USGA to Honor Palmer with Golf History Center

By Usga News ServicesMarch 20, 2005, 5:00 pm
USGAFAR HILLS, N.J. -- The United States Golf Association plans to renovate and expand its museum and archives facility in Bernards Township, N.J., to feature a new golf history center named in honor of three-time USGA champion Arnold Palmer, who has served as the national chairman of the Association's Members Program since its inception in 1975.
Scheduled to open in 2008, the 'Arnold Palmer Center for Golf History' will consist of a 22,000-square-foot addition to the existing museum building. It will house championship collections and showcase the 13 national championship trophies. The current museum building, to which the Palmer Center will be connected, will close for renovations at the end of March 2005.
'I am thrilled to be forever associated with the USGA, an organization I have held dear for nearly all of my life,' said Palmer, who was the first to win a U.S. Amateur, U.S. Open and a U.S. Senior Open. 'I am honored and humbled, and I feel like I've just won the U.S. Open again.'
'I can't think of a more fitting tribute to the man who has meant so much to the game of golf,' said Fred Ridley, USGA President. 'His play, conduct and influence have reflected the positive aspects of this game for a generation. He has done it all with a gracious manner that has made him the game's most eloquent diplomat. We want Arnold Palmer to know that this organization and its more than 700,000 Members nationwide will always be Arnie's Army.'
Palmer won the U.S. Amateur in 1954, the U.S. Open in 1960 and the U.S. Senior Open in 1981. But it was his first USGA title that Palmer has maintained was the 'most important win of my career. It gave me the confidence to go on and become a professional golfer.'
Palmer received the USGA's Bob Jones Award in 1971 in recognition of his distinguished sportsmanship. Four years later, Palmer enrolled then-President Gerald Ford as the first USGA Member at a White House ceremony. Thirty years later, Palmer remains the only individual to serve as chairman of the USGA Members program.
The museum project was approved by the USGA Executive Committee at the Association's 2005 Annual Meeting held in February in Santa Barbara, Calif. Planning and design for the new facility is ongoing, with groundbreaking on the Palmer Center set for the fall of 2006. The total cost of the project, which will be underwritten by the Association, is budgeted at more than $16 million.
The USGA has retained several nationally recognized partners to assist with the project. They include: Farewell Mills Gatsch Architects, LLC of Princeton, N.J.; Gallagher & Associates of Bethesda, Md., as the exhibition designers; and Zubatkin, Owner Representation, LLC of Somers, N.Y., as project managers.
The new Palmer Center will be attached to the existing museum structure, an early 20th century landmark designed by John Russell Pope. Pope designed many important private residences as well as notable landmarks in the nation's capital, such as the National Archives Building and the Jefferson Memorial. Once renovated, the existing museum space will house offices, meeting rooms and exhibition galleries, including a new Arnold Palmer room, and will continue to serve as the main entrance for museum visitors.
Design elements of the new Palmer Center include a sky-lit rotunda with special lighting, a 5,000-square-foot exhibition gallery to highlight USGA championship history, and 5,000 square feet of archival storage space for the Association's extensive collections of artifacts, books, photographs and films. The facility also will contain a research room where researchers may study materials from the USGA's premier historical collection.
The USGA has been located in Bernards Township, N.J., since 1972. Other buildings at the USGA's headquarters, known as Golf House, are an Administration Building and the USGA Research and Test Center, where the Association carries out testing of golf equipment to assure compliance with the Rules of Golf and maintain the element of skill in the game.
Founded in 1935, the USGA Museum and Archives is the oldest museum in the country dedicated to sports.
Golf's governing body in the United States and Mexico, the USGA also works closely with the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, Scotland, to produce a uniform code of Rules of Golf that are observed worldwide.
The organization's most visible role, however, is played out each season in conducting 13 national championships, including the U.S. Open, U.S. Women's Open, and U.S. Senior Open. The other 10 national championships are exclusively for amateurs, and include the U.S. Amateur and the U.S. Women's Amateur. Nearly 40,000 golfers entered USGA championships during 2004.
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What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

The Ryder Cup topped his list.

Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

“Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”

McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

“The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

More bulletin board material, too.

Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

“I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.