USGA CEO Davis: New Rules "A Huge Success"

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News was lighter than ever coming out of the USGA Annual Meeting in San Antonio, as few media members attended and the organization’s relevance wanes.

Global Golf Post offered these notes, where the main news may be a reconsideration of amateur status and online components to that which have gotten YouTube posters in trouble, according to the USGA’s Thomas Pagel.

Mark Newell was elected to a second term as president, but his address was not posted in written or video form online as has been the custom in the past.

Perhaps that’s why CEO Mike Davis made a bold declaration about his organization’s joint effort with the R&A to revitalize the rules.

From Ryan Herrington’s Golf World report that also includes a mention of a few other anecdotes from the address, but this stood out:

“From my perspective, I would say by and large they’ve been a huge success,” Davis said. “They did exactly what we wanted them to do, which was really simplify the understanding and make them easier to apply.”

I’m a little surprised that declaration wasn’t tempered with something about the expected rough patches and that ultimately a huge success story is looming.

Particularly as 2/3rds of the country hasn’t even hit a shot under the new Rules.

There was also this:

Hearing tour pros rail against the USGA is nothing new. But USGA officials have tried to address the issues quickly and provide players background for the changes in hopes that a better understanding of the thought process will assuage their concerns.

“When you actually take them through ‘this is why’, it’s always a light-bulb moment,” Davis said. “‘Oh, I didn’t realize that.’ And I think that’s the frustration that there is. You know it would have been nice if you actually asked the why … but listen, it’s the world we live in.”

This probably would have been more palatable had their been a longer rollout in advance, with a few high profile events as test grounds both for golfing fans and for players.

You can see Davis’ address followed by a town hall meeting which, despite what appears to be a much smaller crowd than in past years, undoubtedly put extra strain on the evening’s open bar portion of the festivities.