Nick Price nominated to USGA Executive Committee

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Nick Price nominated to USGA Executive Committee

Golf

Nick Price nominated to USGA Executive Committee

Nick Price, a three-time major champion and 2003 inductee into the World Golf Hall of Fame, has been nominated to serve on the U.S. Golf Association Executive Committee, starting in 2017.

Great amateur golfers such as Francis Ouimet and Bill Campbell have served on the executive committee, as did former LPGA journeywoman Mary Bea Porter. But Price becomes the highest-ranked professional golfer to volunteer his service to that board. Price, 60, won the PGA Championship in 1992 and 1994 and the British Open in 1994 and enjoyed a 43-week stint as the world’s No. 1 player. His career includes victories in 14 regular PGA Tour events and his first PGA Champions Tour event, the 2009 Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am.

Price played in 20 U.S. Opens, with his best finish a fourth place in 1988 at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass.  Widely esteemed by his peers as an ambassador of the game, the native Zimbabwean, now a resident of Hobe Sound, Fla., served as captain of the 2015 and 2017 International Team for the Presidents Cup. In 2005, the USGA bestowed upon Price its highest honor, the Bob Jones Award for sportsmanship.

“Price brings skills to the table beyond playing, including course design and set up, equipment, rules, turfgrass and a passion for the game,” said Jim Hyler, chair of the USGA nominating committee and former two-term president of the association (2010-2011).

The appointment, Hyler said, will also serve as a bridge by the USGA to Tour players.

Price said he spent months quietly mulling over the offer before officially accepting it.

“I wasn’t sure at first where I might fit in,” he said. “But I became convinced I could help make a difference given my experience in the game and given their interest in having me serve.”

In the past, service on the executive board has entailed 50-75 days on the road annually in various meetings and at championship functions. According to USGA executive director and chief executive officer Mike Davis, recent reforms have streamlined the operations of the executive committee and enabled it to provide more efficient direction to the professional staff, thus reducing the time commitments of board members. Davis credits outgoing two-term USGA president Diana Murphy with helping to create a board that can focus more on overall policy and less on day-to-day operations.

The USGA nominating committee has also forwarded the name of executive committee member and chair of the Rules of Golf Committee Mark Newell of McLean, Va., to replace Murphy as president. Among other newcomers to the executive committee joining Price as nominees are Kendra Graham of Winter Park, Fla., formerly the USGA’s director of women’s competitions; financial services executive Sharon Ritchie of Asheville, N.C.; banking professional Paul G. Brown of Brookeville, Md.; and attorney Richard A. Shortz of Los Angeles to serve as new general counsel, replacing Bob Weber, who is retiring from that post.

Price said that his decision to accept nomination to the USGA Executive Committee is guided by several basic concerns about the game.

“We’re under threat that our great golf courses are becoming redundant because of equipment and distance,” Price said. “What are we going to do about that?”

Price said he’s also keen “to help grow the game at the grass roots level. And see if we can do more to make golf faster, less expensive.”

Price is now ready to devote what he figures will be anywhere from two-to-six weeks of his year to finding out what he can achieve through the executive committee.

“I’m looking forward to it,” he said.

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