After working at the U.S. Golf Association for 32 years, the last 21 as executive director, David B. Fay and his famous bow tie are retiring at the end of the year.
Fay announced his decision Friday in an e-mail.
“Things are in good order,” Fay said in the e-mail. “Our senior staff leaders, each of whom I have put into place, are highly talented and motivated. And looking ahead, there are a number of multi-year projects on the drawing board which could have long-term impact on the association.
“Which makes this, for me, a good time to move on. Leave on a high note, as (Jerry) Seinfeld would say.”
Fay said that deputy executive director Mike Butz will serve as interim executive director. A timetable for finding a more permanent replacement has not been determined.
“David’s passion for the game can be matched only by his passion for the people and the mission of the United States Golf Association,” said Jim Hyler, president of the USGA. “He has been a steadfast advocate for the game and our national championships and the USGA is thankful for his service.”
In Fay’s note, he mentioned he felt comfortable with the move because of the solid ground in which the USGA stood, saying that 2010 was the most financially successful year in the history of the organization. Fay also said he was pleased with the year because he had just turned 60, which was important because he is a cancer survivor.
Fay served under 17 different USGA presidents, 12 during his tenure as executive director. His legacy may be defined by his ability to bring the U.S. Open back to truly public courses like Bethpage Black in 2002 and 2009, Torrey Pines in 2008, Chambers Bay in 2015 and Erin Hills in 2017.
“It's been a rewarding, satisfying and fun run,” Fay said.