Introduces U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championships in 2015,
Marking First National Championships to

Be Added to USGA Competition Roster in More Than 25 Years

Announces Plans to Retire U.S. Amateur Public Links
Championships After 2014

Far Hills,
N.J. (Feb. 11, 2013) – The United States Golf Association (USGA) today
announced the introduction of two new championships, the first national
championships to be added to the USGA’s competition roster in more than 25
years. The addition of the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship and the U.S.
Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship, which will be played annually between
mid-March and late May with the inaugural events scheduled for 2015, reflects
the Association’s continued commitment to supporting and growing amateur
competition well into the future.

The last
time the USGA added a national championship for individual golfers was in 1987
with the creation of the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship.

“We couldn’t
be more excited about the creation of national four-ball championships, given
the popularity and enjoyment of this competitive format at the amateur level,”
said USGA Vice President and Championship Committee Chairman Thomas J. O’Toole
Jr. “Because the four-ball format lends itself to spirited team competition and
aggressive risk-reward shotmaking, we are confident these championships will
deliver exciting amateur golf to the national stage for both players and
spectators alike.”

for both national four-ball championships will be limited to amateurs, with no
age restrictions. Team partners will not be required to be from the same club,
state or country, and substitution of partners will be permitted until the
close of entries. Entry is limited to individuals with a USGA Handicap Index®
not to exceed 5.4 for men and 14.4 for women.

The USGA’s
national amateur four-ball championships will begin with sectional qualifying
at dozens of sites across the nation. The U.S. Amateur Four-Ball and U.S.
Women’s Amateur Four-Ball will consist of 128 and 64 two-player teams
respectively, each playing their own ball throughout the round. Each team’s
score will be determined using their better-ball score for each hole. After 36
holes of stroke-play competition, the field will be reduced to the low 32 teams
for the match-play portion of the championship.

has become a widely popular format for State and Regional Golf Associations
across the United States. In 2012, more than 150 championships, either strictly
four-ball or as part of a competition format, were conducted in all 50 states
and the District of Columbia.

appreciate the support and energy that the USGA is bringing to these new
four-ball national championships,” said Jim Demick, executive director of the
Florida State Golf Association, who served on the advisory group of State and
Regional Golf Association executives and tournament directors consulted by the
USGA. “Along with my fellow associations around the country, we look forward to
showcasing this unique brand of team competition through what promise to be
first-class events.”

Host sites
for the inaugural U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship and U.S. Women’s Amateur
Four-Ball Championship will be announced by the USGA at a later date.

conjunction with the creation of two national four-ball championships, the USGA
also announced the retirement of the U.S. Amateur Public Links (APL) and U.S.
Women’s Amateur Public Links (WAPL) championships, following the completion of
the 2014 competitions. The decision follows an internal review which determined
that the APL and WAPL championships no longer serve their original mission
because of the widespread accessibility public-course golfers today enjoy in
USGA championships.

The U.S.
Amateur Public Links was first played in 1922, and is the fourth-oldest championship
conducted by the USGA. The APL was established to provide public golfers with
access to a national championship because, at that time, the U.S. Amateur
Championship was restricted to players from USGA Member Clubs. The U.S. Women’s
Amateur Public Links was established in 1977, for the same reason as the APL.
In 1979, however, the USGA modified the entry requirements for the U.S. Amateur
and U.S. Women’s Amateur championships to allow entry to public-course players.

“While our
fondness for these championships made this decision a difficult one, we will
continue to proudly celebrate the legacy and important role that the APL and
WAPL have had on the game by forever honoring them in the USGA Museum, as well
as in other appropriate ways,” said John Bodenhamer, senior managing director
of Rules, Competitions & Equipment Standards for the USGA. “We also wish to
express our heartfelt gratitude to all the champions, participants, host clubs,
volunteers and benefactors who, over the years, helped build a strong legacy of
public links competition.”

Over the
course of their existence, the U.S. Amateur Public Links and U.S. Women’s
Amateur Public Links championships have assembled a rich history across the
competitive golf landscape, and are part of the USGA’s long heritage of
supporting public golf. The competitions boast an impressive lineup of
champions including most recently: Billy Mayfair (1986); Tim Clark (1997);
Trevor Immelman (1998); Ryan Moore (2002 and 2004); Brandt Snedeker (2003);
Yani Tseng (2004); and T.J. Vogel and Kyung Kim (2012). These championships
have also contributed to the USGA’s record books: Michelle Wie (2003) became
the youngest champion in USGA history when she won the WAPL at age 13; Ryan
Moore (2004) became the first golfer to win the APL and the U.S. Amateur in the
same year, while Colt Knost matched the feat in 2007; and Pearl Sinn (1988) and
Jennifer Song (2009) won both the WAPL and U.S. Women’s Amateur in the same

In addition
to staging the U.S. Open Championship at public courses, the USGA continues to
grow public golf, and support all golfers, through its various programs,
including Rules of Golf education, Course Rating services and Turf Advisory
Service visits. Through its partnership with national organizations such as The
First Tee, LPGA-USGA Girls Golf, The PGA of America and the National Alliance
for Accessible Golf, the USGA supports numerous programs that benefit junior
golfers, beginning golfers and golfers with disabilities who play at America’s
public golf courses. With the development of its new pace-of-play initiative,
the USGA hopes to serve golfers by helping public courses identify ways to
reduce the time it takes to play the game.

About the

conducts the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open and U.S. Senior Open, as well as 10
national amateur championships, two state team championships and international
matches. Together with The R&A, the USGA governs the game worldwide,
jointly administering the Rules of Golf, Rules of Amateur Status, Equipment
Standards and World Amateur Golf Rankings. The USGA’s working jurisdiction
comprises the United States, its territories and Mexico.

The USGA is
a global leader in the development and support of sustainable golf course
management practices. It serves as a primary steward for the game’s
history and funds an ongoing “For the Good of the Game” charitable giving
program. Additionally, the USGA’s Course Rating and Handicap systems are used
on six continents in more than 50 countries.

For more information about the USGA, visit