James Colgan

December 20, 2022

The USGA introduced a brand new rent to move up its participant relations efforts.

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Scott Langley has a easy message for professional golfers. It runs two phrases in size.

“Name me,” he says after a protracted pause and earlier than fun. “Actually, I believe that covers it.”

There’s much more Langley, the USGA’s new head of males’s participant relations, can say. About his new function, which places him as a liaison between gamers and the governing physique answerable for golf’s U.S. nationwide championships. About his new employer, the USGA, the identical group that when awarded him low novice honors on the U.S. Open. Concerning the man he’s changing, the vastly in style Jason Gore. And don’t neglect in regards to the state of golf, which has abruptly put Langley within the uncomfortable function of Switzerland between the warring factions of golf’s two excursions.

Briefly, it’s a unusual time for Langley to enter one of many USGA’s most pivotal jobs. A time stuffed with questions the governing physique will quickly should reply about the way forward for the sport (to say nothing of essential rulings on membership and ball expertise which might be anticipated within the coming years); questions that Langley himself will quickly face from gamers at each stage of the sport.

So the previous PGA Tour professional is getting ready for his first main post-golf job by getting forward of himself with a message: his cellphone line is formally open.

Some golf information: Former PGA Tour professional Scott Langley is the USGA’s new males’s participant relations head.Langley would be the go-between for rivals and the USGA for all males’s competitions. He’ll step into the function vacated by Jason Gore earlier this yr.— James Colgan (@jamescolgan26) December 20, 2022

“I believe the main target of my function because it pertains to gamers is speaking to them, ‘Hey, your governing physique is listening to what you assume, and it’s vital that you simply assume. We wish to hear your ideas on on numerous issues that can come up,’” Langley mentioned. “That’s actually a precedence for me.”

Langley steps into the function vacated by Gore, the influential former professional whose time on the USGA earned excessive marks amongst gamers each publicly and privately. Gore left the USGA over the summer season for the same job on the PGA Tour, which was reeling from participant losses to LIV Golf, however helped seek the advice of the governing physique on Langley’s hiring.

“A very powerful factor that Jason shared with me was simply to be an amazing listener. To really hear,” Langley says. “To at all times lead with that. I believe that’s actually my intention.”

Like Gore earlier than him, Langley involves the USGA through his personal skilled golf profession. He competed on the PGA and Korn Ferry Excursions for the higher a part of a decade earlier than his retirement in early 2022 — an expertise that produced just one Korn Ferry Tour victory however included stints on the PGA and Korn Ferry Tour advisory boards and a quick run as chairman of the KFT advisory board.

“For higher or worse, I just about skilled every part in need of profitable a PGA Tour occasion or a serious,” Langley says. “I just about obtained the total expertise of the ups and downs of strolling in these gamers’ sneakers. So simply having the ability to relate to their expertise, for probably the most half, I believe is extraordinarily beneficial.”

Along with serving because the USGA’s principal level of contact with its males’s rivals, Langley may also help on the the governing physique’s course setup workforce and assist oversee the launch of the nationwide improvement program. Heather Daly-Donofrio, who joined the USGA in Might after a dozen years with the LPGA, will head up the participant relations division and the nationwide improvement program.

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Within the new function, Langley will face an early problem within the type of LIV Golf, which nonetheless awaits phrase from the USGA about whether or not its gamers can be granted entrance into the U.S. Open. (On Tuesday afternoon, the Masters mentioned it will not bar LIV Golfers from taking part within the occasion.) That very possible received’t be the final time the upstart league will discover its approach into the center of Langley’s day-to-day, significantly because the golf world continues to untangle the controversy surrounding the league’s inclusion within the Official World Golf Rating.

As for a way he plans to strategy these points, Langley says there’s not a lot to know. It’s his job to ship the information to gamers, simply because it’s his job to ship the suggestions to the USGA, no matter every of these events brings.

“If there’s one factor that I hope gamers stroll away from me with feeling, it’s ‘Wow, Scott actually cares what I believe and he was actually listening to me,’” Langley mentioned. “‘He didn’t essentially have an agenda or or a predisposition or a preconceived concept of what he wished me to say. He actually simply cared about what I genuinely felt.’”

Such is life as one in all golf’s most vital middle-men — a job that’s solely rising extra high-profile with time.

“It’s actually vital for the well being of the sport that the governing physique relates properly to its constituent teams,” Langley says. “I’m not leaping to any hasty conclusions in saying that skilled golfers are experiencing a louder and louder voice as time goes on.”

James Colgan Editor
James Colgan is an assistant editor at GOLF, contributing tales for the web site and journal. He writes the Scorching Mic, GOLF’s weekly media column, and makes use of his broadcast expertise throughout the model’s social media and video platforms. A 2019 graduate of Syracuse College, James — and evidently, his golf recreation — continues to be defrosting from 4 years within the snow. Previous to becoming a member of GOLF, James was a caddie scholarship recipient (and astute looper) on Lengthy Island, the place he’s from. He could be reached at [email protected].

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