What can you do for golf? The new USGA president has an idea.

Image of Diana Murphy quoteDIANA MURPHY took the gavel as new USGA president on Saturday in San Diego with a speech that resonated with charm and issued a challenge.

She said she keeps in her office “an old, scarred, wooden MacGregor four-wood with a steel shaft and a slick, old-fashioned leather grip” with “Ben Hogan” etched on it to remind her of her late father’s love for the game. Now, she said, “It symbolizes the allure and the joy of a game that has endured for six hundred years, spanning continents, while always evolving.”

“We have learned – through playing golf, watching it, or both – that a positive attitude is a greater asset than the most rock-solid swing,” Murphy said. “On the golf course, the notion that if we simply keep our spirits up, keep our faces toward the sun and keep our minds open, then something good will happen, is true, more often than not. Sure, we know the next shot may end up in the bottom of a barranca, (where nothing bigger than a jackrabbit has ventured for a very long time), or it may end up four inches from the hole! Again and again, a good attitude carries the day and no matter what the scorecard reads, we walk away remembering our best shots and looking forward to our next round.”

Murphy would like each of us to do one thing for the game this year: Reach out to someone and introduce him or her to golf. She’s calling this “Plus One,” which is of course the handicap of an excellent golfer and the foundation of the USGA’s next grow-the-game initiative.

Your “Plus One” could be anyone, she said: “Someone who may look different than you, who may be interested in watching golf and understanding the challenges that are not obvious to a non-golfer; or learning how to hit a golf ball or play a few holes; or reading about the courage and competitive spirit of Ben Hogan and Babe Zaharias, who overcame incredible adversity yet still were champions of the game;  or volunteering at a championship; or learning how to caddie; or discovering how science is a significant part of the game; or ingraining integrity, honesty, sportsmanship through golf.”

Have someone in mind?

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