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Remembering Dr. Richard Stroud

On November 5, 2016, one of the game’s most influential and accomplished volunteers passed away at his home in Eagle, ID at the age of 80. Stroud served on the USGA Executive Committee from 1977 to 1979, but his legacy is in the area of handicapping and course rating.


Dr. Stroud completed his undergraduate studies in Civil Engineering at the University of Kansas and played with Wilt Chamberlain on the Jayhawks’ basketball team. Stroud completed a Master’s degree in Applied Mechanics at the University of Utah where he met his wife Suzon. An engineer who earned a PhD from Stanford University, Stroud used his knowledge to serve the game he loved. He was a charter member of the USGA Handicap Research Committee, formed in 1979, and quickly got to work with his fellow committee members. Stroud was instrumental in the research that helped develop the formulas used for implementing Slope Rating®, which takes into account certain aspects of a course’s layout that will affect a high-handicap golfer’s sore more than that of a low-handicap player. In 1987, after years of testing and analysis, Slope Rating was added to the USGA Course Rating SystemTM, further enhancing the method by which the relative difficulty of golf courses is calculated.

His volunteer tenure with the USGA spanned 50 years and included time on the Handicap Procedure, Rules of Golf, Equipment Standards, and Handicap Research Committees. Before his recent move to Idaho, he lived in California where he served on the Board of the Northern California Golf Association.

The golf world owes a great deal of gratitude to Dick Stroud, who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to strengthen the USGA Handicap and Course Rating systems for all, said Steve Edmondson, Managing Director of Handicap and Course Rating for the USGA. The USGA Handicap SystemTM is used by more than 10 million golfers worldwide, which allows golfers of all abilities to compete on an equitable basis.

A celebration of his life will be held 11:00 a.m. on Friday, December 2, at First Presbyterian Church of Boise, 950 W State Street. In lieu of flowers, a memorial gift by be made to:  www.thefirstteeidaho.org.


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    • PGA Rocky Mountain Section
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