California Golf

California Golf + Travel Jan18

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U S G A R E G I O N A L A L L I A N C E S 48 JAN/FEB 2018 F ifty-nine regional golf associations have entered into a new relationship with the United States Golf Association to enhance the golfer experience at the state and local levels in the United States, the USGA announced in January. Among those regional associations are the Northern California Golf Association (NCGA) and Southern California Golf Association (SCGA). The NCGA, headquartered in Pebble Beach, has served the golfers of Northern California since 1901. After more than a century of service, the NCGA remains dedicated to making golf more affordable and accessible than ever, while running one of the strongest tournament schedules in the country. More than 150,000 members, from San Luis Obispo to the Oregon and Nevada borders, enjoy all that the NCGA has to offer. Learn more about the NCGA at www.ncga.org. The SCGA, headquartered in Studio City, was founded in 1899 and is one of the largest regional associations in the country, with more than 150,000 members in more than 1,200 course and affiliate member clubs. The SCGA is devoted to providing golfers with the best experience possible. Its primary goal is to enhance the enjoyment of the game for those who actively live the golf lifestyle or have just learned to swing a club. Learn more about the SCGA at www.scga.org. These Allied Golf Associations (AGAs), including the NCGA and SCGA, supported by the USGA's five existing regional affairs offices, will administer the USGA Handicap and Course Rating Systems within defined geographic areas across the country. In addition, they will serve as the community's primary resource for USGA services such as championship qualifiers, governance, golf facility support and programs that help grow and improve the long-term health of the game. "Regional golf associations are a vital part of the golf community and the USGA," said Mike Davis, USGA CEO. "As the game moves forward into the future, we feel this formalized new alliance of working together on grassroots programs will improve how we serve golfers and providing a healthy foundation from which the entire golf community can grow." Newly recognized AGAs were identified through a nearly year-long discovery process that encouraged collaboration among existing golf organizations within each state and region, sharing best practices and leveraging programs that have made a positive impact. The resulting relationship will enable AGAs to provide a variety of competitive playing opportunities that engage more golfers of all levels within their region. The AGAs will also serve as local experts for education on topics such as modernizing golf's rules, the new World Handicap System and related governance functions. Each AGA will also have direct access to USGA research, funding for programs such as USGA P.J. Boatwright Internships, data and technology, additional expertise to better serve the health of golf facilities and support of national grow-the-game initiatives including PLAY9. One of the alliance's most significant benefits to golfers will be the centralized computation of USGA Handicap Indexes in the United States to improve efficiency, consistency and governance oversight. The move to a more modernized, digital platform will also empower Allied Golf Associations to more deeply engage golfers within their community through rich, real-time player data. An AGA Council has been formed to share information, help ongoing service delivery and provide continuous feedback directly to the USGA to better serve golfers and golf clubs. The 12-member council consists of AGA executive directors who will represent regions and markets throughout the United States. The alliance marks the latest step by the USGA to more deeply engage the local and regional golf community. It complements the USGA's existing presence in all five major golf regions in the United States – Northeast, Great Lakes, Southeast, Central and West – where dedicated Regional Affairs directors currently serve in residence. In addition to its five Regional Affairs directors, the USGA also supports golf clubs and facilities through the USGA Green Section, providing agronomic expertise through 13 regional offices. NCGA, SCGA JOIN NEW USGA REGIONAL ALLIANCE USGA CREATED ALLIANCE TO SUPPORT, STIMULATE GRASSROOT GOLF PROGRAMS

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