Frank Hannigan Passes

Frank Hannigan, a respected former executive director of the USGA who was not afraid to offer his opinions about golf, died Saturday morning in his hometown of Saugerties, N.Y. The announcement was made by the USGA, which did not disclose a cause of death. He was 82.

"Frank Hannigan made contributions to the USGA and the game of golf that were truly immense," said USGA executive director Mike Davis. "Frank was such a neat and straightforward person. His passion for the association and the game leaves a lasting legacy at the USGA."

Hannigan, a native of Staten Island, N.Y., was introduced to the game as a caddie. He later wrote a column for the Staten Island Advance before becoming manager of public information for the USGA in 1961, a time when the association was headquartered in Manhattan.

He later became USGA's tournament relations and manager, overseeing championships until 1978, when he became the USGA's director of special projects.

In 1983, Hannigan became the USGA's fifth executive director, succeeding Harry Easterly.

"His knowledge of USGA core services was superb, as was his writing," said David Fay, who followed Hannigan as the executive director. "He was amazingly bright, with a sense of humor to match."

Hannigan's brilliance and knowledge of golf led him to be hired by ABC Sports as an on-air expert on the rules of golf. More recently, he was a contributing writer for Golf Digest.

One of his pet peeves was slow play. In an April 4, 2013 article for the USGA's then-new "While We're Young initiative," he wrote:

1. Golf is a slower game than it used to be.
2. We would have a better game if the pace was faster.

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