This week, the USGA welcomed its largest class of P.J. Boatwright Jr. interns to the annual Boatwright Summit as the organization kicks off the 32nd year of the career development initiative that provides on-the-job training across the USGA’s network of 58 Allied Golf Associations (AGAs).
As part of the organization’s commitment to foster a more inclusive game and connect more individuals to careers in golf, the USGA funds the program, in part through philanthropic contributions, and works closely with AGAs on intern recruitment and training. In 2023, the USGA is delivering a program-high $2.09 million to pay each intern, provide travel costs to the annual summit and support AGA operations to manage staffing locally.
Representing all 50 states and Puerto Rico, the 2023 class includes undergraduate and graduate students, collegiate athletes, individuals who are new to golf and those looking to make a career change. The program is open to all interested in learning about golf administration, regardless of age, gender or religious belief, and no golf experience is required.
“The USGA Boatwright Program is a proven framework to identify and develop future leaders of the golf industry,” said USGA CEO Mike Whan. “Our collaboration with the Allied Golf Associations to host and train the next generation of golf administrators remains key to connecting more students to the more than 1.65 million careers in golf.”
The three-day orientation included instructional sessions led by USGA staff – including many Boatwright alumni – on Course Rating, agronomy, Rules, championship administration and the World Handicap System. Following the summit, Boatwrights returned to their respective host region for on-the-job training in all aspects of golf administration.
Since 1991, the program has helped launch the careers of more than 3,000 individuals with many alumni holding leadership positions throughout golf, broader sports industries and beyond. Among USGA staff, two executives and more than two dozen team members started their careers as Boatwright interns. Approximately 32 percent of AGA executive directors and 35 percent of all AGA staff are Boatwright alumni.
Research recently released by the American Golf Industry Coalition highlights golf’s $102 billion direct economic impact in 2022, an increase of 20 percent over its $84 billion direct impact reported in 2016. Serving as executive sponsor of the Make Golf Your Career workstream, Whan represents the USGA’s commitment to collaborating with partners across the golf industry to identify, attract and engage more talent from diverse backgrounds.
As the game continues to grow, the USGA is focused on offering intentional career-training programs that help funnel more individuals from underrepresented backgrounds into the 1.65 million jobs impacted by golf in the U.S. Annually, the USGA funds nearly 300 internships across the country through the Pathways Internship Program and students supporting our championship and headquarters operations.