With the 2018 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club fast approaching, the United States Golf Association officially unveiled a new office in the heart of downtown Southampton with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday afternoon.
The second-floor space, which is located on Main Street, will be the hub of all logistical planning for the 118th U.S. Open, running June 14-17 next year.
This will be the fifth time Shinnecock hosts the tournament, the last coming in 2004.
“We all know Shinnecock to be regarded as one of the world’s great golf courses,” said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone in front of reporters, USGA employees and community members passing by the news conference on the street. “It’s also one of the great historic courses here, one of the oldest golf clubs in America and one of the five founding clubs of the USGA.”
Among those invited to speak at the podium was USGA Championship Director Charlie Howe, who said his team’s biggest effort will be to recruit 5,000 volunteers to help serve on 20 committees including course marshals and ball-finders. Howe called the volunteers the “backbone of support” for the event.
Recruiting began in January, and Howe said about 1,600 people have already volunteered.
“About 5,000 volunteers ultimately is our goal as far as recruitment,” he said. “We’ll look to recruit hard and certainly as people begin to wake up and start thinking about golf as the weather gets warmer, we’ll get more.”
Those interested in volunteering can find more information at 2018volunteers.usga.org.
Aside from recruiting, the new office will look into potential issues of parking, transportation, public safety and housing of PGA Tour members to ensure the event is as successful as possible.
Said Howe: “It’s going to be great for us to be central to the town and something we’re excited about.”