Green Section History

In 1920, E.J. Marshall, a Toledo, Ohio, attorney and then Green Committee chairman for the Inverness Club, was in charge of course preparations for the U.S. Open Championship.  He sought, but could not find, impartial and authoritative agronomic information.  His efforts led him to the USGA and the United States Department of Agriculture.  The two organizations agreed to collaborate in the development of scientific information relating to golf course turf.  Thus, on November 30, 1920, the Executive Committee of the United States Golf Association formally created the USGA Green Section.

This not-for-profit agency, free from commercial connections, was a pioneer and remains today a chief authority in turfgrass management for golf.  The USGA Green Section is directly involved in every phase of golf course maintenance and management from the control of diseases, insects, and weeds to the breeding and release of improved strains of turfgrass.  The Green Section is involved in research pertaining to cultural practices, equipment development, soils, fertilizers, irrigation, and other maintenance.  In 1960 it developed and published the USGA Method of Putting Green Construction.  Since then, this method has been regularly researched and improved, and is now used throughout the world.  The Green Section’s Construction Education Program serves as a central clearinghouse for this information.

The USGA supports the largest, private turfgrass and environmental research effort in the history of golf.  Since 1920, the USGA has placed more than $40 million in funding university research projects.  The goal is to achieve a significant reduction in water use, pesticide use, and maintenance costs.  A wealth of new grasses, improved maintenance practices, and information pertaining to the environment is available.

The Turf Advisory Service (TAS) takes research information directly to subscribing golf facilities through on-site visits and educational outreach programs, and thereby contributes to better playing conditions at lower costs.  The combination of research, direct golf course visits, and education is the key to the success of USGA Green Section operations.  When a golf facility subscribes to the TAS, they are not simply subsidizing the cost of the site visit, but also supporting the mission and activities of the entire USGA. By supporting research and offering sound, experienced agronomic advice about the scientific and practical aspects of golf course turf management, the Green Section’s Turf Advisory Service provides ever greater value and better golf turf to the golf facilities and course officials it services.


Partner Links
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The USGA and Chevron have committed to using the game of golf to encourage students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines. This commitment has led to the creation of extensive golf-focused STEM teaching tools, and has resulted in charitable contributions to support golf-related programs through Eagles for Education™

At U.S. Open Championships the Chevron STEM ZONE™ is an interactive experience highlighting the science and math behind the game of golf through a variety of hands-on exhibits and experiments.

The partnership has also produced educational materials such as the Science of Golf video series and a nationally-distributed newspaper insert which are provided to teachers as tools to enhance existing curriculum in schools. These lessons teach the science behind the USGA’s equipment testing, handicapping, and agronomy efforts.

For more interactive experiences featuring golf-focused STEM lessons, visit the partnership homepage.

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Rolex has been a longtime supporter of the USGA and salutes the sportsmanship and great traditions unique to the game. This support includes the Rules of Golf where Rolex has partnered with the USGA to ensure golfers understand and appreciate the game.

As the official timekeeper of the USGA and its championships, they also provide clocks throughout host sites for spectator convenience.

For more information on Rolex and their celebration of the game, visit the Rolex and Golf homepage.

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IBM has partnered with the USGA to bring the same technology, expertise, and innovation it provides to businesses all over the world to the USGA and golf's national championship.

IBM provides the information technology to develop and host the U.S. Open’s official website,, as well as the mobile apps and scoring systems for the three U.S. Open championships. These real-time technology solutions provide an enhanced experience for fans following the championship onsite and online.

For more information on IBM and the technology that powers the U.S. Open and businesses worldwide, visit

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Lexus is committed to partnering with the USGA to deliver a best-in-class experience for the world’s best golfers by providing a fleet of courtesy luxury vehicles for all USGA Championships.

At each U.S. Open, Women’s Open and Senior Open, Lexus provides spectators with access to unique experiences ranging from the opportunity to have a picture taken with both the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open trophies to autograph signings with legendary Lexus Golf Ambassadors in the Lexus Performance Drive Pavilion.

For more information on Lexus, visit

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American Express

Together, American Express and the USGA have been providing world-class service to golf fans since 2006. By creating interactive U.S. Open experiences both onsite and online, American Express enhances the USGA’s effort to make the game more accessible and enjoyable for fans.

For more information on American Express visit

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