What gives here? Two years ago the PGA Tour, the administrative body of the men's pro golf tour, moved its headquarters from Washington, D.C., to Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. Last week the Ladies Professional Golf Association announced plans to switch its main office from New York to Houston. Now the US Golf Association is seriously considering a move from Far Hills, N.J., to Greensboro, N.C., or some other site.
In each case the move or contemplated relocation is viewed as a progresive step, one udertaken to provide greater service to the game and its players.
The PGA Tour realized Commissioner Deane Beman's dream by moving into permanent executive offices outside Jacksonville, Fla., in 1979. The new headquarters building is constructed alongside the 18-hole Tournament Players Club, home of the Tournament Players Championship. The course was designed to be a "golf stadium," with numerous mounds affording good vantage points for spectating.
The LPGA's move is aimed at establishing a player pension fund with the money saved on office rentals. The association is getting 4,000 feet of office space at Houston's Sweetwater Country Club development rentfree, an offer too good to refuse, considering the sizable increase expected in the LGPA's Manhattan rent (from $32 to $65 a foot next year). Commissioner Ray Volpe, who moved the LPGA from Atlanta to New York in 1975, will maintain an office and small staff in New York in order to be near TV and corporate contacts.
The USGA is in a somewhat similar situation, having been offered a piece of land and relocation assistance by a prominent Greensboro businessman. Though Golf House, the association's headquarters, is situated on a 62-acre New Jersey estate, the structure itself is running out of room for administrative offices, a museum, and library under one roof. Other drawbacks to the present location are the area's high cost of living, intense competition for secretarial and clerical help, and the fact that Golf House "is not as accessible to the golfing public as the USGA would like," according to USGA pres ident Will F. Nicholson Jr.