Geoffrey Chaucer is widely regarded as the father of English literature and is considered by many to be the greatest English poet of the Middle Ages. One of Chaucer’s most famous proverbs, which dates back to the late 1300s, is “All good things must come to an end.” The Morey family has its own favorite, which is “Always leave while you’re having a good time.” I am especially mindful of both proverbs as I come to the end of my three years as your President.
The Golf Association of Philadelphia was founded in 1897. It is the oldest state or regional golf association in the country. The mission of the GAP has continued unchanged since 1897: to preserve, protect and promote the game of golf. The Philadelphia School, which is the subject of this issue’s cover story, is another demonstration of the Association’s faithful pursuit of its mission. What started small — four founding Member Clubs: Belmont Golf Association (now Aronimink Golf Club), Merion Cricket Club, Philadelphia Country Club and Philadelphia Cricket Club — has now grown into an organization with more than 180 Member Clubs located across three states and more than 60,000 individual golfers.
Further growth is on the horizon. The USGA has mandated a consolidation of regional golf associations and partially in consideration of that mandate, the Golf Association of Philadelphia has been proactively engaged in discussions with its neighbors. Change is always challenging, but Mark Peterson, the GAP Executive Director, and the outstanding staff are up to the task. Stay tuned for more information in the coming months on this matter of expansion.
As President, I have the privilege of representing the Association on the J. Wood Platt Caddie Scholarship Trust Board of Directors. The Platt Scholarship continues to make a meaningful difference in the lives of local caddies. This year, the Scholarship awarded more than $1.5 million in grants to 191 young men and women caddies of GAP Member Clubs in pursuit of higher education. A very important fundraising event is the Dawn to Dusk (D2D) Golf Marathon. D2D was held this past August at the wonderful North Hills Country Club and raised more than $230,000. But just as important as D2D are the generous and greatly appreciated contributions from all of you — the Members of the GAP. Thank you to all those who contributed to the Platt Scholarship. Platt has also extended its current partnership with the Chick Evans Caddie Scholarship. This joint endeavor provides full tuition and board to deserving caddies who attend Penn State University (Main campus). There are currently seven caddies in the program. And of course, the BMW Championship, which is the final tournament before the PGA Tour Championship, and which benefits the Evans Scholars Foundation, visits Aronimink next September. Sign up to volunteer and get your tickets early for this great event. Doing so supports both Platt and Evans scholars.
There have been many points of pride in my three years as President. The expansion of Platt’s relationship with the Evans Scholar Foundation, the creation of the 1 MORE Campaign and my home Merion Golf Club hosting the BMW Philadelphia Amateur Championship in 2016 for the first time in 62 years. No moment, however, tops my daily interaction with you, the Members. I appreciate the feedback, the positive and the negative, that I received from the Members. In my view, the daily interaction and the feedback from the Members are a key reason why the Association remains as strong and as vibrant as ever 121 years into its existence.
Summer may be over, but that isn’t a reason to put your clubs in the garage. The fall is a fantastic time of the year to golf in the Northeast. Sunny days with comfortable temperatures and excellent course conditions make for the perfect setting. As I said during my presidency, playing 1 MORE round and having 1 MORE meal goes a long way in supporting your club’s vitality. Please consider that my lasting Presidential Proverb. I want to thank the Association staff, Executive Committee
It has been an honor and a pleasure to serve you, the Members.
Thank you for allowing me to be your President.
Robert M. Morey