Harry Easterly, Jr.
About Harry Easterly, Jr.
Born in Richmond in 1922, Easterly was a solid golfer who won two Richmond Golf Association Men’s Amateur titles, finished runner-up in the 1956 VSGA Amateur and qualified for several U.S. Amateur Championships. But it was as an administrator that Easterly put his imprint on golf.
He graduated from St. Christopher’s School in Richmond and Virginia Military Institute and was a World War II veteran. He died at the age of 82 in 2005.
Easterly was the first Virginian to become president of the United States Golf Association in 1976, an office he held through 1977. Since then, two others from Virginia have held the office: Bill Battle and Mark Newell.
He said at the time, “I don’t think the golfing world at large has the full appreciation of what the USGA means to golf.”
His way to change that was to nurture the Associates Program that had begun during 1975. “My theme was to bring the USGA out of the shadows, bring it to the people, make it more democratic. I was lucky in that the climate was right for it.”
As vice president and chairman of the rules committee, Easterly faced considerable criticism for spearheading the charge to change the U.S. Amateur format back to match play after eight years of stroke play.
“That was the amateur game, the way it’s played, and that’s the best way I can answer the question of why I was so opposed to stroke play,” Easterly said in an interview in 2003. “It’s traditional, and I think it was a mistake to ever have departed from it. I’m extremely proud of having led the charge to get that changed.”
Achievements & Media
Special thanks to the USGA, PGA Tour, VSGA, MAPGA, WVGA and inductee family members for contributing photos and videos to this project.
Date of birth: 1922; died June 16, 2005 (age 82).
College: Virginia Military Institute
Easterly was a founder of the Richmond Golf Association; was a past president of the VSGA and the United States Golf Association; served as executive director of the USGA
Was instrumental in bringing the 1955 and 1975 U.S. Amateur Championships to the Country Club of Virginia
Was captain of the U.S. World Amateur team; captain of the U.S. Walker Cup team; chairman of the USGA Championship and USGA Rules of Golf committee. He was a guiding force in the founding of Independence Golf Course in Midlothian
He was a member at Augusta National, Pine Valley, St. Andrews and Ballybunion