USGA To Expand Museum And Create
"Arnold Palmer Center For Golf History"
March 19, 2005
Far Hills, N.J. - The United States Golf Association plans to
renovate and expand its museum and archives facility in Bernards
Township, N.J., to feature a new golf history center named in
honor of three-time USGA champion Arnold Palmer, who has served
as the national chairman of the Association's Members Program
since its inception in 1975.
Scheduled to open in 2008, the "Arnold Palmer Center for
Golf History" will consist of a 22,000-square-foot addition
to the existing museum building. It will house championship
collections and showcase the 13 national championship trophies.
The current museum building, to which the Palmer Center will be
connected, will close for renovations at the end of March
"I am thrilled to be forever associated with the USGA, an
organization I have held dear for nearly all of my life,"
said Palmer, who was the first to win a U.S. Amateur, U.S. Open
and a U.S. Senior Open. "I am honored and humbled, and I
feel like I've just won the U.S. Open again."
"I can't think of a more fitting tribute to the man
who has meant so much to the game of golf," said Fred
Ridley, USGA President. "His play, conduct and influence
have reflected the positive aspects of this game for a
generation. He has done it all with a gracious manner that has
made him the game's most eloquent diplomat. We want Arnold
Palmer to know that this organization and its more than 700,000
Members nationwide will always be Arnie's Army."
|Arnold Palmer is one of two players in
history to have won the U.S. Amateur, U.S. Open and U.S.
Senior Open. Jack Nicklaus is the other. (John
Palmer won the U.S. Amateur in 1954, the U.S. Open in 1960 and
the U.S. Senior Open in 1981. But it was his first USGA title
that Palmer has maintained was the "most important win of my
career. It gave me the confidence to go on and become a
Palmer received the USGA's Bob Jones Award in 1971 in
recognition of his distinguished sportsmanship. Four years later,
Palmer enrolled then-President Gerald Ford as the first USGA
Member at a White House ceremony. Thirty years later, Palmer
remains the only individual to serve as chairman of the USGA
The museum project was approved by the USGA Executive
Committee at the Association's 2005 Annual Meeting held in
February in Santa Barbara, Calif. Planning and design for the new
facility is ongoing, with groundbreaking on the Palmer Center set
for 2006. The total cost of the project, which will be
underwritten by the Association, is budgeted at more than $16
The USGA has retained several nationally recognized partners
to assist with the project. They include: Farewell Mills Gatsch
Architects, LLC of Princeton, N.J.; Gallagher & Associates of
Bethesda, Md., as the exhibition designers; and Zubatkin, Owner
Representation, LLC of Somers, N.Y., as project managers.
The new Palmer Center will be attached to the existing museum
structure, an early 20
century landmark designed by John Russell Pope. Pope designed
many important private residences as well as notable landmarks in
the nation's capital, such as the National Archives Building
and the Jefferson Memorial. Once renovated, the existing museum
space will house offices, meeting rooms and exhibition galleries,
including a new Arnold Palmer room, and will continue to serve as
the main entrance for museum visitors.
Design elements of the new Palmer Center include a sky-lit
rotunda with special lighting, a 5,000-square-foot exhibition
gallery to highlight USGA championship history, and 5,000 square
feet of archival storage space for the Association's
extensive collections of artifacts, books, photographs and films.
The facility also will contain a research room where researchers
may study materials from the USGA's premier historical
The USGA has been located in Bernards Township, N.J., since
1972. Other buildings at the USGA's headquarters, known as
Golf House, are an Administration Building and the USGA Research
and Test Center, where the Association carries out testing of
golf equipment to assure compliance with the Rules of Golf and
maintain the element of skill in the game.
Founded in 1935, the USGA Museum and Archives is the oldest
museum in the country dedicated to sports.
Golf's governing body in the United States and Mexico, the
USGA also works closely with the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of
St. Andrews, Scotland, to produce a uniform code of Rules of Golf
that are observed worldwide.
The organization's most visible role, however, is played
out each season in conducting 13 national championships,
including the U.S. Open, U.S. Women's Open, and U.S. Senior
Open. The other 10 national championships are exclusively for
amateurs, and include the U.S. Amateur and the U.S. Women's
Amateur. Nearly 40,000 golfers entered USGA championships during