USGA Announces Plans For Open For All™ Community Activities

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Leading Up To The 116th U.S. Open Championship At Oakmont Country Club

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The USGA’s Open for All programming reflects a deep commitment on the part of the USGA to bring the game of golf to new audiences in fun and interesting ways. - Sarah Hirshland, USGA senior managing director of Business Affairs

The United States Golf Association (USGA) will kick off its celebration of the 116th U.S. Open Championship with a series of golf-oriented community activities ahead of the championship proper, which will be contested June 16-19 at Oakmont Country Club outside Pittsburgh.

The USGA’s Open for All™ marks its fourth year of community-engagement activities that began with the 2013 U.S. Open Championship at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa. Programming aims to deepen the connection between residents of the host site region and the championship, presenting the U.S. Open as a point of inspiration to drive awareness of, and interest in, the game of golf. Taking advantage of the greater Pittsburgh area’s passion for sports, this year’s Open for All activities will begin six weeks prior to championship play as excitement builds into mid-June for the U.S. Open’s arrival at Oakmont, one of the game’s grandest stages, which is hosting the championship for the record ninth time.

U.S. Open Trophy Tour powered by Lexus
April 26 through June 19
Starting today, the iconic U.S. Open Trophy will be taken from the USGA’s headquarters in Far Hills, N.J., on a “whistle-stop” tour in a 2016 Lexus GX Sport Utility Vehicle en route to its final destination of Oakmont Country Club. The trophy’s tour will include stops at the Pittsburgh Marathon, Fox and Friends on FOX News Channel in New York City, Major League Baseball stadiums, and several public-access golf facilities in the Pittsburgh region. Along with seeing the trophy in person, fans will also have the opportunity to track the trophy’s progress at usopen.com/trophytour, and actively engage in its journey by using the hashtags #LexusGolf and #USOpen to locate the trophy in real time.

Learning Science Through Golf/STEM Education
Heinz History Center – May 2 through June 19

As part of the USGA’s ongoing commitment to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, and sharing these principles through the lens of golf, the USGA will debut its “Learning Science Through Golf” exhibit May 2 through June 19 at the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh. 

Multiple interactive stations demonstrate various elements of the game of golf, including equipment, aerodynamics and turfgrass, to help make the game more interesting to learn and play. With an orientation toward school-aged kids, the Learning Science Through Golf exhibit will be highlighted by the following interactive stations:
·    Science: Agronomy – How different types of turf retain water
·    Technology: Aerodynamics – What determines a golf ball’s flight
·    Engineering: Friction and Spin – How motion affects the distance a golf ball travels
·    Math: Volume and Displacement – How a golf club’s volume is determined

American Golf History – Coming To Life
Carnegie Science Center – May 2 through June 19

The rich and vibrant history of golf in America comes to life in a new, interactive display that is part of Open for All programming for the first time in 2016: American Golf History – Coming to Life. Featuring a custom-built hitting bay and golf simulator, the exhibit allows guests to “live” American history by hitting drives with period-based golf equipment from the 1920s, 1960s and modern day, then compares individual performance against the driving performance of the U.S. Open champions from Oakmont of each era.

Co-created with 1220 Exhibits, SkyTrak and Topgolf Media, the interactive exhibit also provides guests with fun facts about American history and Pittsburgh history and the important role that golf has played in the evolution and development of each.

Epic Putt Challenge
Select DICK's Sporting Goods locations – May 14 through June 11

Highlighting the pivotal role of the 18th green in U.S. Open Championship history, the USGA has designed the “Epic Putt Challenge,” which offers guests the opportunity to relive epic moments from previous U.S. Opens. A 55-foot artificial-turf putting green allows fans an opportunity to recreate many of the greatest 18th-green putts in U.S. Open history.

The Epic Putt Challenge will be available at select DICK's Sporting Goods stores in the Pittsburgh area. Participants can relive dramatic moments by Payne Stewart (1999), Tiger Woods (2008) and Hale Irwin (1990) prior to taking on a 50-foot putt, similar to one which may determine the winner at this year’s U.S. Open Championship. More information about the schedule and locations of the Epic Putt Challenge can be found at usopen.com/openforall.

“The USGA’s Open for All programming reflects a deep commitment on the part of the USGA to bring the game of golf to new audiences in fun and interesting ways,” said Sarah Hirshland, USGA senior managing director of Business Affairs. “The U.S. Open Championship brings the world’s greatest players onto the game’s grandest stages and deep into the hearts of communities. We want Open for All, which might be a first introduction to golf, to be inviting, approachable, interactive and engaging. If in some small way, it ignites an interest in the game, and entices just one more person to engage with golf, or pick up a club after the U.S. Open Championship leaves town, we feel like Open for All has been a success.” 

For a complete and detailed schedule of all Open for All community activities, please visit usopen.com/openforall.
About the USGA

The USGA 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, attracting players and fans from more than 160 countries. 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 reach is global with a working jurisdiction in the United States, its territories and Mexico, serving more than 25 million golfers and actively engaging 150 golf associations.

The USGA is one of the world’s foremost authorities on research, development and support of sustainable golf course management practices. It serves as a primary steward for the game’s history and invests in the development of the game through the delivery of its services and its ongoing “For the Good of the Game” grants program. Additionally, the USGA’s Course Rating and Handicap systems are used on six continents in more than 50 countries.

For more information, visit usga.org.

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Jeff Altstadter
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