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USGA CEO Mike Davis Stepping Down by End of 2021


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Dear USGA Member,

After more than three wonderful decades working at the USGA, today I am publicly announcing my decision to move on from the organization by the end of 2021 to begin a new journey. I first discussed my long-term intentions with the USGA Executive Committee in 2018 to encourage proper time for planning and a smooth transition. More recently, I shared my plans with the USGA’s executive team and today I am sharing this news with all of my fellow staff members.

While leaving the USGA will be hard, I’m excited to tell you that I will be pursuing my dream of designing and building golf courses by partnering with Tom Fazio II. I’ve been fascinated with golf design ever since I was a junior golfer. It started with doodling golf holes, and then reading and observing all that I could about golf course architecture. It also led to a quest to study as many of the world’s best courses as possible. The last 30+ years with the USGA have afforded me so many wonderful opportunities in that regard, including meeting and working with many of the renowned designers in the game. I have also learned a great deal about grasses, course maintenance and construction from our deeply knowledgeable Green Section agronomists.

Tom lives in Jupiter, Florida, and has been a friend for many years. His family is steeped in golf design – he’s the son of golf course designer Jim Fazio, nephew of designer Tom Fazio and great-nephew of designer and 1950 U.S. Open runner-up George Fazio. Tom is a very talented design-builder, who has many accomplishments. Just recently, he’s worked on the venues for the 2023 Ryder Cup and the 2022 PGA Championship. Our firm will be called Fazio & Davis Golf Design, LLC.

Beyond the opportunity to pursue my lifelong passion, it is the right time for me and my family. When I became Executive Director in March 2011, I told Cece that I would devote 10 years to this leadership position, and then we would move on. She and my family have been incredibly understanding of the long hours and the many days away from home. I’m excited to share that Cece and I will move full-time to Jupiter, where we are currently building a new home.

A search committee that comprises a handful of USGA Executive Committee members, supported by an external search firm, has been appointed to lead the selection of the next CEO for the Association. Steve Schloss (USGA Chief People Officer) and I are working closely with the search committee to assist in the process. The board hopes to have my successor in place by the end of May to facilitate on-boarding and knowledge sharing, especially through a USGA championship season.

It has been a great honor and privilege to serve the USGA and the game, and so my departure feels bittersweet. The USGA has been such an important part of my life these last 30+ years, and I’ve been so proud to say that I work for the organization. My experiences going back to 1990 have been nothing short of amazing. So too have been the people I have gotten to know and come to call friends. There are so many to thank who have helped me along the way, and I’ll strive in the months to come to find the appropriate times and ways to express my gratitude. While I will sorely miss the USGA and its people, I am confident that the Association today is strong and healthy and poised to flourish under the leadership of the next CEO.

My attention and energy for the remaining 15 months will be focused on four priorities: continuing to lead the organization through the impacts of COVID-19; advancing our commitment to create Golf House Pinehurst; driving our strategy (including, importantly, the outcomes of our Distance Insights project); as well as on-boarding and supporting my successor. I am looking forward to continuing my work on behalf of the game and this great organization and I remain steadfast in my commitment to the USGA’s mission.

Thank you for your friendship and support over the years.

 
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Mike Davis
CEO, USGA

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