East Providence native, Bristol resident Sprague accepts USGA regional director position


EAST BAY — City native and former executive director of the Rhode Island Golf Association Joe Sprague Jr. has accepted a position with the United State Golf Association where he will serve as the national organization's Director of Regional Affairs for the Northeast Region. The move is effective with the start of August.

Mr. Sprague leaves his current position as the executive director of the Massachusetts Golf Association for the role with the USGA. Mr. Sprague, a Bristol resident, will be based out of the USGA's headquarters of Golf House in Far Hill, N.J. In his new capacity, he will work directly with the USGA executive team to further the governing body's strategy to deliver value to the state and regional golf associations. In addition, he will serve as a liaison with regional and state golf associations from Maine down to Pennsylvania.

“This is a great opportunity for me. I feel that I’m at the point in my life when now is the time to take a step forward and take advantage of an opportunity like this," Mr. Sprague told Golfweek magazine.

Not only is the MGA losing its top officer, but so, too, will the Northeast Amateur lose its next director. Mr. Sprague was slated to take over the reign's of the annual Wannamoisett Country Club showcase from long-time director Denny Glass.

Mr. Glass oversaw his 20th and final Northeast Am in June. Mr. Sprague had accepted an offer to take over stewardship of the event going forward, but had to rescind the decision upon agreeing to take up the position with the USGA.

“I’m confident I can find someone who will fit the bill,” Mr. Glass told Golfweek. “As far as Joe is concerned, we’ve been friends a long, long time and for him this is a good opportunity in his professional career to get the USGA position. I know he will do well and I wish him all the best.”

Mr. Sprague expressed his disappointment at losing out on the opportunity to direct the Northeast, but offered his backing to whomever Mr. Glass chooses as his replacement.

“Still, it’s tough," Mr. Sprague also told Golfweek. "The Northeast Amateur has been a part of my life for a long time and I feel bad for Denny, but I think he has some very good candidates to look at and I’m sure whoever takes over as tournament chairman will do an excellent job. I know whoever it is will have my full support as well as Denny’s."

Mr. Sprague was one of four new regional directors recently hired by the USGA. The country is broken down into six geographic regions — Northeast, West, Great Lakes, South, Central and Southeast.


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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.