For Some, Boatwright Internship A Stepping Stone To Career In Golf

January 21, 2008

By Donna Mummert

I was fortunate to serve as a P.J. Boatwright Intern for the Carolinas Golf Association during the summer of 1997. At the time, I was a senior at Winthrop University in Rock Hill S.C., majoring in finance and playing for the golf team - and altogether unsure of my next step in the real world. On one of my first days on the job at CGA's offices near Pinehurst, N.C., Executive Director Jack Nance told me that I had been invited to Far Hills, N.J., to attend the USGA Orientation for Boatwright Interns, with all expenses paid by the United States Golf Association.

Donna Mummert

"Of course I'll go!" I quickly replied. Not only could I not pass up this great opportunity to learn more about the USGA - and what was in store for me at the CGA over the next few months - but it would give me a chance to visit my family back home, only 20 miles from USGA headquarters in north central New Jersey.

I soon received materials from the USGA indicating that we would have a full week of seminars, covering all aspects of the USGA. While the focus would be on the Rules of Golf and Handicapping and Course Rating, we also had sessions on Championship Administration, Media and Communications, and Equipment, as well as tours of the Research and Test Center and the USGA's Museum. I also knew this would be a chance to make many new, like-minded friends and meet some of the staff working at Golf House, as USGA HQ is known.

As the week progressed I realized that there are many career paths within golf administration, and this would be something that I would pursue once I returned to Winthrop for my final semester. The interns, based at state and regional golf associations from around the country, became a close group. It was tough to say good-bye at the conclusion of the week.

Jack Nance kindly let me spend a few extra days in N.J. visiting family. The day after the USGA Orientation concluded, we headed to our local golf club to determine who would earn family bragging rights for the summer. Walking through the clubhouse, I looked up and saw a newly familiar face: Larry Adamson, then USGA director of Championship Administration. He had spoken to the Boatwright interns at the seminar, and here we were playing at the same course - members of the same club, no less. After we chatted a bit, I was pleased to realize I had made not only a new friend but also perhaps a good contact for the future.

Throughout my six months as an intern for the CGA, I was able to apply many of the tricks of the trade that were taught to us during the Orientation. I took a special interest in the Course Rating process and, as a numbers person, enjoyed crunching them to determine the final result. Two other areas that I took a liking to were the Rules of Golf and course marking for competitive play - both involved being out on the course during the championships.

During my final semester at Winthrop the next spring, I forwarded my resume to Adamson. Although he did not have any positions available in Championship Administration, I did learn that the Handicapping Department had just created a new Coordinator position.

On June 8, 1998, I started my life in the real world, working for the USGA and the game I love. Throughout my 10 years at the USGA, I have kept my friendships with my fellow Boatwright Intern alumni, and I continue to work on Amateur Status matters with Jack Nance and his staff at the CGA (as well as with many state and regional golf associations whose executive directors are former Boatwright interns). And each spring, I also look forward to the Boatwright Intern Orientation Seminar. Only now, it's me who speaks to the group - and to no small number of interns individually asking for some "real world" guidance. It's my way of giving back to a program that most definitely helped launch my career in golf.

Donna Mummert is the USGA's Assistant Director, Amateur Status & Rules of Golf, and also directs the U.S. Girls' Junior Championship. She played collegiately at Winthrop University and qualified for the 2004 U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur Championship.




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