SERVING THE GAME
USGA Welcomes Class of 2020 P.J. Boatwright Interns May 28, 2020 | Liberty Corner, N.J. By Danny Vohden, USGA

Due to COVID-19, this year's class of USGA P.J. Boatwright interns will learn about USGA functions through online sessions. (USGA/Steve Boyle)

The USGA is continuing its commitment to cultivate future leaders in the golf industry by funding more than 125 paid internships in 2020 through the P.J. Boatwright Internship Program.

Since the program’s inception in 1991, the USGA has invested nearly $30 million to provide college students and other qualified applicants with hands-on experience as staff members at the USGA’s network of Allied Golf Associations (AGAs). The value of the internship funding in 2020 totals $1.7 million.

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“Despite the challenges that we are all currently facing during this pandemic, we understand the importance of the internship program to those who have been selected and to the golf communities they serve,” said Mike Davis, CEO of the USGA. “The Allied Golf Associations provide invaluable services to millions of golfers at the local level across the country and the Boatwright interns play a key role in their ability to do so.”

All 59 AGAs in the United States plus Puerto Rico were granted funding for the 2020 class. Lasting between three and 12 months, the internships provide experience in managing all aspects of the game, including conducting competitions and junior golf programs, and supporting membership initiatives.

Currently, one-third of the executive directors at state and regional golf associations and 30 percent of their staff are Boatwright alumni, as well as 16 current USGA staff members.

The internship program typically includes a two-day summit in which interns from across the country visit the USGA campus for interactive professional development sessions and to network with USGA staff and each other. Due to the circumstances caused by COVID-19, the 2020 summit is being conducted virtually through a series of sessions running from May 21–June 2. The sessions are led by over 40 USGA staff members and include firsthand introductions to each of the organization’s key service functions, including Championships, Rules, the Museum, and communications and marketing.

The program honors the contributions of P.J. Boatwright, the USGA’s third executive director, who played a pivotal role in both the USGA and golf in the United States. An accomplished amateur player, he served as executive director of the Carolinas Golf Association for five years before joining the USGA in 1959. He served the association until his death in 1991, leaving a legacy of sportsmanship and service.

In addition to being a recipient of the Bob Jones Award, the USGA’s highest honor, Boatwright’s legacy is celebrated through his enshrinement in the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame, Wofford College Hall of Fame and Carolinas Golf Hall of Fame, among others. In 1990, the Golf Writers Association of America presented him with the William D. Richardson Award in recognition of his outstanding contributions to golf.

The internship program is part of the USGA’s annual $70 million investment back into the game fueled by revenues generated by the U.S. Open.