Now This Is What You Want To Hear From A USGA President

Picture 11Jim Hyler was appointed the next president of the United States Golf Association at the governing body’s annual confab down in Pinehurst yesterday. Here’s David Shefter’s profile of the retired banker, and the text of Mr. Hyler’s address.  One passage is particularly encouraging, hinting at the new president’s grasp of a priority issue in golf:

“With the recent economic downturn, our focus on these critical issues has sharpened. If we are not careful, high construction costs, soaring maintenance budgets, and declining membership rosters will threaten the survival of many courses and clubs. In my opinion, many of the standards by which we construct and maintain our courses have become, quite simply, unsustainable. While there may be short-term solutions, what we need to seek is a long-term strategy that confronts some of the deeper issues plaguing the game.

When it comes to the issue that is perhaps of greatest concern to golf’s future – namely, water, we must re-set the way that we look at golf courses. As we have for the U.S. Open, I believe that our definition of playability should include concepts of firm, fast, and yes, even brown, and allow the running game to flourish. We need to understand how brown can become the new green. Our maintenance expectations must be realistic, promoting a more relaxed approach that allows us to reduce our consumption of clean water. A more natural game that is sustainable can be promoted as a more responsible philosophy for maintaining golf courses anywhere.”

Good to hear, but I’ll follow up to see what this might mean in practice.

Photos: John Mummert/USGA


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