SBD/Issue 73/Sports Industrialists

Leader In The Clubhouse: USGA Exec Dir Fay Retires After 21 Years

Fay's Legacy At USGA Includes
Helping Golf Get Back Into Olympics

USGA Exec Dir DAVID FAY Friday announced his decision to retire after 21 years in the position. USGA Deputy Exec Dir MIKE BUTZ has been named acting Exec Dir while the USGA undertakes a national search for Fay's replacement. Butz will assume the interim role on Jan. 1 (USGA). Fay: "I'm very happy and proud of what we've done at the USGA. It won't feel odd to leave at all. It's been a great run and it's time to call it a day." He added, "I wrestled with finding the right time. How do you walk out on a high note? Some people tend to stay on too long and I wanted to go out on a high note" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 12/25). In N.Y., Larry Dorman wrote Fay "has been characterized by an encyclopedic knowledge of the rules, a wry sense of humor and decidedly populist sensibilities." He "drove many initiatives aimed at bringing the 116-year-old USGA into the 21st century, including the successful staging of the United States Open at public golf courses and a 20-year effort to expand the sport's global appeal by returning it to the Olympic Games" (N.Y. TIMES, 12/25). GOLF WORLD's Ryan Herrington noted, "His legacy as the association's sixth executive director includes not only his involvement with getting golf back into the Olympics, but bringing the USGA's marquee event, the U.S. Open, to true public courses" (, 12/24). SI's Gary Van Sickle wrote Fay "will be missed by the United States Golf Association, probably more than it realizes," as he "helped change the perception of the USGA -- as much as that's possible." Before Fay, the "stereotype of a USGA official was an old-school, hard-lined, gruff blue-jacketed rules aficionado." Fay was a "leader in the movement to make the game and its championships more open to all" (, 12/24).

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