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MGA Mourns the Passing of Jim McLoughlin, Former Executive Director

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It is with great sadness that the Metropolitan Golf Association announces that former Executive Director, James E. “Jim” McLoughlin passed away on March 9th. Jim, one of the MGA’s most influential leaders, died peacefully in his sleep at age 84 at his home in Carlsbad, California, where he had lived for the past 19 years.

Related: Journal News Obituary

Jim was a Met Area native, born in Brooklyn and raised in Rye, N.Y., where he attended Iona Prep on a basketball scholarship. Jim earned a BS from Holy Cross and a law degree from Fordham University. He was an avid sports fan and after spending several years teaching and coaching in high school he became the Executive Director of the Metropolitan Golf Association, where he served with great distinction from 1966 to 1980.   Under his leadership, McLoughlin helped the MGA earn a reputation as one of the nation’s leading amateur golf organizations. An innovator and forward thinker, Jim helped the MGA become the first association to offer a centralized handicap service, the first to offer computer based handicapping, and he was instrumental in helping develop the concept of a national service that would later become the USGA’s GHIN service. He also pushed the MGA to expand its service programs beyond handicapping, course ratings, and conducting championships and helped create educational and insurance programs that are still benefitting MGA member clubs today.

McLoughlin was also responsible for hiring David Fay at the MGA, who would become the long-time executive director of the USGA, and  Jeanne McCooey, Gene Westmoreland and Jay Mottola who went on to long careers with the MGA. He was a recognized leader among state and regional golf associations, helped create the International Association of Golf Administrators (IAGA) and served as one of the organization’s early presidents. “Jim McLoughlin was a cutting-edge golf administrator and leader, known for his keen, innovative thinking. He was—truly—a pioneer in developing the modern State/Regional golf-association model, offering numerous services and programs to all golfers, not just the tournament-caliber players,” said Fay, who served as MGA communications director under McLoughlin in the late 1970s before moving on to the USGA.  

Jim left the MGA in 1980 to become the executive director of the Golf Course Superintendent’s Association of America and later worked with the local Metropolitan GCSAA chapter. During this time and throughout his career in golf he did much to improve the stature of individual golf course superintendents and their profession and to educate club leaders and the golfing public on the critically important role they play in the game. In 1993 for his work, McLughlin received the MetGCSA’s John Reid Lifetime Achievement Award.

Later in his career, he formed his own company, The McLoughlin Group, where he consulted in the golf industry across the United States and internationally. Interacting with the international golf community was a very interesting part of his career.

McLoughlin is survived by his wife of 59 years Mary Ellen, three children and seven grandchildren. The MGA and the entire Met Area golf community celebrate a full life of service to the game and pass along their sympathies to Mary Ellen and the entire McLoughlin family.




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