or Connect
TheSandTrap.com › Golf Forum › The Clubhouse › Golf Talk › Is it time for a real-world alternative to the USGA?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Is it time for a real-world alternative to the USGA? - Page 4

Poll Results: Is it time for an alternative to the USGA?

 
  • 13% (4)
    Yes
  • 86% (25)
    No
29 Total Votes  
post #55 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by tucsonsean View Post

Ah, there it is: the mean-spirited vitriol I sort of expected. My handicap is honest and I play by the rules of golf. My question was out of curiosity, and my curiosity was satisfied. I'm bowing out of this discussion. Thanks to everyone who supplied constructive input.

 

It wasn't mean spirited, all @iacas was saying is that if you don't want to play by the Rules of Golf, then you aren't obligated to.

post #56 of 93
Thread Starter 
No, of course you're right--a little too sensitive, I guess. He was basically echoing Frank Thomas in his book, "Just Hit It, " where he reminds golfers like me that the equipment we have is probably as good as we need, and the USGA can make recommendations but its enforcement power is limited to its own tournaments. So Thomas encourages everyone to play whatever equipment he or she likes.
post #57 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by k-troop View Post
 

Here's a question for y'all playing on the loose impediment rule.  I think I know what the answer is, but it creates an interesting tension between the intent of the rule and practicalities of maintaining pace of play.

 

The February ice storm in Augusta took out more than just the Eisenhower tree--it took down trees and limbs at courses all over the area.  This resulted in piles of cut trunks, branches, and limbs piled a few steps into the tree line at most area courses.

 

So, you hit your ball into the tree line.  You're only a few yards into the tree line, so you have a clear shot.  However, your ball has come to rest near a pile of cut branches and trunk so that it affects your stance or swing.  What do you do?

 

Option 1:  spend five minutes (or more) moving a woodpile.

Option 2:  recognizing it would be extremely inefficient to move the woodpile, and the course is crowded while people are waiting, take a drop a few feet away.

Option 3:  decide that you cannot move the impediment without "unduly delaying play" and either take a penalty drop or try to play it as it lies.

 

If it's debris piled for removal, then you can take relief from it under Rule 25.  If it's just branches and stuff that's been dumped there by Mother Nature, then you just have to treat it as loose impediments.

post #58 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by k-troop View Post
 

Here's a question for y'all playing on the loose impediment rule.  I think I know what the answer is, but it creates an interesting tension between the intent of the rule and practicalities of maintaining pace of play.

 

The February ice storm in Augusta took out more than just the Eisenhower tree--it took down trees and limbs at courses all over the area.  This resulted in piles of cut trunks, branches, and limbs piled a few steps into the tree line at most area courses.

 

So, you hit your ball into the tree line.  You're only a few yards into the tree line, so you have a clear shot.  However, your ball has come to rest near a pile of cut branches and trunk so that it affects your stance or swing.  What do you do?

 

Option 1:  spend five minutes (or more) moving a woodpile.

Option 2:  recognizing it would be extremely inefficient to move the woodpile, and the course is crowded while people are waiting, take a drop a few feet away.

Option 3:  decide that you cannot move the impediment without "unduly delaying play" and either take a penalty drop or try to play it as it lies.

 

Well the USGA also leaves room for local rules.  Which most likely in this case would label the entire area as GUR, and take a drop outside the area.  I'm guessing for any tourney that is serious, they would label anything like that as GUR because it wasn't originally part of the course design and just hasn't been removed yet.  If I'm wrong, than I would take the unplayable or just try and hit it the best i can even if its not in the right direction.

post #59 of 93

I have no beef with the USGA's administration of the Rules of Golf and they run the series of national championships very well. My problem relates to their use of their funding and the overall governance.

 

The USGA had $157,000,000 in revenue in 2012 and at the end of the year they had a net worth of $314,000,000.  Virtually every year their revenue/income exceeds expenses by a wide margin.  Their net worth increased $51,000,000 year over year.  The Board of the USGA is sitting on a ton of money and the pile continues to grow.  With the new Fox contract, the rate of increase is likely to accelerate.  Why does a non-profit need that size of a war chest?  What are their long range plans to spend it?

 

We should see more coming out of the USGA that is directed at the public access golfer other than a public relations campaign like "While We're Young."  The USGA gets a lot of support from public golfers and from my viewpoint, doesn't return a lot in the form of services.

 

It would also be nice to see some different types of faces on the USGA Board.  The entire selection process seems a bit incestuous with everyone coming from essentially the same background.

post #60 of 93

Some interesting points there Bkuehn

 

Your explanation of the finances does indeed raise a question. If at a time when courses are closing, and the number of players falling, is it right that the USGA should be squirreling away money? Now I don't think anyone would advocate a splurge for the sake of spending it, but these are the types of questions that need asking, and quite possibly they need to come from the bottom up. I can understand that they'd reject a motion to subsidise green fees and if making it cheaper were the best that could be offered, this would be disappointing, and dismissed as members just pedalling a self-interest no less unworthy than many of the others. But if anyone has any serious development ideas that could help arrest the decline and engage golfers they should be listened to

post #61 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by bkuehn1952 View Post

I have no beef with the USGA's administration of the Rules of Golf and they run the series of national championships very well. My problem relates to their use of their funding and the overall governance.

The USGA had $157,000,000 in revenue in 2012 and at the end of the year they had a net worth of $314,000,000.  Virtually every year their revenue/income exceeds expenses by a wide margin.  Their net worth increased $51,000,000 year over year.  The Board of the USGA is sitting on a ton of money and the pile continues to grow.  With the new Fox contract, the rate of increase is likely to accelerate.  Why does a non-profit need that size of a war chest?  What are their long range plans to spend it?

We should see more coming out of the USGA that is directed at the public access golfer other than a public relations campaign like "While We're Young."  The USGA gets a lot of support from public golfers and from my viewpoint, doesn't return a lot in the form of services.

It would also be nice to see some different types of faces on the USGA Board.  The entire selection process seems a bit incestuous with everyone coming from essentially the same background.

As a businessman, who also sits on the board of directors of a mid-sized non-profit organization, it strikes me as a well run, financially sound organization to me.
post #62 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post


As a businessman, who also sits on the board of directors of a mid-sized non-profit organization, it strikes me as a well run, financially sound organization to me.

I don't think you are going to find anyone who will dispute that the USGA is financially sound.  In fact, we can concede that if the purpose of the organization was to collect an immense pile of money, the USGA is extremely well run.  501(c)3 organizations are supposed to do more than accumulate money for some unspecified purpose.

post #63 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by bkuehn1952 View Post

I don't think you are going to find anyone who will dispute that the USGA is financially sound.  In fact, we can concede that if the purpose of the organization was to collect an immense pile of money, the USGA is extremely well run.  501(c)3 organizations are supposed to do more than accumulate money for some unspecified purpose.

And what is it that the USGA is supposed to do that they're not doing?
post #64 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post


And what is it that the USGA is supposed to do that they're not doing?

Our government should hire the USGA as financial consultants.

post #65 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post


And what is it that the USGA is supposed to do that they're not doing?

 

I'd have thought that goes back to the thread. There's enough people lamenting the decline of golf by way of playing numbers and clubs closing. The USGA has a war chest capable of being deployed to arrest this decline if they had ideas as to how to use it. The question has been asked enough times, but so far the predominant answer has been words to the effect of 'make my round cheaper'. Understandably they aren't going to use their reserves to subsidise golf clubs (as that's how it would work in effect) but they should be open to grassroots suggestions to popularise the sport and bring it to a wider audience. If the bottom up contribution is purely focused on costs though, they aren't going to listen, as they'll dismiss it as naked self-interest rather than something more strategic and focused on the generic game

post #66 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by bkuehn1952 View Post

Why does a non-profit need that size of a war chest?  What are their long range plans to spend it?

 

You should ask them.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by FarawayFairways View Post

I'd have thought that goes back to the thread. There's enough people lamenting the decline of golf by way of playing numbers and clubs closing. The USGA has a war chest capable of being deployed to arrest this decline if they had ideas as to how to use it. The question has been asked enough times, but so far the predominant answer has been words to the effect of 'make my round cheaper'. Understandably they aren't going to use their reserves to subsidise golf clubs (as that's how it would work in effect)

 

Correct: Why should the USGA get involved in private business? Public golf courses are still owned by someone. It's still private business. They do some non-profit-like things like help to support First Tee type things, give free clinics and workshops, work with superintendents to share best practices, etc. Why should they get involved with failing businesses?

 

They shouldn't.

 

P.S. Some thought the large USGA war chest was for just that: a war. Perhaps against equipment. Perhaps when golf is actually teetering on the brink of some bad times. Who knows? I don't have any particular qualms with the USGA, and think they do a fair amount. But I also see a bit more than the average golfer. I know head pros, superintendents, and I rate courses, and run tournaments, and talk with USGA folks fairly often, etc.

post #67 of 93

I think the first thing the USGA needs to decide is just what they are, going forward. That might sound flippant, but it isn't. It's perfectly clear to me that different states have different priorities and even within states the raison d'etre between areas can be quite marked. 

 

It strikes me that some are looking to reach out, and see themselves as potentially contributing to a wider golf community and development brief, whilst others are much more inward looking and leave the impression that they're evovled with their own needs assuming increasing primacy over those of their members

 

Personally I'm struggling to reconcile the amazing coincidence that so many suggestions have mysteriosuly hit on though

 

In answer to the broad question of golf is dying, what can be done to improve it? something like 80% have interpreted this mean what can the USGA do to make my personal round cheaper. Go figure

post #68 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by FarawayFairways View Post
 

It's perfectly clear to me that different states have different priorities and even within states the raison d'etre between areas can be quite marked.

 

The USGA is not a state-level thing. It's like federal government versus the various regional golf associations (state government, local government). They're "under" the USGA, but they aren't the USGA themselves.

 

Heck, here in Erie, PA we have the Erie District Golf Association, which is a member of the Western Pennsylvania Golf Association, which is a member of the USGA (roughly speaking). All three are responsible for different things, and while the EDGA can contact the WPGA if they want some help with something, the WPGA doesn't and shouldn't spend its time worrying about what's happening in Erie. They should focus on their entire region. The USGA's entire region is the U.S. and Mexico.

 

I think the USGA knows what it is "going forward."

post #69 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

You should ask them.



Correct: Why should the USGA get involved in private business? Public golf courses are still owned by someone. It's still private business. They do some non-profit-like things like help to support First Tee type things, give free clinics and workshops, work with superintendents to share best practices, etc. Why should they get involved with failing businesses?

They shouldn't.

P.S. Some thought the large USGA war chest was for just that: a war. Perhaps against equipment. Perhaps when golf is actually teetering on the brink of some bad times. Who knows? I don't have any particular qualms with the USGA, and think they do a fair amount. But I also see a bit more than the average golfer. I know head pros, superintendents, and I rate courses, and run tournaments, and talk with USGA folks fairly often, etc.

QFT.

USGA MISSION STATEMENT

The United States of Golf Association promotes and conserves the true spirit of the game of golf as embodied in its ancient and honorable traditions. It acts in the best interests of the game for the continued enjoyment of those who love and play it.

The USGA serves the game most visibly through the conduct of its national championships. Together with The R&A, the Association provides governance for the game worldwide, jointly administering the Rules of Golf, establishing equipment standards, and formulating the Rules of Amateur Status. The Association also maintains the USGA Handicap and Course Rating Systems, develops and promotes sustainable golf course management practices, and celebrates the history of the game
.


You'll never please all the people all the time, but it seems to me that they do a pretty good job at what they intend to do.

For those that think that the USGA isn't responsive enough to the individual member, it's worth noting that membership dues only account for about 7% of their annual revenue as reported on the latest IRS Form 990.
post #70 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post
 

 

The USGA is not a state-level thing. It's like federal government versus the various regional golf associations (state government, local government). They're "under" the USGA, but they aren't the USGA themselves.

 

 

 

Yes but local government can still embark on many substantive initiatives within the governmental framework. State golf associations can do the same. I've had completely different answers/ responses to the same questions to know that they have latitude to do so, and I'm not sure I've ever encountered any of the States, or even the larger geographic regional conglomorations hiding behind the central USGA for the reason they can't do things

post #71 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post

For those that think that the USGA isn't responsive enough to the individual member, it's worth noting that membership dues only account for about 7% of their annual revenue as reported on the latest IRS Form 990.

 

This could become the 'Mickelson defence'. "It only accounts for 7% of my income"

 

In all seriousness, this is the bit that needs looking at  

 

"and celebrates the history of the game".

 

Just WTF is that supposed to mean? OK we probably know the answer and its the sort of corporate clap trap we see enough times, but surely it's out of date (sorry couldn't resist implying history is out of date). It's really the notion that the past can be used to promote the future etc and whereas there is some merit to this, the current evidence suggests it needs reinforcing with more substantive actions 

 

I'd suggest that rather than smugly sitting back and wallowing in the past, someone needs to give them a brief that involves looking to the future and the now, and start development programmes rather than popping champagne corks in celebration of halcyon days gone

post #72 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by FarawayFairways View Post

This could become the 'Mickelson defence'. "It only accounts for 7% of my income"

In all seriousness, this is the bit that needs looking at  

"and celebrates the history of the game".

Just WTF is that supposed to mean? OK we probably know the answer and its the sort of corporate clap trap we see enough times, but surely it's out of date (sorry couldn't resist implying history is out of date). It's really the notion that the past can be used to promote the future etc and whereas there is some merit to this, the current evidence suggests it needs reinforcing with more substantive actions 

I'd suggest that rather than smugly sitting back and wallowing in the past, someone needs to give them a brief that involves looking to the future and the now, and start development programmes rather than popping champagne corks in celebration of halcyon days gone

What's wrong with celebrating the history of the game? I certainly don't get the impression that their intent is to do so to the exclusion of anything else.

You keep saying that they should be "looking to the future". What makes you think that they aren't? What specifically do you think that they should be doing that they aren't?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Golf Talk
TheSandTrap.com › Golf Forum › The Clubhouse › Golf Talk › Is it time for a real-world alternative to the USGA?