The man behind the USGA’s course selections
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – The rising star within the USGA hierarchy is Tom O’Toole Jr., 53, of St. Louis.
O’Toole, in his third year as a member of the USGA Executive Committee, carries the title of secretary of the USGA. His real power, though, comes from his chairmanship of the USGA Championship Committee, which determines which courses will host the USGA’s 13 annual championships.
O’Toole is an attorney who specializes in real estate law. A lifelong golfer, he is passionate about the game and is known as a rules expert. He has served as a rules official at more than 110 USGA championships.
In the USGA’s annual U.S. Open news conference, held on Wednesday before the start of the championship, O’Toole spoke roughly twice as long as USGA president Jim Hyler. This was appropriate, because he was announcing the sites for two future U.S. Opens – 2017 at Erin Hills in Wisconsin and 2019 back at Pebble Beach.