Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
United States Golf Association
The United States Golf Association (USGA) is the United States' national association of golf courses, clubs and facilities and the governing body of golf for the U.S. and Mexico. Together with the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews (R&A), the USGA produces and interprets the rules of golf. The USGA also provides a national handicap system for golfers, organises several leading golf championships, and tests golf equipment for conformity with regulations.
Competitions organised by the USGA
The USGA organises or co-organises the following competitions:
An "open" golf championship is one which both professionals and amateurs may enter. In practice, such events are always won by professionals nowadays. For two leading opens in the U.S. are:
- U.S. Open - males, no age restrictions (upper or lower). Established 1895, one of the major championships.
- U.S. Women's Open - females, no age restrictions (upper or lower). Established 1946, administered by the USGA since 1953, one of the women's majors.
- U.S. Senior Open - men 50 or older, established 1980.
Individual amateur championships
Professional golf in the U.S. is mainly run by the PGA of America, the PGA Tour and the LPGA. However, the USGA is at the heart of amateur golf in the country and it organises the ten national amateur championships. The leading events are open to all age groups, but are usually won by golfer's in their early twenties who are working towards a career in professional tournament golf:
- U.S. Amateur Championship - men (boys may enter too), established 1895.
- U.S. Women's Amateur - girls may enter too, established 1895.
There are two tournaments for under eighteens:
- U.S. Junior Amateur - boys, established 1948
- U.S. Girls' Junior - established 1949
And two for senior golfers:
- USGA Senior Amateur - men 55 or older, established 1955
- USGA Senior Women's Amateur - women 50 or older, established 1962
Because the two non-age restricted amateur championships are dominated by future professionals, two national championships have been established for "career amateurs" at least 25 years old.
- U.S. Mid-Amateur - men, established 1981
- U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur - established 1987
There are also two events for "public links" golfers. Members of private golf clubs are excluded from these championships.
- U.S. Amateur Public Links - established 1922
- U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links - established 1977
State team championships
The USGA's two amateur state team championships are played biennially in odd numbered years. They were both established in 1995. College golfers are not eligible for the three player teams.
- USGA Men's State Team Championships
- USGA Women's State Team Championships
International team competitions
- Walker Cup - 10-man teams, played in odd-numbered years
- Curtis Cup - 8-woman teams, played in even-numbered years
Through its membership of the International Golf Federation the USGA is involved in the administration of the two "World Amateur Team Championships", which are played biennially in even-numbered years.
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