The president of the United States Golf Association acknowledged Wednesday that the organization has to do a better job in recruiting minorities and women to serve as officers and on the 15-person executive committee that makes USGA policy.
There are no African Americans or any other minorities among the USGA's officers or on the executive committee. There is one female officer and one female member of the executive committee. USGA President Fred Ridley, one of several officers and committee members who also belong to clubs whose memberships do not include women and/or minorities, said the organization is trying to do better.
"The USGA believes that golf needs to look more like America," said Ridley, a Tampa attorney. "We acknowledge that. You're correct, there are no minorities on the executive committee. There have been in the past. . . . I can assure that in the process of recruiting future executive committee members, that is a high priority.
"This is going to take time. It's not going to happen overnight. It starts at the grass-roots level. The more youth, the more minorities we get involved in the early stage are going to pay dividends. We have to be aggressive but be realistic that it's going to take some time."
Singh Predicts a Rough Time
Vijay Singh, who missed the cut at Memorial two weeks ago and finished tied for 29th at the Booz Allen Classic at Congressional on Sunday, said Wednesday that Pinehurst No. 2 is "the hardest U.S. golf course I've played from tee to green and around the greens. It's going to be one hell of a test."
Last time the Open was played here in '99, the rough was not nearly as severe as it has been so far this week.
"This new Bermuda [grass], the ball just sits right down and it's much finer but much thicker," Singh said. "You can get the best of lies and you can only move it 150 yards, max. I could not carry the ball more than 100 yards in the rough when it's sitting down."
Some players have complained about the unfairness of the pitching areas in front of a number of greens, many of which have been re-sodded for this tournament. They say that the sod hasn't fully grown in, leaving bumpy patches and the possibility that a ball can even get caught in a seam between pieces of sod.
Walter Driver, chairman of the USGA's Championship Committee, insisted Wednesday that "we think it's fine. We would give relief if the ball is in a sod seam. We are not putting out any more sod in those areas and most of those areas we think will play without any difficulty for the players, although we recognize that it's not going to be perfect."
Olympic Club Gets 2012 Open
The USGA announced Wednesday that the 2012 U.S. Open will return to the Olympic Club in San Francisco, a site that has hosted four U.S. Opens and nine USGA national championship events. . . .
Pinehurst No. 2 measures 7,214 yards and will play to a par 70. When all 18 holes were completed in 1907, this Donald Ross masterpiece measured 5,870 yards. . . .
Stanford golf coach Conrad Ray got into the field as the first alternate when Darren Clarke withdrew to spend time with his wife, Heather, who has cancer. Among Ray's teammates when he played at Stanford were Casey Martin and Notah Begay. Tiger Woods arrived the year after he graduated.