20 MINUTES WITH USGA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR MIKE DAVIS

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BY: RORY SPEARS SR. WRITER & ASSISTANT EDITOR

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Senior Director, Rules & Competitions

MIKE DAVIS USGA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Mike Davis is the Executive Director of the United States Golf Association (USGA), and has been in this post since March of 2011. Davis is the seventh executive director in the organizations 118 year history.

Davis succeeded David Fay who had held the position for over two decades. Davis was also named Chairman of the World Golf Foundation’s Board of Directors.

As executive director, Davis is the senior staff member of the USGA, he is responsible for managing all aspects of the association’s day-to-day operations.

Davis joined the USGA in 1990 as an assistant manager of Championship Relations, and the U.S. Open at Medinah won by Hale Irwin was where as Davis says, ” he cut his teeth.” By December of 1990 he was promoted to manager of Championship Relations for five years, until in 1995 he was promoted again to director of Championship Relations. By 1997 Davis was named U.S. open Championship director. In 2005 Davis assumed responsibilities as senior director of of rules and competitions. He has worked as a rules official at major tournaments like the Masters, the British Open, the Players Championship and the Presidents Cup.

Davis played golf as a junior after being introduced to the game at age 8 by his father, he was the 1982 Pennsylvania State Junior champion and was a member of the his college golf team at Georgia Southern University. He has played in several prominent national amateur tournaments.

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Davis is the premier spokesman for the USGA, before the recent Chicago District Golf Association’s Centennial dinner, Davis spoke with CDGA writer Tim Cronin and the Gog Blog on variety of subjects.

Among the topics covered were, the 115th U.S. Amateur coming next August to Olympia Fields, recapping 2014 and looking ahead to 2015. Pulling off back-to-back U.S. opens on the same golf course, working for years with the CDGA. Davis spoke about the change in TV networks from NBC and ESPN to Fox Sports, and shared his thoughts about the potential for Mike Keiser’s new Wisconsin project Sand Valley. Davis shared his excitement about the potential for a U.S. Senior Women’s Open, that USGA President Tom O’Toole says the USGA will make a decision on in 2015.

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(L-R) Rory Spears-Mike Davis-Tim Cronin at the Palmer House Hilton for the CDGA Centennial Dinner

As part of his duties at the USGA, Davis over see’s the U.S. Open and still does the course set up. It was Davis who threw his support behind venues like 2015 U.S. Open location Chambers Bay near Seattle, and 2017 U.S. Open site Erin Hills in Wisconsin.

Davis saw something in both of these locations from early on, and helped bring them to the U.S. Open rotation of great historic American Courses. They became the 5th and 6th public courses that will host a U.S. Open. Both courses have already hosted the U.S. Amateur, and had their ability to host a national championship tested.

Click on above, for the interview with USGA Director Mike Davis. The Gog Blog will have more about the USGA and it’s main campus in Far Hills in the short future. Stay clicked in.

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About Rory Spears

Rory spent over 8 years growing up working at Rob Roy Golf Club in Prospect Hts.IL, then two years at Chevy Chase in Wheeling. He has covered golf in Chicago since 1986. Rory was one of the initial members of WSCR all-sports radio Chicago and covered golf there for 5 seasons, before moving on to work for ESPN/Sportsticker and ESPN Radio. In addition to hosting Golfers on Golf Radio on WNDZ Am 750 Chicago, he writes for both Chicagoland Golf and the Chicago District (CDGA) Magazine. Rory has played over 460 courses in 37 states, and rates golf courses. He does golf course management and communications consulting, in the golf industry.