• Dear Oregon Golfer:

    A Message To The OGA

    March 25, 2009


    I have a confession. I have an unabashed love for the game. I trace its genesis to my boyhood offer to our neighbor "Albie" to mow his field … by hand … for free! In exchange, Albie let me hit some old golf balls with hand-me-down clubs.

    Twenty years later, I begged the Northern California Golf Association for a job and was eventually hired on Sept. 9, 1970. While working for the NCGA, I learned about the United States Golf Association and its important mission, and on July 12, 1981, I was privileged to join the nation's governing body of golf. After 38 years of service to amateur golf, most recently as the USGA's director of Regional Affairs for the West Region, I now feel like … a guardian of the game.

    My assignment with the USGA has brought me in contact with state and regional golf associations across the country, including the Oregon Golf Association, and today I work directly with men's and women's and amateur golf organizations from Arizona to Alaska and from Montana to Hawaii. My objective is to bridge the miles between USGA headquarters in Far Hills, N.J., and associations like the OGA and to be of assistance to them in any possible way.

    I also work closely with hundreds of volunteers throughout the West Region. Together, these state and regional associations and tireless volunteers form a remarkable network — and partnership with the USGA — that aims to preserve, to promote and protect this great game. It is the dedication and commitment of all — the state and regional associations, the volunteers and the USGA — all working together — that truly makes the game of golf unique in the world of sport.

    During my nearly 28 years at the USGA, I have developed a close relationship with the OGA, its leadership, the member clubs and many of Oregon's passionate golfers, just like me. I feel very much at home in Oregon.

    In my view, there is no better golfing state than Oregon. Your state has some of the world's greatest golf courses by any measurement—natural beauty, design, challenge and—what matters most—in their enjoyment to play for golfers of all abilities. Your member clubs have a deep sense of the history and traditions of the game, and they are as generous in sharing their facilities as any. As golfers, your passion for playing the game — rain or shine — is equal to golfers anywhere. And you are fortunate to have the kind of state organization— the OGA— that its golfers deserve.

    The OGA does an outstanding job in serving the game, its member clubs and its golfers in a host of ways: conducting wonderful championships for golfers of all abilities; administering the Rules of Golf and the Rules of Amateurism; and applying the USGA Course Rating & Handicap System. The service provided by the OGA is at the highest level.

    I congratulate the OGA for taking a leadership position in the Alliance Membership Program. One of the many benefits this initiative includes is the monthly USGA/OGA Insider e-newsletter, which I'll be contributing to regularly with news and views of interest to Oregon golfers. By learning more about what the OGA and the USGA do in partnership to serve the game, maybe you, too, will begin to consider yourself not just a golfer, but a guardian of this great game. You will be most welcome.

    Ron Read

    Director, Regional Affairs

    West Region

    E-mail: rread@usga.org


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