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Former USGA president C. Grant Spaeth, 88, dies

California attorney led the association in 1990-91 and played a key role in creating the U.S. men’s and women’s mid-amateur events and steering USGA championships away from clubs with exclusionary membership policies

Died: C. Grant Spaeth, a former U.S. Golf Association president, on July 28, the USGA announced in a news release. Spaeth was 88 and had suffered from pneumonia. Spaeth, a native of England, was introduced to golf in Uruguay, where his father worked, before moving to Palo Alto, Calif., as a child. He played for Stanford’s 1953 NCAA golf champions. Spaeth, an Army veteran, practiced law in Palo Alto. He served as the USGA’s president in 1990-91. According to the USGA, Spaeth played a key role in the creation of the U.S. Mid-Amateur and Women’s Mid-Amateur tournaments in the 1980s when he served on the association’s Executive Committee. As the USGA’s president, in the wake of the Shoal Creek controversy with the 1990 PGA Championship, Spaeth confronted the issue of segregation at U.S. clubs. As a result, the USGA steered its tournaments away from clubs that maintained exclusionary membership policies. “Even after his stroke a handful of years ago, he would call me to chat,” said Mike Davis, the USGA’s chief executive. “[He] loved golf and was bigger than life."

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