Spitzer named head of USGA's Research and Test Center

A USGA flag

A USGA flag

Longtime assistant technical director John Spitzer will take over as the head of the U.S. Golf Association’s Research and Test Center in February.

A letter was circulated Wednesday at USGA headquarters in Far Hills, N.J., to inform staff members that Spitzer will replace Dick Rugge. The letter was written by John Bodenhamer, senior managing director of the Rules of Golf, Competitions & Equipment Standards.

Rugge will retire from the USGA in February after 13 years as senior technical director. Spitzer, who has been at the USGA for 15 years, will carry the title of managing director of equipment standards.

Spitzer, with bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Villanova, has a wide background in physics and engineering. Before joining the USGA, he spent eight years at Princeton University’s Plasma Physics Laboratory, where he led the thermomechanical engineering branch and was involved in the early design of the international thermonuclear experimental reactor.

He also worked nine years at the electric boat division of General Dynamics, where he supervised the structural acoustics and dynamics group. One of his major duties was leading a research project on the capability of nuclear submarines to withstand underwater explosions.

Spitzer played an integral part of USGA equipment activities in recent years, including all club and ball conformance issues.

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