The election of officers and the full 15-member USGA Executive Committee, which stays intact from 2004, took place on Feb. 5, 2005, at the USGAs Annual Meeting in Santa Barbara, Calif. Ridley will again lead the professional staff and nearly 1,400 volunteers who serve on more than 30 committees.
An attorney, Ridley, 52, is a partner in the Tampa office of Foley & Lardner, an international law firm of more than 900 lawyers. Ridley is the second Foley & Lardner partner to serve as USGA president, following the late Lynford Lardner, who held that position in 1972-73. Ridley is a 1974 graduate of the University of Florida, where he was a three-time letterman for the Florida golf team, and a 1977 graduate of the Stetson University College of Law.
He began his professional career as assistant to the general counsel for International Management Group (IMG) in Cleveland, Ohio, from 1977 to 1980, before moving back to his native Florida to begin practicing law.
Ridley has had a distinguished career in amateur golf. He has competed in 15 USGA championships, including 10 U.S. Amateurs. He won the 1975 U.S. Amateur and earned a selection to the 1976 USA World Amateur team and the 1977 USA Walker Cup team. He was also named the non-playing captain of the USA Walker Cup team in 1987 and 1989.
Interestingly, Ridley is the last Amateur champion to never have become a professional golfer. He has played in three Masters Tournaments and a U.S. Open, where he was paired with Sam Snead, Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson. He has a career-low round of 63.
Ridley also served as chairman of the Championship Committee for four years, the group responsible for the conduct of all USGA competitions, and has chaired the Amateur Status and Conduct and the International Team Selection Committees.
He and his wife, Betsy, have three children: Maggie, Libby and Sydney.
The other re-elected officers of the Executive Committee are: Walter W. Driver Jr. of Atlanta, Ga., and Paul D. Caruso Jr., of Helena, Mont., as vice presidents; James E. Reinhart of Mequon, Wis., as secretary and Emily R. (Missy) Crisp of Mill Neck, N.Y., as treasurer
The other 11 returning members of the Executive Committee are: Craig Ammerman of Cherry Hill, N.J.; Dr. Lewis H. Blakey of Alexandria, Va.; James T. Bunch of Denver, Colo.; Irving Fish of Wayzata, Minn., James Hyler Jr. of Raleigh, N.C., Mary Bea Porter-King of Kapaa, Hawaii; Cameron Jay Rains of San Diego, Calif.; Bruce C. Richards of Bellevue, Wash.; Loren Singletary of Houston, Texas, and James F. Vernon of Pasadena, Calif. .
In addition, Fredric C. Nelson of San Francisco, Calif., has been re-elected to serve as general counsel to the Committee.
The USGA, golfs governing body in this country and Mexico, 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 organizations most visible role, however, is played out each season in conducting 13 national championships, including the U.S. Open, U.S. Womens 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. Womens Amateur. Nearly 40,000 golfers entered USGA championships during 2004.