October 28, 2012

GSGA announces new chief

MARIETTA — Matt Hooper has been named the new executive director of the Georgia State Golf Association. The Atlanta resident will begin his duties with the GSGA on Nov. 5.

Hooper will oversee the GSGA’s staff of 15, which carries out various services benefiting GSGA member golf clubs and individual golfers across the state. As executive director, he will be charged with developing a strategic plan that adapts to golf’s changing industry, identifying innovative ways to grow the game in Georgia and leading collaborative efforts among Georgia’s golf organizations.

“Matt is passionate, knowledgeable and well respected when it comes to our game and the business of golf,” said GSGA president Greg Butterfield, who oversaw a committee of GSGA volunteers and staff that conducted an extensive national search for the new executive director. “He is well versed in the challenges facing an evolving golf industry, and GSGA will be the beneficiary of his vision and collaborative approach.”

Hooper comes to the GSGA from Atlanta Junior Golf, where he has worked since 2003 and served as executive director since 2010. In that role, he oversaw more than 125 events annually for junior golfers across metro Atlanta. Accomplishments during his tenure include growing tournament participation to record levels and directing the development of a mobile-friendly website and mobile applications.

Hooper rose through the ranks at AJG first as a tournament director, then as a P.J. Boatwright, Jr. intern, then as director of operations before assuming the executive director role two years ago.

Hooper earned a degree in communication and public relations from Kennesaw State University in 2007 while competing on the men’s golf team. A native of Cobb County, Hooper is a graduate of Lassiter High in Marietta.

“I could not be more honored to start my service with GSGA. The commitment and talent of the staff here are second to none,” Hooper said. “We will work hard each day, building upon our longstanding relationships with so many allied organizations to grow the game and foster opportunities for players of all ages and ability levels across the state.”

Hooper becomes the fifth executive director in the Georgia State Golf Association’s history. Although the GSGA was founded nearly 100 years ago, it existed as a volunteer-run organization for almost 60 years before the first full-time staff member, Floyd Doss of Fort Valley, was hired as executive director in 1973. Other past executive directors are Frank Ford III (1979 to 1983), Steve Mona (1983 to 1993) and Mike Waldron (1994 to 2012).

Founded in 1916, the GSGA received its official charter on June 24, 1924. Since that date, the GSGA has grown to one of the largest state amateur golf associations in the country, with nearly 350 member clubs and 75,000 individual members.

With a mission to promote and preserve amateur golf in the state of Georgia, the GSGA offers a computerized handicapping service, course rating and measuring, and annually conducts a full schedule of statewide competitions for men and women of all age groups.

Other services include a summer-long junior sectional program, award-winning Golf Georgia magazine, membership recognition and rewards programs, management of the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame and a charitable foundation administering two college scholarship programs.

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