This summer has been full of exciting championships, from the Four-Balls to the Opens, the Amateurs to the Olympics, and soon on to the USGA’s September championships. Players and fans come from all over the world to make, or witness, golf history.
With roughly 700,000 USGA members, it’s a pretty good bet that you will meet many over the course of a championship – wearing their special member hats or even volunteer uniforms. But it’s a special treat when you meet someone who has crossed an ocean or two to support a USGA championship and it doesn’t take long to realize that, no matter where any golfer comes from, they share a common bond with others who love the game.
“I am a 12 [handicap], but I play to it badly,” said Peter Lowe at the 2016 U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club. “That is why I love to see the game played properly, especially at the U.S. Open.”
Lowe, from Longniddry in the Lothian region of Scotland, roughly 15 miles from Edinburgh, is a USGA member. The USGA has 2,773 members who live outside the United States; they come from 72 nations, with Germany, Canada, Japan, Australia and the United Kingdom comprising the top five. Lowe is one of the 21 USGA members in Scotland. His reason for joining is simple.
“Before I even started playing golf, I saw the 1981 U.S. Open at Merion and I was fascinated by the wicker baskets on the flagsticks,” he said. “They were unlike anything I had seen on courses at home and the courses didn’t look like what I was used to passing by. I was intrigued.”