2023 P.J. Boatwright Summit Experience as an LGA Intern

Liberty Corner, New Jersey–  Our 2023 P.J. Boatwright interns, Maili Bartz and Heidi Hesse, had the opportunity this past week to travel to Liberty Corner, New Jersey and attend the prestigious Boatwright Intern Summit organized by the United States Global Association (USGA). This was the first year the USGA has been able to host this event in-person since COVID-19.  The event, highlighted in the article “USGA Welcomes 2023 P.J. Boatwright Internship Class” on the USGA website, provided an invaluable platform for industry leaders, experts, and enthusiasts to share industry industry, skills, and training for interns to engage in and take back to their respective associations.

The conference did an amazing job showcasing the USGA’s commitment to fostering an inclusive learning environment.  During the summit, Maili and Heidi were able to learn, engage and network within interns from across the states but also with the USGA staff members.  Maili Bartz expressed her enthusiasm, saying, “Attending the Boatwright Class Conference was a remarkable experience. The USGA went above and beyond to ensure that everyone, regardless of their background, felt welcomed and included. The organization’s dedication to fostering an inclusive atmosphere truly stood out.”

Heidi shared her experience with enthusiasm, saying, “I was able to learn so much during this summit and the seminars organized by the USGA. From understanding the intricate rules to getting a behind-the-scenes look at how the USGA manages golf championships, it was truly exciting. The USGA staff’s passion and expertise were evident as they provided us with clear and consistent information.”

She further expressed her delight at the networking opportunities the summit provided. Heidi cherished the chance to connect with fellow sports enthusiasts and interns from different golf organizations, sharing experiences, backgrounds, and engaging in discussions about diverse state cultures. The enjoyable activities, such as playing Topgolf and participating in the putting competition with other interns, added to the memorable experience.

During the morning sessions, interns attended various USGA conferences where they gained insights and had their questions answered by industry leaders. Kevin Purcell, the executive director of New Jersey, and Jake Miller, the Regional Affairs Director, shared their experiences. Tony Greco, the managing director and field services expert, provided expertise on championship administration. Sarah Goodman and Victoria Clawson gave an overview of Championship administration, while Charlie Capasso and Matt Neville explained the Handicapping and Course rating system.

In the afternoon, the interns participated in different activities. They learned about greens management from the USGA Green Section team, including Matt Pringle, Scott Mingay, and Jeff Kinney. Ben Schade, Francisco Rivera, and Payton Brandenburg educated them on USGA rules and regulations. Additionally, Christina Parsells organized a social media video challenge. To end the day, all interns enjoyed socializing, playing, and dining at TopGolf.

On the second day, interns received a historical background and toured the USGA Golf museum with Mike Trostel and Hilary Cronheim. They had the opportunity to ask questions and learn from former USGA Boatwright program interns, now USGA employees, such as Charlie Capasso, Colton Dean, Payton Brandenburg, and Thomas Pagel.

In addition, the interns visited the test center, where John Spitzer and Maggie Lagle provided clear explanations of the golf technologies used; and Colton Dean and Katie Malcohm from the championship department discussed various USGA-organized events.

Throughout the two days, a putting contest was held, organized by Greg Ross. Heidi was exempted and reached the final round, while Carter from the Mass Golf Association emerged as the winner. While interns waited for the putting championship to conclude, they enjoyed activities such as a golf simulator and a cornhole game, as well as treats from an ice cream truck.

To bid farewell, the interns gathered for a pizza truck party, expressing their gratitude for the invaluable experiences gained during their time with the USGA.

The USGA’s commitment to empowering the next generation of innovators through conferences like the Boatwright Summit sets an exceptional standard in the industry. By fostering inclusivity, providing valuable resources, and delivering thought-provoking content, the organization continues to make a lasting impact on interns and professionals alike.  Heidi and Maili expressed their gratitude to the Louisiana Golf Association and the USGA for granting them with this incredible learning and networking opportunity.

For more information about the 2023 Boatwright Summit and the USGA’s ongoing initiatives, please visit the USGA website and read the article “USGA Welcomes 2023 P.J. Boatwright Internship Class.”