The United States Golf Association recently sent a press release announcing the new Allied Golf Associations (AGA). In all 59 regional golf associations were recognized by the USGA to receive funding and acknowledgement by the national association.
The AGA’s are supported by five existing regional affairs offices to provide guidance for course rating, handicapping, championship qualifiers, governance and facility support programs.
USGA Chief Executive Officer, Mike Davis stated,
“Regional golf associations are a vital part of the golf community and the USGA. As the game moves forward into the future, we feel this formalized new alliance of working together on grassroots programs will improve how we serve golfers and providing a healthy foundation from which the entire golf community can grow.”
Each AGA was accredited after a year-long discovery process that encouraged collaboration and consolidation among existing state or regional golf associations.
In Ohio, the Columbus District Golf Association will still operate its tournament schedule, but will collaborate with the Ohio Golf Association to conduct course rating and GHIN handicapping. They have also incorporated the Columbus District Women’s Golf Association under one association, as well.
The other four golf associations in Ohio, Northern Ohio, Miami Valley, Greater Cincinnati and Toledo Districts will also continue to operate as independent golf associations within the state.
The hope of the USGA is that these new collaborations will enable AGAs to provide a variety of competitive playing opportunities that engage more golfers within their region. The AGAs will also serve as local experts for education on topics such as modernizing golf’s rules, the new World Handicap System and related governance functions.
This alliance is the latest step by the USGA to engage the local and regional golf community. It complements the USGA’s existing presence in all five major golf regions in the United States – Northeast, Great Lakes, Southeast, Central and West – where dedicated Regional Affairs directors currently serve in residence.
To the average golfer in Ohio these new changes will not be apparent. Each region will continue to conduct their list of annual tournaments, but the method by which each local association receives compensation from the national USGA office will be altered.