STUDIO CITY and BUENA PARK, August 19 — Golf accessibility, affordability and significantly increased resources and services for members are the result of the announcement today that the Southern California Golf Association (SCGA) and Public Links Golf Association of Southern California (PLGA) will consolidate the two organizations, effective January 1, 2011. At that time the PLGA will merge into the SCGA, and the unified organization will strengthen its position as Southern California’s premier golf association.
Unanimously approved by both associations’ boards of directors, the SCGA and PLGA consolidation will provide greater resources, programs, services and member benefits to the region’s public, private and affiliate golf clubs, as well as its individual members. The unified SCGA will incorporate the PLGA’s major championships, and PLGA members will maintain their existing handicap number.
An increase in the game’s core member services is at the forefront of the SCGA and PLGA’s shared vision and commitment to serve the needs of the Southern California golf community. The consolidation marks the uniting of two associations that have served as Southern California golf’s main voices for more than 190 years combined. The 150,000-member SCGA currently represents the majority of Southern California golfers – 60 percent coming from the public sector – a number that will grow when the PLGA’s 17,000 members transition into full SCGA membership on January 1, 2011.
“This is a great opportunity for PLGA members to benefit from the combined strengths of both organizations,” said PLGA Executive Director Craig Kessler. “Our members are going to see a significant increase in benefits, services and programs, and they are going to see the game they love better positioned to meet future challenges. I’m looking forward to creating a legislative affairs program and representing our united members in the public arena while remaining faithful to the core belief that the highest of standards and the public sector are mutually compatible concepts.”
“The SCGA has always respected the PLGA, and this opportunity allows us to combine the synergies of our strengths to better serve Southern California golf as a whole,” said Kevin Heaney, executive director of the SCGA. “This consolidation means better legislative advocacy and representation, increased member programs and benefits, and other major advantages for the Southern California golf community. We look forward to welcoming all PLGA members in January.”
With the PLGA’s endorsement, the SCGA will incorporate 42 golf course facilities, 131 affiliate clubs and 13,000 unique members (an additional 4,000 members currently choose dual SCGA-PLGA membership). In 2011, this will bring the SCGA golf facility total to 437 member clubs, affiliate club total to nearly 880 and individual memberships to 163,000, creating one of the largest golf associations in the nation.
The PLGA’s four full-time employees will join the SCGA staff of 28 to help the SCGA launch new membership initiatives and to accommodate for increased staffing demands. The PLGA’s Kessler will move into a newly created role in working with public and legislative affairs. Additionally, three PLGA board members will join the SCGA, nearly doubling the number of public board members who govern the association.
In advance of the January 2011 unification, PLGA members will have the opportunity to participate in the SCGA’s popular Member Outing program and Summer Series events and will also begin to receive SCGA collateral materials, including the SCGA’s bimonthly membership magazine. These programs and services, along with the SCGA’s new comprehensive website and expanding list of membership benefits, reflect the SCGA’s commitment to evolve its services and adapt to the changing needs of today’s member, regardless of age or demographic.
ABOUT THE SCGA
For more than 110 years, the SCGA has been the most trusted resource for Southland golfers. From the casual player to the devoted golfer, the SCGA administers the game of golf and makes the sport more enjoyable, on and off the course. As the principal ruling body for the game of amateur golf in Southern California, the SCGA provides a host of member services, including access to many of the region’s top courses. Among the other primary services offered, the SCGA measures courses and provides USGA Course and Slope Ratings; conducts Southern California’s major amateur golf championships; provides news and information on issues affecting golfers; sponsors the education of youth through golf; administers a computerized USGA Handicap System, and provides Rules of Golf education and assistance.
With a mission to lead, serve and advance amateur golf in Southern California, the SCGA keeps its 150,000 members and 1,135 clubs informed through various communication channels. Its recently redesigned Web site provides up-to-date association news and tournament results, and its member magazine reviews standout golf course restaurants, the latest apparel and accessories, and great golf travel destinations. The SCGA cares about the future of golf and supports the education and character development of Southern California youth.
ABOUT THE PLGA
Founded by four municipal golf clubs in 1931, the PLGA provides the basic infrastructure for organized public golf in Southern California. Among it core functions are the administration of a computerized USGA Handicap System; the provision of USGA Course and Slope Ratings; the conduct of public championships; the conduct of a “recreational” tournament program; the provision of Handicapping and Rules of Golf education; the sustenance of a charitable foundation that supports The First Tee and other major junior golf initiatives; and the representation of the interests of the members and member clubs before the various public agencies that control the destiny of the public game. Those functions are supported by a full-time staff and governed by an all-volunteer board. Visit plga.org for more information.