FAR HILLS, New Jersey: David Fay is retiring from the US Golf Association after two decades as executive director, a tenure marked by a drive to bring the US Open to public courses and bring golf back to the Olympics.
Fay's announcement on Friday came two months after his 60th birthday.
A leading authority on the game's rules, Fay started his career in golf as a caddie and joined the USGA in 1978. He became the association's sixth executive director in 1989 and held the post under 12 presidents.
Mike Butz, the deputy executive director since 1995, will take over on January 1 pending a search to find a replacement for Fay.
“Things are in good order,” Fay said in a statement released by the USGA.
“Our senior staff leaders, each of whom I have put into place, are highly talented and motivated.
“And looking ahead, there are a number of multi-year projects on the drawing board … which makes this, for me, a good time to move on.”
Fay was passionate about opening golf to more people.
In the 1990s he resigned his membership in the men-only Pine Valley club because he thought belonging would send a mixed message about his USGA role.
Fay also advocated golf's return to the Olympics and served as joint secretary of the International Golf Federation (IGF) from 1991.
The IGF is recognised by the International Olympic Committee as the international governing body of the sport, which will return to the Games at Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
Fay was instrumental in bringing the US Open to Bethpage Black in New York in 2002, making the course that cost residents no more than 50 dollars to play the first public facility to host the national championship.
The championship returned there in 2009, one year after it was held at the city-owned Torrey Pines in San Diego.
In coming years the US Open is headed to public courses Chambers Bay near Seattle and Erin Hills in Wisconsin.
Channel News Asia