Doing The Good Work Of Golf
Since 1992, this USGA-funded program has
allowed hundreds of men and women to get their start in
golf administration - and help the game thrive at the
January 21, 2009
By John Steinbreder
Though P. J. Boatwright, Jr. passed away 18 years ago,
his name lives on at the United States Golf Association -
as the gentleman who served as executive director of the
organization from 1969 to 1980, and who endures as perhaps
its greatest authority on the rules of the game.
Boatwright also retains a prominent presence as a result
of the paid internships the USGA has been awarding in his
honor since 1992, the year after he died of bone cancer at
the age of 63. And given the success of that program, it
arguably stands as his greatest legacy within the
association - and one that should endure for years to
|P.J. Boatwright's legacy
continues through an internship program that assists
state/regional golf associations. (USGA Museum)|
Each year, the USGA helps fund more than 100 P. J.
Boatwright internships to men and women interested in
pursuing a career in golf administration. The internships,
at state and regional golf associations throughout the
country, generally run from three months to a year, with
the USGA stipend averaging about $1,550 a month. (Golf
associations that participate in the Boatwright program are
responsible for the recruitment, compensation and
supervision of interns;
for a list of 2009 internship opportunities by state.)
In their positions, the interns perform a wide variety
of tasks, from sorting tournament entries and running
competitions to rating courses and answering phones. And in
the end, they gain valuable experience and make important
contacts in the game as they also provide critical
assistance to groups that are otherwise under-funded and
There is no denying the Boatwright program has been a
boon to those men and women who want to work in golf, as
well as those organizations that so desperately need their
assistance. For example, the USGA has allocated some $18
million since 1992 to fund roughly 1,400 P. J. Boatwright
interns. Half of those have remained in the sport, and 30
currently hold the title of either executive director or
assistant exective director of a state or regional golf
association. An additional 56 employees are either
directors or managers at these associations.
"The Boatwright internship is among the most
important things we do as an association," says USGA
President Jim Vernon, whose knows first-hand how well the
program works - his administrative assistant is an alumna.
"It is also one of our most successful."
The Boatwright program took shape in 1992. "There
was some concern within the game in the mid-1980s about
where the next generation of golf administrators was coming
from," says internship administrator Dorothy
Mastromonaco. "And when P. J. died, there was a
feeling at the USGA that we could pay tribute to him by
establishing these internships as we also addressed the
concern for grooming that next generation."
But grooming was only part of the initial mission.
"It was also hoped the program could serve as an
eye-opener and show the interns what golf administration
entailed as it also trained them for a career there,"
says Donna Mummert, who interned with the Carolina Golf
Association for six months in 1997 and is now assistant
director of Amateur Status and the Rules of Golf for the
USGA. (For Mummert's account of her internship, including
the week-long Boatwright Orientation that the USGA hosts
each spring at its headquarters in Far Hills, N.J.,
In addition, the Boatwright program has allowed the
dozens of state and regional golf associations that do so
much for the game to benefit from an infusion of paid help,
both in the office and on the course. "That has always
been part of the mission as well, to help those
associations provide the highest quality level of
assistance to their members and all of amateur golf,"
Carr McCalla, the executive director of the Louisiana
Golf Association, knows first-hand what a Boatwright intern
can mean to an aspiring golf administrator.
|LGA Executive Director Carr McCalla
was part of the first class of P.J. Boatwright interns.
"I was part of the very first Boatwright class,
working in the summer of 1992 for the Tennessee Golf
Association," he recalls. "And it was a huge part
of my breaking into the golf industry four years later. I
learned a lot during my time in Tennessee, and I made a
number of very important contacts. In fact, two of the
people I met there, Executive Director Dick Horton and USGA
Regional Manager Roger Harvie, were important parts of my
being offered the position I hold today."
In McCalla's role as the executive director, he has also
come to appreciate what the Boatwright program can mean to
a group like his. "For my first six years with the
LGA, I was the only full-time staff person," he says.
"The USGA has provided us with Boatwright interns each
of the 13 years I've worked here. The first six years,
interns served as exactly half of our staff and were
critical components in our growth as an
McCalla did get some additional help in 2001, when his
board approved the hiring of a second, full-time staffer.
And to demonstrate just how much he thinks about the value
of the program, each of the three people he has placed in
that position over the years has been - you guessed it - a
former Boatwright intern.
Now a senior writer at
magazine, Beth Ann Baldry worked a decade ago as a
Boatwright intern for the Florida Women's State Golf
Association during her freshman and sophomore years at
Florida Southern. "Most of it took place in the
summers during those years, though I would go into the
association office once a week or so during school,"
she recalls. "I worked closely with the executive
director, and like a lot of interns, I spent time helping
to do everything from rating courses to running
tournaments. I met a lot of good people and got a sense of
how things operated behind the scenes at a golf
association. I also wrote a lot of articles for the
association's newsletter, and my internship was a time when
I discovered how much I liked to write, and to write about
golf. In many ways, it's why I am doing what I am
Bill Moore, executive director of the New York State
Golf Association, also found his two stints as a Boatwright
intern to be springboards to a career in golf. "I did
it right after I graduated from college in 1996," he
recalls. "I wanted to get into the golf business in
some capacity, but just wasn't sure how to do it. I talked
to the executive director of the New York State Golf
Association at the time, Pat Keenan, and he suggested I
Moore was able to secure an internship at the
organization he runs today, and he well remembers what his
job was all about. "We barely used computers in those
days," he says. "Most of the work was done in
paper and at the championship site itself. In those days,
the only staffer was a part-time executive director and I.
So, we did most of the work. We set up the golf course a
day or two before the event, with the help of a handful of
volunteers. We set up the players' banquet and made up the
scorecards. We even wrote the press releases and sent out
the results to the local and regional news
As far as Moore is concerned, the benefits of a
Boatwright internship - then and now - are huge. "The
program has given a lot of young people the opportunity to
see what the world of golf administration is all
about," he says. "And it has brought a lot of
talented people into the game, and into these
Like David Donnelly, a St. Louis resident who parlayed
his Boatwright internship first into a job in the Rules and
Competitions department of the USGA and later into a gig
with the PGA Tour, as a rules official with the Nationwide
circuit. "I started in the program the summer I
received my undergraduate degree from the University of
Missouri, and it was instrumental in my developing a career
in golf," he says. "The Boatwright enabled me to
get my foot in the door with the USGA, which hired me a few
years after I completed the internship. And from there, I
was able to make my way to the Tour."
In short, Donnelly concludes, he would not be where he
is in the game were it not for the Boatwright program.
Plenty of intern alumni can say the same thing, and the
associations that have been able to employ those young men
and women as a result echo their sentiments about the value
of the program and the opportunities it presents.
Sums up Judy Bell, USGA president from 1996-97 and
consulting director of the USGA Grants and Fellowship
Programs: "It really has been a win-win for all
John Steinbreder is a freelance golf writer based in
For more information about Boatwright intern positions
available for 2009,click on this link.