After years of complaining that the USGA wasn't doing anything to help the game, I think it's safe to say the launch of the Pace of Play initiative on Wednesday should quiet critics (like me) that they aren't doing their part to help the sport.
Brendan Moehler has a nice write up on the concept (with quotes from USGA President Glen Nager). The "while we're young" campaign is in the early stages from the point of view of practical solutions, but is very strong in the PSA department with the likes of Tiger Woods, Arnold Palmer, Annika Sorenstam and Clint Eastwood filming spots that you'll be sick of by mid-summer.
"When we do our research to see what's causing slow play at the recreational level, it's not because people are imitating professionals," said USGA President Glen Nager in an exclusive interview with GolfDigest.com. "It's because they're playing from the wrong set of tees, or the greens at their course are too fast, or the hole locations are bad, or the rough is so high that they can't find their ball."
Adam Schupak reported on the press conference and noted that all stats say this is a cause golfers will appreciate.
I don't believe I'm in the minority in believing the program risks credibility issues if the USGA fights this notion of a crackdown on pace in the pro game as not important to the cause. Most obvious is the USGA's excellent time station system that has returned sanity to round time at their other events, but which has not been implemented at the US Open.
Nager was asked by yours truly if that is something on the USGA radar.