FEBRUARY 15, 2017

By Adam Schupak

The U.S. Golf Association is disbanding its membership program and creating a development initiative aimed at raising $100 million,Morning Read has learned from multiple sources.

In its 40-plus years, the USGA Members Program had become the association’s third-largest profit center, behind only the lucrative broadcast-rights contract with Fox Sports and the Open championships. According to the 2016 USGA annual report available at, revenue from memberships and member clubs totaled $17,576,000 of the USGA's $202.2 million in total operating revenue. 

Members paid a $10 annual subscription and received a personalized bag tag, a copy of the Rules of Golf, a U.S. Open-logoed hat and an e-newsletter, among other benefits. (The USGA Journal was shuttered 12 years ago.) For many, the bag tag was a proudly worn badge that identified them as golfers.

By Alex Miceli

PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. – Ernie Els had no intention of making news on the golf course last week.

After deciding to skip the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am on the Monterey Peninsula because his neck was hurting, Els intended to rest at his home in sunny south Florida and get ready for the PGA Tour’s final West Coast event, this week’s Genesis Open at Riviera Country Club.

But then the phone rang. David Trout, the director of golf at Trump National Golf Club Jupiter, was calling with a request: Would “The Big Easy” come and play a round of golf with President Donald Trump, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Trout?

Keeping score


Number of left-handed players to have won the Genesis Open twice: Bubba Watson (2014, ’16), Phil Mickelson (2008, ’09) and Mike Weir (2003, ’04). Watson and Mickelson are exempted into this week’s event at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif. Weir failed to qualify Monday. If you’re looking ahead to April and the Masters – and who isn’t? – it’s worth noting that all are former Masters champions.

From the industry

Bill H. Maynard, who oversees maintenance at the Country Club of St. Albans (Mo.), has been elected president of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, the group announced. Maynard, 54, will serve a one-year term.

February 16-19
LPGA: ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open
Royal Adelaide Golf Club, Grange, Australia
European Tour: ISPS Handa World Super 6 Perth
Lake Karrinyup Country Club, Perth, Australia
PGA Tour: Genesis Open
Riviera Country Club, Pacific Palisades, Calif. Tour: Panama Claro Championship
Panama Golf Club, Panama City, Panama
February 17-19
Champions Tour: Chubb Classic
TwinEagles Golf Club (Talon), Naples. Fla.
February 23-26
European Tour: Joburg Open
Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club, Johannesburg, South Africa
PGA Tour: The Honda Classic
PGA National (Champion), Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
LPGA: Honda LPGA Thailand
Siam Country Club (Pattaya Old), Chonburi, Thailand
February 24-26
Chicago Golf Show
Stephens Convention Center, Rosemont, Ill.
Toronto Golf And Travel Show
The International Centre, Mississauga, Ontario
February 27-28
Northern California Golf Rep Show
Thunder Valley Casino Resort, Pano Hall Lincoln, Calif.
February 28 - March 2
Philadelphia Golf Merchandise Show
Embassy Suites Valley Forge, Chesterbrook, Pa.
February 28 - March 3
Scottish International Golf Course Architects Conference
Inverness, Scotland

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