Mike Davis, the first CEO of the United States Golf Association (USGA), announced Tuesday that he will leave the organization at the end of 2021 to pursue his passion for golf course design.
Davis, who joined the USGA in 1990, succeeded David Fay in 2011 to become the organization's seventh executive director. He assumed his current post as CEO five years later.
"It's just the right time for me," said the 55-year-old Davis, who promised his wife, Cece, that the executive director job would be for 10 years.
"I'm in a really good place. Part of me will indeed be sad because I've grown up in this organization, but I'm excited about the future. The USGA's in a great place. And I think the game is moving in the right direction."
Davis' replacement will be selected by a succession committee. Davis said that while he will assist in the process, he was adamant about not selecting his successor.
As for Davis' next venture, he addressed his plans to join forces with good friend Tom Fazio II in a new architecture firm called Fazio Davis Golf Design.
"I've been fascinated with golf design ever since I was a junior golfer," Davis said in a letter to associates. "It started with doodling golf holes, and then reading and observing all that I could about golf course architecture. It also led to a quest to study as many of the world's best courses as possible.
"The last 30-plus years with the USGA have afforded me so many wonderful opportunities in that regard, including meeting and working with many of the renowned designers in the game. I have also learned a great deal about grasses, course maintenance and construction from our deeply knowledgeable Green Section agronomists."
--Field Level Media