Joe Foley Named Executive Director of the AGA
For Immediate Release
March 10, 2022
David Bataller | Director of Communications
[email protected] | (602) 944-3035
SCOTTSDALE – The Executive Committee of the Arizona Golf Association (AGA) has named Joe Foley as Executive Director following an extensive national search. Foley comes to the AGA from the United States Golf Association (USGA), where he served as Director of Regional Affairs for the Midwest Region, and replaces Ed Gowan, who is retiring after 36 years with the AGA.
“It has been an absolute pleasure getting to know the folks from the AGA during this process,” said Foley. “The energy and excitement – if not hysteria – for golf in this state is infectious. I’m so excited to now be a part of it.”
Foley, 33, spent the last eight years with the USGA, rising through the ranks from Manager of Rules and Competitions, to Senior Manager of Corporate Partnerships, to Director of Regional Affairs. Working out of the NYC Metro area, he led the USGA’s business relationships with industry stakeholders in the Midwest, including relationships with state and regional golf associations, USGA committee members and other partners in the region.
“We met many qualified and accomplished candidates in our nationwide search process,” said AGA President Bob McNichols. “Joe Foley fits the experience profile that Ed Gowan brought in 1985 and will have the full support of Arizona golf for years to come. We welcome him and look forward to the success of the Foley Era at Arizona Golf.”
Notably, Foley managed the Rules of Golf Modernization Initiative, culminating with the most comprehensive update to the Rules of Golf in 30 years when released in January 2019. As the USGA’s project manager, he helped direct a cross-functional team of twenty USGA staff members and an external team made up of representatives from The R&A. Foley guided several working groups, including the digital, PR/communications, publications, and education teams, while collaborating with players, influencers, officials, and media over a two-year period by seeking input and building advocates for the initiative. For the first time, golfers and administrators were encouraged to insert their voice into the governance process to help shape the future of the game.
“When it comes to Amateur golf, Joe Foley has as wide a background and experience level, especially with the Rules, Handicapping, Course Rating and Amateur Status as anyone in the industry,” said Gowan, who will continue in a support role for the better part of 2022. “Arizona Golf is blessed to have Joe as its leader.”
“After 36 years of service, Ed has so much to be proud of,” said Foley of his predecessor. “The entire golf community – across the state and beyond – has been influenced and inspired by Ed in some way. It’s now our responsibility to build on his work and legacy in the next chapter of the AGA’s history.”
Prior to the USGA, Foley worked in the Education field, serving as a Finance & Operations Manager for Explore Charter Schools in New York. A 501(c)3 charter management organization, he monitored the fiscal health of four charter schools, reporting to senior administrators and a board of directors. Foley previously volunteered with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in rural Montana after earning his undergraduate degree in Management with an emphasis in Finance from Boston College.
An avid hiker and competitive golfer, Foley carries a 1.5 Index and enjoys playing in regional and national amateur championships. He plans to move to the Scottsdale area by the end of March and begin his tenure as Executive Director of the Arizona Golf Association on April 4.
About The Arizona Golf Association
The Arizona Golf Association has been serving amateur golfers in Arizona since 1923 when it held the first State Amateur Championship. Today, it is licensed by the United States Golf Association to provide handicapping and course rating services to more than 600 member clubs, to provide tournament and rules expertise to more than 90,000 members and to oversee the application of amateur status. For more information please visit azgolf.org, and follow on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.