SaddleBrooke resident and SMGA member Bill Lich was elected as the new Arizona Golf Association (AGA) President on Thursday, February 5. Bill and his wife Carol have been SaddleBrooke residents since 1999. He was originally involved in amateur golf as a USGA Rules Official in the Southern California Golf Association. After moving to Arizona, Bill joined the Arizona Golf Association serving on the Executive Committee with various roles on the Member Services, Handicap, Rules, Course Rating, Business and Finance Committees over the past seven years.
As president, Lich said a key focus area would be improving the AGA revenue stream to enhance the AGA’s ability to do more to promote amateur golf in Arizona. It takes resources to manage the handicap system, conduct golf course ratings, administer golf tournaments, support local and regional USGA amateur golf tournaments, provide assistance to individual golf club organizations, such as the SaddleBrooke Men’s Golf Association and to communicate with and respond to AGA members.
He will also be working to strengthen relationships with the Arizona Women’s Golf Association (AWGA), the Junior Golf Association of Arizona (JGAA) and the South West Section of the Professional Golf Association (which represents golf professionals, like SaddleBrooke Pros Bernie Eaton and Andy Higgins). The synergy of the combined efforts of these separate but interrelated organizations can help improve golf for amateurs throughout Arizona.
Another focus area is the AGA’s annual charity tournament, the Patriot All American Invitational Tournament. It is played annually at the Wigwam in Phoenix in late December and features 84 of the best collegiate golfers from across America. The tournament is a major fundraiser for the Folds of Honor Foundation supporting families of fallen U.S. service members. Each participant will represent and honor a fallen service member by carrying a golf bag with that service member’s name and branch of service. After the tournament, the golf bags are taken by the player to his respective school and auctioned off with proceeds going to support the families of fallen service members. Lich wants to ensure that this tournament gets the attention it deserves and that the AGA can maximize the support donated.
Improving the AGA’s communications with our customers, the membership of the Association is paramount. The AZ Golf Insider magazine, the AGA’s publication, plus internet use are sources of information for Arizona’s golfers. But Lich feels more needs to be done to embellish our education of and communications with the more than 55,000 member golfers of the AGA.
The SaddleBrooke Golf Association (SMGA) is proud to have Bill Lich as both an SMGA member and as the President of the Arizona Golf Association. Congratulations!