Longtime USGA volunteer Clyde Luther, of Burke, Va., is serving as a Rules official at the U.S. Junior Amateur for the 29th time. He’s officiated 20 U.S. Opens and at countless state and national championship sites and there’s not much the 80-year-old hasn’t witnessed.
He was on-hand for Tiger Woods’ record three consecutive U.S. Junior Amateur triumphs and has seen countless to-be Tour players rise through the ranks, but it’s not the records or victories that Luther most cherishes. Luther beams when asked what keeps him returning to the Junior Amateur, which he calls “without a doubt” his favorite national championship.
“Meeting with young people and making new, young friends – and seeing them move on to be professional golfers and go on to careers as doctors, dentists, you name it,” smiles Luther, who is a member of the U.S. Junior Amateur Committee and chairman of the Virginia State Golf Association’s Junior Committee. “Seeing [juniors] move up and move on into life – I love it.”
In addition to his legacy of longevity at the Junior Amateur, Luther says he has another important goal before each week starts: meet and greet every competitor in the field.
“I don’t bother them on the golf course, of course, but I do try to say hello to everyone,” Luther says. “I don’t miss many.”
– Andrew Blair