After 19 years as the Texas Golf Association’s Executive Director, Rob Addington late last week announced his resignation. The 112-year-old organization’s leader for the past two decades said he will stay in his current role until Dec. 1, 2018, to help ensure a smooth transition.
The TGA’s Executive Committee will begin search for Addington’s successor. Addington leaves an association he helped build into one of the largest and strongest Allied Golf Associations in the country for a leadership position in Anera Sports, a new venture that aims to provide association management, championship administration and consulting services.
“This was a difficult decision that brought on many sleepless nights,” Addington said. “I love the TGA and what we’ve built here. But after 19 years, I finally decided it was time to try something new. I have no doubt that the TGA will continue to be leaders in amateur golf and an example to all other likeminded associations.”
Addington initially started with the TGA in 1999 as a consultant. In 2001, the Executive Committee voted to make him the Executive Director. Addington succeeded William “Bill” Penn, who held the post for the previous 14 years and transformed the TGA from a small volunteer-based association to one that successfully promoted golf throughout Texas. Building on the foundation laid by Penn, Addington ushered in a new era of tremendous growth and influence.
When Addington took over in 2001, for example, there was one other full-time TGA employee. The annual operation budget at the time was $250,000. Today, the TGA has 26 full-time employees, in addition to about eight annual paid summer interns, and a budget of more than $6 million. Addington focused on creating elite amateur golf competitions. He hired a staff of championship administrators who delivered improved player experiences by taking TGA events to the best golf courses in the state and creating a win-win environment for both the host venue and competitors.
By the end of 2018, the TGA will have conducted competitions on 342 calendar days, that includes everything from single-day USGA and TGA qualifiers to four-day, statewide championships. That’s up from 48 days of competition in 2000, the year before Addington became the Executive Director. The TGA under Addington’s watch also grew to more than 130,000 in total membership, including individual members and members of the 531 public and private Member Clubs. That growth also helped the TGA surpass $1 million in membership revenue.
Addington was instrumental in working with the USGA to create an agreement in which 59 state and regional golf associations became Allied Golf Associations and the providers of USGA Handicaps and Course Ratings, as well as their community’s resource for championship qualifiers, governance, golf facility support and long-term growth and promotion of the game.
Among the many milestones during Addington’s tenure, he said some of the accomplishments that gave him the most pride included the 2014 merger with the Women’s Texas Golf Association, the massive expansion of tournament opportunities for players of all skill levels and ages, the success of the Legends Junior Tour, his role in the AGA agreement with the USGA and the proficient TGA staff he helped hire.
“More than anything, I’ve enjoyed the relationships I made with the TGA staff and volunteers, our players and Member Clubs. Those connections mean the most to me,” Addington said. “I’m completely confident the TGA will continue to raise the standard of excellence in amateur golf championships and membership value and services. I’m equally positive the TGA Executive Committee will find the right person to inspire and lead the way in the future.”