SBD/June 12, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship

USGA Encourages Shorter Golf Rounds With Launch Of New "Play 9" Campaign

On the heels of the organization’s “While We’re Young” pace-of-play initiative launched last year, USGA President Tom O’Toole yesterday announced an American Express-sponsored “Play 9” campaign that encourages golfers to play just nine holes instead of 18. O’Toole said the campaign will debut Saturday during NBC’s telecast of the U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2, with a spot featuring golfer Rickie Fowler, (Josh Carpenter, Staff Writer).'s Luke Kerr-Dineen noted the spot shows Fowler "squeezing in some golf while zipping through a variety of other tasks." In one sequence, Fowler "holes a putt, rips off his clothes and rides a dirt bike" (, 6/11). USGA Senior Managing Dir of Business Affairs Sarah Hirshland said, "People have made a decision in their mind that they are not going to play golf because it takes too long. This is a way to let them know it actually doesn’t have to be that long. The 9-hole round has been around forever.” BLOOMBERG's Michael Buteau noted the USGA has "established July 23 as 'Play 9 Day'" (, 6/11).
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