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United by Golf August 7, 2023 | Liberty Corner, N.J. By Fred Perpall, USGA President

USGA President Fred Perpall celebrates with his family (wife Abi, left, and daughters Ali and Ava) following his election at the 2023 USGA Annual Meeting in Napa, Calif. (USGA/Jason E. Miczek)

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Of all the memorable moments in my life, being elected as the 67th president of the USGA certainly ranks near the top. On the evening of my election, at the USGA Annual Meeting, I was struck by the magnitude of the occasion and thrilled that it came with my beautiful family and several friends in attendance. My wife, Abi, and our daughters Ava and Ali, mean the world to me. I am so grateful for the life we have built.

Over the coming three years, I will work with CEO Mike Whan, my fellow Executive Committee members and the world-class USGA staff to continue our mission to lead golf forward. That work has already begun. Under Mike’s leadership, we are an organization that clearly knows our priorities. If we succeed, the game succeeds, and that’s what all of us at the USGA are focused on. My role is not to make the decisions, but to help inform and guide the decision-making so that 50 years from now, 100 years from now, golf remains strong for our children’s children.

During my acceptance speech, I shared a few thoughts with the audience that I thought were worth sharing more widely:

I took to golf later in life than many of my predecessors. Yet, the game was changing my life long before I ever picked up a club. In my hometown of Nassau in the Bahamas, a group of golfers at the exclusive Lyford Cay Club – where my mom worked as a cook – decided to share some of their good fortune with others outside the club gates. They created a scholarship fund to help kids from disadvantaged communities go to college. I was one of those kids. It transformed my life, and helped set me on the path to where I am today.

Imagine if every golf club did something like that. Imagine what a difference we could make. In golf, we are a community. When we decide to walk the fairways together, we are making a commitment not just to play together but to live our lives together.

It is certainly not lost on me that I am the first Black president of the USGA. I appreciate the opportunity to bring a diverse perspective to the game and hope that this sends a message to anyone interested that there is room for them in golf. I am honored, energized and humbled to serve the USGA membership and the entire game with that goal in mind.