Previously, we have discussed that the United States Golf Association (USGA) and the R&A are the international governing bodies that produce and interpret the rules of golf. Most people know the USGA for their joint efforts with the R&A regarding rules revisions and interpretations. We have already discussed various 2017 golf rules proposals that the 2 governing bodies will decide to be in the 2018 rules. It will be interesting to hear the final decisions. While rules are important, the USGA is so much more. Let’s discuss how the USGA helps golfers every day.
5 Additional Ways the USGA Helps Golfers
Conducting Golf Championships
The United States Golf Association ( USGA) conducts 13 national championships in addition to various amateur international and team competitions. While most of us think of the USGA and the US Open for men, women and seniors—the USGA sponsors many amateur tournaments throughout the United States and Mexico, for example US Amateur, US Women’s Amateur, and the Latin American Amateur. I really like how the USGA leaves qualifying slots for amateurs in the US OPEN Championships.
In addition to these tournaments, the USGA sponsors events like the team competition for the Walker Cup (this is a men’s team amateur competition between Great Britain/Ireland vs the USA) and the Curtis Cup (women’s amateur with the same 3 countries).
Developing the Handicap System of Golf
The Handicap System of golf is intended to allow players of various abilities to effectively compete in a round of golf giving strokes to one of the players to level the playing field. While the mechanics are difficult, the USGA have simplified it so that all one needs to record is the course difficulty (which is the slope on the score card) and your score. I love - simple!!
Testing All Golf Equipment for Compliance
While most people think of rules and playing golf, the USGA also tests all golf equipment for conformity with the official specifications. It is important that the integrity of the game be maintained with conforming golf clubs and balls. I am always for fair!
Sponsoring and Conducting Research on Golf-Related Topics
This is the one area few people know much about the USGA, yet it is so important. The USGA sponsors various research such as the North America Golf Innovation Symposium where research is done on the future of golf.
Another key area of research is “Course Management” regarding proper mowing techniques, chemical usage and now water management. The USGA has done a great job in the last area giving advice to all golf superintendents but especially where droughts have plagued certain areas of North America for many months if not years. Without the USGA research and recommendations, many courses would have had to close over the increased expense of watering.
Supporting Community Golf Programs
The USGA provides substantial grants for programs for underprivileged youth and individuals with disabilities to grow the game of golf for everyone.
The USGA also is the largest donator to the First Tee. The First Tee is a national program to encourage young children to take up golf.
Over to you
Don’t you agree that the USGA helps golfers through these five additional functions? It’s no wonder the sport of golf is growing in popularity.
- Now that you know a bit more about the USGA, will you check out their website. ?
- Would you consider joining the USGA?
- Will you watch an amateur national championship?
- Will you look at your home course now from a superintendent’s perspective?
Send me your comments……..
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