2003: Mackenzie to serve 2nd USGA term

Coronado Island, Calif.

Reed Mackenzie of Chaska, Minn., will serve his second one-year term as president of the U.S. Golf Association, while Fred Ridley of Tampa, Fla., and Walter Driver Jr. of Atlanta, will remain as USGA vice presidents. Ridley is in line to become USGA president in 2004.

Mackenzie, Ridley and Driver are attorneys. Their elections took place Feb. 1 at the USGA annual meeting at the Hotel Del Coronado.

All USGA decisions are made by a 16-member Executive Committee, comprising the president, two vice presidents and 13 others.

New members of the Executive Committee for 2003 include James Bunch of Denver, Jay Rains of La Mesa, Calif., and James Vernon of Pasadena, Calif.

The selection of Rains to the Executive Committee appears to cement a new emphasis for the USGA: public golf and the use of public facilities for top USGA championships. Rains was instrumental in bringing the 2009 U.S. Open to Torrey Pines in San Diego.

With the inclusion of Bethpage Black (Farmingdale, N.Y.) and Torrey Pines in the U.S. Open rotation, two municipal facilities are among the elite USGA championship sites. This is a first in the 108-year history of the USGA.

When the USGA annual meeting was held at this same hotel in 1990, it was announced that the USGA had reached a settlement with Ping founder Karsten Solheim over square grooves in irons.

At that time, the USGA agreed to grandfather all such grooves in Ping clubs. Solheim agreed to drop his lawsuit against the USGA and change the configuration of his grooves.

This year, with all controversies subsided, the main topic of conver-sation may have been whether Tiger Woods could win another U.S. Open, allowing him to pass Jack Nicklaus and tie Bobby Jones with his ninth USGA title.

In other news, the USGA officially awarded the 2006 U.S. Women’s Open to Newport (R.I.) Country Club, as Golfweek first reported last year.

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