Liberty Corner, New Jersey, United States: As part of its on-going efforts to provide a pathway for people of all backgrounds to pursue a career in golf, the United States Golf Association (USGA) has fully funded more than 130 paid internships through its PJ Boatwright Jr Programme for the 2021 season, available in all 50 States.
Lasting between three and 12 months, these immersive internship experiences are tailored to the unique needs of the 59 Allied Golf Associations (AGAs) in the United States and Puerto Rico.
Interns may have the opportunity to conduct amateur competitions and junior golf programmes, support membership initiatives and much more.
AGAs provide invaluable services at the State and regional level. They promote golf for both recreational and competitive players, and the diverse backgrounds of PJ Boatwright interns are an integral aspect of their ability to grow and support the game.
AGAs are responsible for delivering the World Handicap System to golfers within their communities, and they also conduct more than 600 qualifiers annually for the USGA’s 14 global championships, which draw tens of thousands of competitors of all ages.
“Despite the challenges that took place in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, golf continues to grow and thrive,” said Mike Davis, CEO of the USGA. “As we celebrate 30 years of the PJ Boatwright Internship Programme, we are thankful to alumnae who have made significant impacts in our industry and look forward to continuing our commitment to cultivate a diverse pool of talent for the long-term health and viability of our game.”
Boatwright alumni include 22 current executive directors at state and regional golf associations and represent almost 40 percent of AGA staff. Fifteen current USGA staff members are also Boatwright alumni.
“To be quite honest, my 15-year career in the golf industry would not have been possible without the USGA grant,” said Tyler Riggin, Southeast Director of Regional Affairs for the USGA and a former PJ Boatwright Intern with the Golf Association of Philadelphia.
“The game of golf teaches you so much about life, but the opportunity to work in and around the game teaches you so much more. I am so thankful for the opportunity that this programme provided,” he added.
The USGA has invested more than US$30 million to provide college students and other qualified applicants with hands-on experience as staff members at the USGA’s network of AGAs over the programme’s 30-year history. The value of the internship funding in 2021 totals US$1.7 million.
In May and June 2020, the PJ Boatwright Jr Internship Programme created a first-of-its-kind summit for interns through a series of virtual professional development sessions led by more than 40 USGA staff members.
These sessions included introductions to each of the organisation’s key service functions, including Championships, Rules, the Museum, Communications and Marketing. In past years, this summit was held in-person at USGA headquarters in Liberty Corner, New Jersey.