Vernon Outlines Core
By Ken Klavon, USGA
Houston - In his first official speech as the USGA's 60
president, Jim Vernon, at times passionate, emphasized core
areas of the Association. There were many.
Vernon, 58, listed championships, equipment, aggressive
Internet growth and preserving the game's history as
keystone points. Conducting the best national championships
is paramount, he said, and how the new Arnold Palmer Center
For Golf History, scheduled to open June 3, will serve as a
repository for golf artifacts, literature, film and videos.
It will also serve as the leading golf research facility in
As for equipment issues, Vernon was succinct.
"We are committed to basing the rules on
scientifically supported facts and not anecdotes,"
State and regional golf associations were identified as
vital to the functioning of the USGA. Vernon, the former
president of the Southern California Golf Association,
lauded the state and regional associations for helping
conduct roughly 700 qualifiers, assisting in the
administering of the USGA Handicap System and the course
rating system. "You are core to the mission of the
Early in his speech, Vernon told a story about receiving a
letter from a woman who explained that her son and husband
were avid golfers but suffered from cancer. She had hoped
they could still volunteer at Torrey Pines, site of this
year's U.S. Open, because they had missed the deadline
to file an application due to medicinal treatments.
What is it about this game
?" said Vernon. "This passion and spirit of
volunteerism flows from many of the functions of the
Vernon promised that the Grants Initiative would still
remain a priority and that the USGA will continue to work
closely with the PGA of America, calling the organization
the doctors of the sport. "We recognize the USGA does
not operate in a vacuum," he said. "It does not
operate the game as a monopoly."
Finally, he turned his attention to supporters and wife,
"Thank you for your support. And, Gail, I'll see
you in two years," he said to laughter, referencing
the busy times that lay ahead.
KenKlavonis the USGA's Editor of New Media. E-mail him with
questions or comments at email@example.com.