To further increase engagement across a new and diverse sector of golfers and to expand the impact of its core services, the USGA has officially brought the Puerto Rico Golf Association under the umbrella of its network of Allied Golf Associations.
The PRGA becomes the 59th Allied Golf Association (AGA), and the first outside of the 50 United States. This alliance provides the USGA with the opportunity to directly impact and engage with Latin American golfers throughout the Caribbean. The USGA and the PRGA have worked collaboratively for more than 50 years to engage with golfers through handicapping, Rules, championships and various initiatives.
Founded in 1954, the PRGA is a nonprofit organization committed to serving golfers and golf clubs in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. As the authoritative body for amateur golf in Puerto Rico, it promotes growth, preserves traditions and protects the integrity of the game for more than 10,000 golfers and 22 public courses. Additionally, the PRGA is a significant promoter of junior golf through “Golf Para Todos,” a program founded in 2001 that teaches the game to disadvantaged youths and is one of the organization's most important initiatives.
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“For the last 67 years, the Puerto Rico Golf Association has strived to grow the game of golf on our island,” said Sidney Wolf, president of the PRGA. “We are honored to officially become the 59th Allied Golf Association, which will only benefit and further enhance the golf experience for our members and future generations of golfers.”
Since its inception, the PRGA has established and maintained a global presence in golf. It hosted the 2004 World Amateur Team Championships (WATC) and has developed golfers who have competed throughout the world under the Puerto Rico banner at the WATCs, the Latin America Amateur Championship, the Pan American Games and several regional championships, in addition to USGA and R&A championships. The PRGA also conducts USGA championship qualifiers and oversees more than 20 championships annually at all levels of the game.
The USGA works with its AGAs to serve the game at the local level by increasing golfer engagement, introducing the game to new audiences and improving the golfer experience. AGAs administer the USGA World Handicap System, inclusive of course rating, and serve as primary resources for USGA services, including governance, golf facility support and accessibility programs that benefit the long-term health of the game. Additionally, AGAs conduct more than 600 qualifiers annually for the USGA’s 14 global championships, which draw tens of thousands of competitors of all ages and backgrounds.
AGAs also receive USGA-funded P.J. Boatwright Internships that provide immersive experiences for individuals of all backgrounds tailored to the unique needs of the 59 AGAs. Over the past 30 years, the USGA has invested more than $30 million in cultivating the future leaders of the golf industry.
“Adding the PRGA as a full-fledged AGA is a natural next step in our continued efforts to meaningfully engage golfers across all backgrounds,” said Mike Davis, CEO of the USGA. “The PRGA is doing an exceptional job serving golfers in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean and we are proud to officially welcome them to the USGA family.”
As part of its ongoing efforts to create a welcoming and accessible game, the USGA released a Spanish version of the Rules of Golf app in February 2019 in conjunction with Rules Modernization. With support from the Mexican Golf Federation and the PRGA, the USGA also led the effort to translate into Spanish the Official Guide to the Rules of Golf, the Rules of Golf and the Player’s Edition of the Rules of Golf.
Most recently, the USGA completed the translation of more than 700 Rules practice Q&As and launched a Rules page on usga.org in Spanish, which enables golfers to contact the USGA with Rules questions in their native language to promote a more inclusive and golfer-friendly experience.