Davis is new USGA Chief

Mike Davis has succeeded David Fay as the seventh USGA Executive Director – but with a proviso.

Mike Davis will succeed David Fay as the seventh USGA Executive Director – but with the proviso that he remain the set-up man for the US Open.

And that’s official.

It has been announced by the USGA Executive Committee who noted that their president, Jim Hyler, had made it clear to Davis that he was happy to accommodate his request that if he took the job he would be allowed to continue acting as the set-up man for the US Open, the USGA’s top championship

“We had a thoughtful and lengthy search process. We had a lot of wonderful candidates apply for the job. We had some internal candidates and some external candidates.

“Throughout the interview process, one person stood out as being the right person for the job, and that was Mike Davis,” Hyler told the media in a teleconference on Wednesday.

Davis responded by saying he was so passionate about his involvement with the US Open that he had said “:and I almost mean it” that he would pay the USGA money to allow him to continue setting up the Open.

“I love putting this puzzle together. It really is a puzzle of sorts.

“It’s something when I talked to the search and management committees of the USGA, I [said], Listen, this is something I genuinely think I can continue to do.

“I will give up the other portions of the conduct of the Open, such as being on the course, being a Rules official, being the person that blows the horn for suspension of play; those kinds of things.”

Davis will no longer have the time and the numbers of hands required to set-up the other USGA events such as the US Women’s Open, and the men’s and women’s the US Amateur and Mid-Amateur championships.

He will hand this function on to his protege Jeff Hall.

In the meantime, under his new agreement, Davies sees himself operating as followers at this year’s US Open.

“I will be out with the grounds staff at 5 am, probably get done on a typical day at 8:30 to 9:00am.

“It’s not that I will take my focus entirely away from the US Open, but until the mid-afternoon when I meet with the superintendent and grounds staff about what we’re going to do for the next day, how the golf course is playing, how weather might affect it, that will free me up to do some things to meet with some of the USGA’s key constituents.” he said.

The major part of his new job, however, will be to oversee the day-to-day operations of the USGA – its people, its resources and to ensuring that the organisation stays true to its clear cut mission of upping and growing the game.

Davis says he will delegate responsibility to some of the many very able people at Golf House.

“I think I know myself well enough to know where my talents are, where my strengths are, and where I don’t necessarily have enough background,” Davis said.

“I’ve been here for 21 years. It’s warmed my heart to watch some of my fellow staff members really blossom in their roles.

“Maybe they’re not running the US Open, but they’re running the Women’s Amateur Championship, the Senior Amateur Championship, and how some of these things maybe we’ve done at the US Open are being done at these other championships too now.””

His final word: “I love the USGA. I love what we stand for, our missions. But candidly I’m apprehensive, too. Part of me is somewhat numb. I think when it’s all said and done, I am incredibly honored and humbled by this appointment.”