public golfers. In terms of the premier clubs, and in terms of competitions, we already are world class but we have to build on that.
We have to get bigger to create financial stability. We’ll have more
voice at the table if we have 200,000 members versus 70,000.
Q. Describe what is happening with the expansion that begins
Jan. 1, 2018.
A. The USGA, in the process of looking at how their organization could
evolve going forward, came to the conclusion that there were too
many state and regional associations. So, the USGA decided we
needed to have fewer of them and we need to define the boundaries.
A. The USGA went to all the current Associations authorized to provide
handicap computation services and said, ‘We want you to apply to be
an allied association.’ A number of associations chose not to ask for
renewal because it was pretty clear they were not going to get it. The
effect was a lot of smaller associations would not be able to provide
handicap computation services in 2018, making them less viable.
Q. This is happening at a time when the perception is that
golf is in a downturn. Courses are closing, the Tiger boom
is over, golf is not growing.
A. I see it totally differently. Golf has never been healthier than it is in
Philadelphia today. Over five years, clubs are getting healthier. Several
of our clubs have been acquired by golf management corporations,
which can be a good thing.
Your point is well taken, however. Golf is not healthy everywhere. I
tend to think that one of the reasons is that a number of the state
and regional golf associations that are, for the most part, the entities
who have the best opportunities to improve golf participation, have
not been producing the best golf programming.
Q. How did you become such a big fan of Philadelphia golf?
A. I have a firm belief that if you drew a circle with a 15-mile radius at
the intersection of the Blue Route and Lancaster Avenue, that is
the greatest collection of golf courses in that proximity in the world.
There is nothing close. We have courses that are not as well known
that in other golf associations would be their premier course. We
don’t brag about ourselves. I don’t think people realize that Philadelphia is the heart of U.S. golf course architecture.
Q. What does it mean to represent Huntingdon Valley as
President of the GAP?
A. You couldn’t find a club that is more tightly tied to the golf association and prouder of it. We have produced legendary golfers.
You have the (William) Hyndman Room, and next door to that is
the (O. Gordon) Brewer Room. We have players who have won a
lot of the Association’s Major Championships. I’m honored to have
called Huntingdon Valley my home for the last 20 years and I’m
honored to represent the club on the Golf Association of Philadelphia Executive Committee. m
I have a firm belief that if you
drew a circle with a 15-mile
radius at the intersection of
the Blue Route and Lancaster
Avenue, that is the greatest
collection of golf courses in
that proximity in the world.”
Joe Logan is the co-founder and editor of MyPhillyGolf.com. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Morey reflects on Presidential legacy
HE ROLE OF GOLF ASSOCIATION OF PHILADELPHIA
PRESIDENT is an active and engaged one.
A volunteer position, the President presides over the 18-person Executive Committee in addition to having constant interaction with the
Association’s Executive Director. In this case, Mark Peterson.
Bob Morey has filled that seat the last three
“I’ve always felt the role of a board of direc-
tors is to be more involved with the strategic
planning and thinking ahead of the Associ-
ation, not necessarily the day-to-day opera-
tions,” said Morey, 70, of Wayne, Pa. “My
view is that the board is there to help and
be a resource for the professional staff, not
Morey was elected to the Executive Committee in 2010. He became
Vice President in 2012 and President in 2015. He will remain on the
board as Immediate Past President.
During his tenure, which was three one-year Presidential terms as
defined by the Association’s by-laws, Morey preached communication
and growing the game of golf in the Philadelphia area.
He spearheaded the Philadelphia Golf Alliance, a blend of all the region’s
golfing bodies that includes professionals, superintendents and general
managers. Morey formed the 1 MORE campaign to encourage members
of clubs to visit their respective facility for
one more dinner or round. The thought,
supporting your club one more time, in any
compacity, spurns solvency. He also was at
the forefront of the Allied Golf Association
transition for the organization that was encouraged by the USGA and is currently un-derway. The GAP will bring the Anthracite Golf Association and North
Central Pennsylvania Golf Association under its umbrella Jan. 1, 2018.
One of Morey’s lasting legacies was getting Merion Golf Club, his home
since 1973, to host the 2016 BMW Philadelphia Amateur. It was the
first Amateur to visit Merion’s East Course since 1954.
“That was one of the more satisfying moments for sure,” said Morey.
As with any board, the time commitment varies, from a few hours a
week to a full schedule of meetings and activities. Either way, Morey
kept his eyes on the founding fathers’ ideals: to promote, protect and
preserve the game of golf in the Philadelphia area.
“It was a tremendous honor to be President,” said Morey. “It’s a special
organization that is dedicated to serving the game of golf in Philadelphia. It was a very rewarding experience.”