While many sports fans were glued to televisions everywhere watching the Super Bowl on Sunday, another major sporting event occurred in the professional golf world the night before.
According to the USGA website, Jim Hyler has been officially named the 61st President of the USGA:
As outgoing president Jim Vernon tried to end his final closed-door meeting
on a poignant high Friday, the words stuck in his throat as tears filled his eyes. Hyler, helping a friend in need, rose to the occasion, effortlessly taking the floor and articulating what Vernon had tried: thank and celebrate those on the Executive Committee who made the job easier.
Afterward Hyler didn’t quite see it as a sign of leadership – chuckling that he broke down, too. Yet the action was a subtle reminder that Hyler took the reins when needed.
It became a reality Saturday night at The Carolina Hotel, site of the USGA’s Annual Meeting, when Hyler was formally introduced as the Association’s 61st president. He’ll oversee some 1,600 committee volunteers and 300-plus staffers. It’s been a pleasant surprise for the Raleigh, N.C., resident.
Hyler will certainly have his work cut out for him right from the start of his term as USGA President, especially in the wake of a huge economic recession that prompted many sponsors to jump ship from numerous PGA/LPGA tour events. In addition, Hyler made it a point to focus on a major concern regarding golf course development, the economy, and the environment during his acceptance speech:
“With the recent economic downturn, our focus on these critical issues has sharpened. If we are not careful, high construction costs, soaring maintenance budgets and declining membership rosters will threaten the survival of many courses and clubs,” he said. “In my opinion, many of the standards by which we construct and maintain our courses have become, quite simply, unsustainable. While there may be short-term solutions, what we need to seek is a long-term strategy that confronts some of the deeper issues plaguing the game.
“When it comes to the issue that is perhaps of greatest concern to golf’s future – namely, water – we we must re-set the way that we look at golf courses.”