planned increases in investment include the development of global forums to better connect the worldwide golf community and produce positive, collaborative change. 

It will also support the USGA’s long-term goal of boosting inclusivity in the sport through increases in participation by juniors, as well as broadly supporting accessibility and adaptive golf, improving golfer experiences in the game.

Efforts that provide workplace training and meaningful pathways to employment for new leaders in the golf industry, such as the P.J. Boatwright Jr. Internship Program, USGA Learning Science Through Golf, and others will be expanded. Creating a diverse generation of emerging professionals and volunteers will spur a healthier future for the game.

Preserving and sharing golf’s historical record, artifacts and data requires investments in technology, resources and public programs. The largest and most comprehensive collection of the game’s stories is housed at the USGA Golf Museum, providing researchers and visitors with access to authoritative information and extensive collections. The program intends to build programs and resources that will inspire a deep appreciation of the game’s rich history among future generations. 

“Golf has an active community of individuals who support efforts to grow the game and we’ve heard they want to do even more,” said Sarah Brady, head of the USGA Foundation. “Driving Golf Forward provides an opportunity to play a direct role in the future of golf and invest in important programs that will make a difference.”

To learn more and to donate to Driving Golf Forward, please visit: http://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/clubhouse/foundation/usga-foundation-landing-page.html.

Mark Newell Elected as 65th USGA President

Other elected volunteers include World Golf Hall of Fame member Nick Price

LIBERTY CORNER, N.J. (Feb. 3, 2018) - Mark Newell of McLean, Va. has been elected to serve a one-year term as the 65th president of the United States Golf Association (USGA). The election took place at the Association’s Annual Meeting in Miami Beach, Fla.

Newell will lead the 15-member volunteer USGA Executive Committee, which provides strategic direction and oversight to the Association's full-time management and staff.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve the game of golf as USGA president, and to champion our staff’s work to lead, grow and sustain our sport,” said Newell upon his election. “We are at an exciting time in golf’s evolution, and our collective focus on ensuring its future has never been stronger.”

Newell, now in his eighth year with the Executive Committee, has chaired the Rules of Golf Committee since 2013. During that time, he has been a leading force behind the USGA’s joint initiative with The R&A to modernize golf’s Rules. He also chaired the USGA Handicap Committee and spent four years as co-chair of the USGA/R&A initiative that led to the development of the World Handicap System, which is scheduled to debut in 2020.

The other members of the 2018 Executive Committee were also elected at the Annual Meeting, with four new additions: three-time major champion and former world No. 1 player Nick Price of Hobe Sound, Fla.; Kendra Graham of Winter Park, Fla.; Sharon Ritchey of Asheville, N.C.; and Paul G. Brown of Brookville, Md.

Current members of the Executive Committee who were elected to continue their service to the game are: J. Michael Bailey, of Sandy, Utah; Stephen E. Beebe, of La Quinta, Calif.; J. Stuart Francis, of Burlingame, Calif.; Robert D. Kain, of La Quinta, Calif.; Martha Lang, of Shoal Creek, Ala.; Gregory B. Morrison, of Duluth, Ga.; Clifford J. Shahbaz, of Portland, Ore.; and William B. Siart, of Pacific Palisades, Calif.

Two current members of the Executive Committee were also elected to serve as officers: Mark Reinemann, of Pinehurst, N.C., as secretary, and Thomas Barkin, of Atlanta, Ga., as treasurer.

Richard A. Shortz, of Los Angeles, Calif., was elected to serve as USGA general counsel. Robert Weber will retire as general counsel.

The USGA Women’s Committee, which advises the Executive Committee on matters pertaining to women’s golf and supports women’s amateur championships, has appointed Pam Murray of Richardson, Texas, as chairman and Courtney Myhrum of Pittsburgh, Pa., as vice chairman for the 2018 term.

Other members of the 2018 Women’s Committee are Jan Berry, of Madison, Ala.; Debbie Bizal, of Evansville, Ind.; Barbara Byrnes, of Mesa, Ariz.; Carol B. Graybeal, of Chatham, N.J.; Jean Mulcahey, of Hydes, Md.; Delia Nava, of The Woodlands, Texas; Nancy Rees, of Rye, N.Y.; Mary Shepperd, of San Diego, Calif.; Peggy Span, of Houston, Texas; Kathryn Washburn, of Mill Valley, Calif.; Ginny Waller Zanca, of Memphis, Tenn.; and Patti Zeeman, of Lake Bluff, Ill.

About the USGA
The USGA celebrates, serves and advances the game of golf. Founded in 1894, we conduct many of golf’s premier professional and amateur championships, including the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open. With The R&A, we govern the sport via a global set of playing, equipment and amateur status rules. Our operating jurisdiction for these governance functions is the United States, its territories and Mexico. The USGA Handicap System is utilized in more than 40 countries and our Course Rating System covers 95 percent of the world’s golf courses, enabling all golfers to play on an equitable basis. The USGA campus in Liberty Corner, New Jersey, is home to the Association’s Research and Test Center, where science and innovation are fueling a healthy and sustainable game for the future. The campus is also home to the USGA Golf Museum, where we honor the game by curating the world’s most comprehensive archive of golf artifacts. To learn more, visit usga.org.