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From the Executive Director


By Ed Gowan


Take a peek at what lies ahead in golf


“N


ew and improved” are the buzzwords you will be hearing in Arizona golf for


the next few years. I’m not speaking about clubs, but the game itself and the Arizona Golf Association’s services to and for golfers. Let’s preview what’s just over the horizon. The USGA has begun development


of several directives to change the landscape of golf in an effort to grow the game, both nationally and internationally, with the R&A. The first is a new version of the


Rules of Golf — understandable, translatable, logical and simplified for ease of understanding. The current rule book, just released, is labeled “2016” instead of “2016-2019” as it would have been otherwise. At the USGA’s annual meeting in February, newly elected president, Diana Murphy stated that “together with The R&A, we are committed to a program of Rules evolution. Collaboratively, we are examining the Rules and how they are applied in golf. Where do they work well? Where do they slow down play? Where could they be more clear and understandable? Do they improve the golfing experience?” Another is the World Handicap


System being developed by the six handicap associations with R&A support. Golf in the Olympics may be credited for fostering the effort, but with the exception of the U.S., golf is growing at a good pace worldwide. Clearly the old method of club-governed handicaps has to change for many reasons. The new system is intended to eliminate


10 | AZ GOLF Insider | SPRING 2016


sandbagging. It’s also meant to bring continuity to the golfer through using what each has learned, taking the best for all and putting it into a singular, world-wide database managed identically and carefully. This is a great concept including a new name to avoid the negative impression the word “handicap” has when translated into one of the 62 languages being used in golf. Following these two familiar


aspects of governance is an outreach to the average golfer through social media, smartphone and computer apps, events and opportunities through widely expanded communications opportunities for clubs, courses, and individuals, facilitated by the regional non-profit golf associations. You can see all at usga.org/engagement. The USGA’s vision includes serving


the needs of individual golfers, the true customer of the future, through the regional associations. This includes increased software and communications applications to tie the individual golfer into the golf network of clubs, courses and other players, coupled with financial incentives for participation. Consider the perception that there are too many courses in the U.S. disappears if golfers each play only one more round a year! n


EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OFFICERS PRESIDENT.................................................................................................Bill Lich 1ST VICE PRESIDENT .........................................................Mike McWilliams 2ND VICE PRESIDENT ...............................................................Bill Burgesser SECRETARY ..................................................................................Mike Saladino TREASURER ........................................................................................Tim Brown


EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBERS Kevin Cruickshank; Lee Decof; Mark Jeffery; Ryan Johnson; Mike Kane; Bob McNichols; Bill Phipps; Judi Polidori; Matt Witzke. AWGA Representative, Janet Cothren


AGA STAFF EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR....................................................................Ed Gowan ASSISTANT EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR ....................................Lorraine Thies DIRECTOR OF HANDICAPPING & COURSE RATING. ..............................................................Derek McKenzie DIRECTOR OF ADVERTISING/SPONSORSHIPS ..............Brian Foster* DIRECTOR OF MEMBER SERVICES. ................................Ginger Monroy DIRECTOR OF RULES AND COMPETITION ......................... Jim Franko DIRECTOR OF STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS .......Chris Montgomery* DIRECTOR OF MEMBER & CLUB RELATIONS ....................Alex Tsakiris COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER ............................Joselyn Wojtalewicz CORPORATE SALES MANAGER ............................................Brian Powell* CLUB PROGRAMS MANAGER ............................................Michelle Evens TOURNAMENT OPERATIONS MANAGER ................Courtney Smyser ACCOUNTING.......................................................................... Betty Saltzgiver RECEPTIONIST................................................................Maureen Zagerman


*Denotes independent contractor


THE AZ GOLF INSIDER STAFF PUBLISHER.....................................................................................Mark Nothaft EDITOR-IN-CHIEF .........................................................................Bill Huffman DESIGNER............................................................................Carl Bezuidenhout AGA EDITOR .................................................................................Lorraine Thies SENIOR EDITOR ................................................................................John Davis REAL ESTATE EDITOR ......................................Gremlyn Bradley-Waddell FOOD EDITOR ................................................................................Carey Sweet GENERAL ASSIGNMENTS .......................................................... Jeff Heisner PHOTO EDITOR .........................................................................Jane Zarzynski SENIOR PHOTOGRAPHER .......................................................Dennis Scully SENIOR PHOTOGRAPHER ........................................................Wade Moran CONTRIBUTORS .........................Ed Gowan, Lorraine Thies, Julie Fenn, Scott McNevin, Robyn Noll, Zach Strohfus, Jake Johnson


ADVERTISING ACCOUNT MANAGER ................................Ryan Chackel ADVERTISING GRAPHIC DESIGNER ........................................Steve Copas For magazine inquiries, backspinmediagroup@gmail.com


BACKSPIN MEDIA GROUP PRESIDENT.......................................................................................Bill Huffman GENERAL MANAGER ................................................................Mark Nothaft BackspinMediaGroupUSA@gmail.com


AZ GOLF Insider, is published four times a year by the Arizona Golf Association. It


is supported by members’ dues, utilizing $3 per


member per year. We welcome all editorial submissions, including letters, but assume no responsibility for the loss or damage of unsolicited material. They will not be returned unless accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Views expressed within these pages do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or official policies of the Arizona Golf Association. No part of this magazine is intended as an endorsement of any equipment, publication, videotape, golf course or other entity. No part of this magazine may be reproduced for use as an advertising, publicity or endorsement item without written approval of the AGA. AZ GOLF Insider is offered on a subscription basis for $12.95 annually. Individual copies may be obtained by forwarding $5 to the address below.


Arizona Golf Association 7600 E. Redfield Rd., Suite 130 Scottsdale, AZ 85260 (602) 944-3035 (800) 458-8484 In-State Line www.azgolf.org


www.azgolf.org


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