Thanks to everyone for the email alerts about Walter Driver and Fred Ridley joining the same old has-beens in the AT&T Pro-Am field. (Who is Thomas Gibson anyway!?)
For those thinking that the new president of North America's governing golf body might have cashed in a few USGA hours on the Citation, I must say I'm shocked that you would assume that playing 6 hour rounds with some of America's most
needy important people is somehow not USGA business?
If that kind of bonding wasn't enough for you, do remember that Pebble Beach is the 2010 U.S. Open site. It is a largely unproven venue that surely requires architectural upgrading. And who better to have there than experienced meddlers like Driver and Ridley?
And don't forget that they need to inspect Cypress Point for the "Closed Open" golf event that the Executive Committee will host for itself during 2010 U.S. Open week.
So I'd say such a trip to the AT&T qualifies under the line in the USGA's jet use policy: "Private aircraft may be used only in connection with travel reasonable and necessary for the furtherance of the business or affairs of the USGA."
That said, Driver is now a man of the people after risking bodily harm upon stepping down from the Grand Hyatt to talk to the octogenarians and assorted worshippers assembled for his initial speech. So I'm sure he'll be flying commercial the next year to mingle with his constituents.
But just to put all of you cynics at ease, I'll contact the USGA's Marty Parkes, who I'm sure will be happy to confirm that everything is on the...oh wait, that's right, the jet trips are privileged...information.