As much as I enjoyed Gary Galyean's shredding of the USGA's arrogant leadership, I should have known based on his past blatherings and by the unusually hostile tone that it really wasn't worth the paper it was printed on.
Reader Geoff C urged us all to check out the free January download of Galyean's $88 travel newsletter, which, according to its host site:
...is not for everyone. Seventy-two per cent of our subscribers are the leaders of their respective firms, play 69 rounds per yearoff a handicap of 9.7, and have a net worth of $4.2 million.
In the first item from the January 2007 leaflet, Galyean absolutely trashes the character of former Executive Director Frank Hannigan for one of his commentaries posted on this website. Galyean does not say where the column appeared but still lifts lengthy excerpts from it. And as a lawyer and rules official, he calls himself a stickler for the rules. Of course this was back when he was drinking the USGA Kool-Aid and wouldn't dare hint that he reads this website!
So here's what he says about Hannigan's criticism of the USGA's Lexus and American Express corporate sponsorship deals:
It is not that we always disagree with Frank Hannigan; it is rather than his point of view has become so tiresomely, predictably anti-USGA. It is as if his absence from the seat of power, 28 years at the USGA, six of those as executive director, effervesces at regular intervals with a need to be contrary.
Effervesces! Tell me you read that without laughing out loud.
He has written various columns in the interim of our commenting on his comments, but we rise again to the bait after reading his thoughts on the recent arrangement between the USGA and American Express. In his argument, which has its moments, he generally argues that such a deal sells the soul of the organization and that it's not worth the price. Perhaps, but which way does he want it? Professionals or amateurs? Professional rules officials and amateur officers running the association without professional/commercial liaisons; or some other inconsistent variation? When Mr. Hannigan gets on his not very high horse, the gait seems to be that his against something that the USGA is doing.
Huh, now didn't Mr. Galyean just get on his very high horse and rather inconsistently blast the same thing that Hannigan was criticizing?
It would be too much to characterize Mr. Hannigan's remarks as perfidious. He does seem to have the best intentions for the golf association. It would be inaccurate to describe these predictable tirades as enigmatic. Betrayal of the class interest that produced the invitation to the podium he speaks from seems to be the compelling motivation. He reveres the USGA not despite its fallacies but because of them, and because they can and he can't...not like he used to anyway.
Wow, powerful stuff for those who actually know what the hell that means!
Now the windbag is really wound up...
We have grown tired...
Yes, the entire newsletter is written as "we." That's how Rees Jones knows that more than one person likes his courses. Anyway, you were saying, we have grown tired...
of the duplicity in his deriding the power and wealth of the association that ordained him with those same rewards. Whether blabbering or pontificating from the booth or the blog, his comments are always validated early on with the identification of his USGA service. Mr Hannigan gets to have it both ways, it would seem.
Duplicity? Blabbering and pontificating you say? Right, that's when we were part of the Groupthink? Probably should have penned that a tad differently on the off chance you lost your committee assignments and decided to get all cranky about it, eh?
Occasionally, sir, give us something positive from the heart so that when the call comes, "Have you seen what Hannigan wrote about fill-in-the-blank?" we might be more welcoming and less suspicious of your predictable point of view. Cynic to cynic, that is.
Note: The writer serves as a volunteer on the USGA Communications Committee, the Mid-Amateur Championship Committee, and as an amateur Rules official.
Uh, not a rules official anymore. And I wonder if his recent "retirement" might have tainted his views just a tad?
Apologizing to the gentleman from Saugerties, New York would be too much to ask. After all, if he doesn't have the integrity to even cite his sources in a newsletter, an apology to Frank Hannigan would force Galyean to look within. And those who pen such hypocritical musings don't like to do that.