USGA Museum Re-Opens Tuesday

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USGAFAR HILLS, N.J. -- Following more than three years of renovation, expansion and new construction, the United States Golf Association Museum celebrated the grand opening of the USGA Museum and the Arnold Palmer Center for Golf History on Tuesday.
 
The USGA Museum and the new Arnold Palmer Center for Golf History are great homes for the enduring history of golf in the United States, said USGA President Jim Vernon. We are proud to celebrate our national champions and the place they hold in the fabric of American golf. We encourage all those who love golf to visit.
 
The USGA Museum and the Arnold Palmer Center for Golf History are located at the USGA headquarters in Far Hills, the site of todays grand opening ceremony. The event was emceed by 17-time LPGA tournament champion Dottie Pepper and included speeches by USGA executive committee member Cameron Jay Rains, USGA museum director Rand Jerris, seven-time USGA champion Carol Semple Thompson, USGA President Jim Vernon and Palmer. The state of New Jersey honored the days ceremony with Nancy Byrne, executive director of the New Jersey Division of Travel and Tourism, recognizing June 3, 2008, as Arnold Palmer Day.
 
I am confident that the Museum and Arnold Palmer Center for Golf History will be true assets to the tourism industry in the state, drawing even more visitors to New Jersey who are interested in experiencing a taste of the sports enduring history, said Byrne.
 
The original USGA Museum building, dating from 1919, has been modernized and enlarged and now features the Ben Hogan Room, the Bob Jones Room and the new Arnold Palmer Room.
 
The expansion encompasses the new 16,000-square-foot Palmer Center, comprising more than 5,000 square feet of public exhibition galleries, a research room to facilitate access to the collections and state-of-the-art storage areas that provide the proper climate and security for the long-term care of historical artifacts.
 
The Arnold Palmer Center for Golf History was so named to honor the enduring connection that Arnold Palmer represents between golf and the people who play and love the game. Never before has a USGA building been dedicated to a single individual.
 
The Palmer Center houses a collection of the nations most significant golf artifacts and documents, including hundreds of items never before displayed by the USGA. In all, the exhibitions showcase more than 2,000 artifacts, twice the number displayed previously.
 
While the Museum was closed, the staff closely examined each collection and selected artifacts that best tell the USGA story. As a result, every part of the collection is represented. Historical documents, books, scrapbooks, photographs, film footage, clothing, clubs, balls, cigarette cards, posters, medals and trophies are integrated into the new displays.
 
Throughout the galleries, highlights from the Museums world-class collection are featured, including the clubs used by Francis Ouimet in the 1913 U.S. Open; Bob Joness famous putter, Calamity Jane II; Ben Hogans 1-iron from the 1950 U.S. Open; and artifacts from Tiger Woods, Payne Stewart, Annika Sorenstam and many other stars of todays game.
 
The new exhibitions in the Palmer Center present golf history and USGA championship history in the context of American social, cultural and political history. Moreover, the permanent galleries feature six iconic moments that are pivotal to the development of golf in America. These moments include:
 
  • Francis Ouimets historic victory in the 1913 U.S. Open
  • Bob Joness Grand Slam in 1930
  • The Great Depression and the democratization of golf
  • The heroic comebacks of Ben Hogan in the 1950 U.S. Open and Babe Didrikson Zaharias in the 1954 U.S. Womens Open
  • The rivalry between Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus in the 1960 and 1962 U.S. Opens
  • Tiger Woods, the 2000 U.S. Open, and the emergence of a global game
     
    The Hall of Champions celebrates every USGA champion and championship. The rotunda, illuminated by a clerestory, houses all 13 USGA championship trophies, while the name of each champion is inscribed on bronze panels that encircle the hall.
     
    The visitor experience is enhanced by a series of video presentations and interactive databases, including:
     
  • A seven-minute introductory film about USGA championships that explores the significance and challenge of the game as it is played at its highest level
  • Video presentations that present the iconic moments in greater detail and place them in their proper historical context
  • A new Championship Database that includes records, summaries, and photographs from every USGA championship, searchable by player, host site and date
  • Interactive Video Jukeboxes that present video clips of Bob Jones and Arnold Palmer
  • Arnold Palmer Portrait Interactive, featuring Gratitude, a unique portrait by California artist James David Chase that comprises more than 22,000 words said by or about Arnold Palmer
     
    In the Museums new Research Center, visitors can view, study, and examine artifacts, documents, and memorabilia from the collections in one area. These collections include a library, photographic collection, film and video collection, and a museum collection
     
    Related Links:
  • USGA Museum Fact Sheet
     
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