The USGA has promoted Hilary Cronheim to Director of the USGA Golf Museum, the oldest sports museum in the United States and home to golf’s most comprehensive library and collection of artifacts and historic materials.
Cronheim is a resident of Bernardsville, N.J., who joined the organization as a special collections librarian in 2015. She will oversee execution of the museum’s strategic initiatives, including strengthening its premier collection, expanding public programing, enhancing access to research collections, and establishing the facility as the world’s leading center for golf scholarship.
Cronheim has contributed articles to New Jersey Golf magazine, the official publication of the NJSGA. A special USGA Museum section is included in each issue of New Jersey Golf. She is the wife of David Cronheim, member of the New Jersey State Golf Association Board of Trustees and owner of Watchung Valley Golf Club in Watchung.
“It’s an honor to oversee this unparalleled collection of golf artifacts, and I look forward to continuing to capture, preserve and celebrate the stories of the game’s greatest people and moments,” Cronheim said. “The USGA serves as a vital custodian of golf’s history through the museum, and I’m proud to serve a leading role in those efforts.”
The museum, located on the USGA global campus in Liberty Corner, N.J., houses the largest assemblage of golf artifacts found anywhere in the world, and enables the USGA to carry out one of the central pillars of its overall mission – to serve as the chief guardian of and educator on golf’s history.
“The story of golf comes alive through the words of its greatest players, the art of golf course design, the photography and videography of its most iconic moments, and the symbols of achievement, and being the steward of this rich archive is important to both us and the game,” said Rand Jerris, USGA Senior Managing Director, Public Services. “In naming Hilary to this role, we continue our commitment to collect and preserve golf’s history as it happens so that it can be celebrated for years to come.”
The museum collection comprises more than 70,000 artifacts from golf’s most iconic moments, in addition to more than one million photographs and 200,000 hours of video footage. The USGA Library contains more than 100,000 catalogued items. The depth, breadth and historical importance of the collection allows the USGA to inform and include more than three million individuals annually with the historical content it produces.
Notable items in the collection include:
The “moon club” used by astronaut Alan Shepard to hit golf balls on the moon in 1971.
The championship medals of Bob Jones, including those from his 1930 Grand Slam victories.
Ben Hogan’s 1-iron used during his famous win at the 1950 U.S. Open.
Arnold Palmer’s visor worn during the 1960 U.S. Open.
Horace Rawlins’ gold medal from the 1895 U.S. Open, the first year the championship was conducted.
The set of clubs used by Francis Ouimet to win the 1913 U.S. Open.
Mickey Wright’s putter used to capture 81 of her 82 professional titles.
The museum was originally founded in 1936 in the USGA’s original New York City headquarters before relocating to its current location at the Pope House mansion in 1972. In the time since, the building has undergone several renovations, including the opening of The Arnold Palmer Center for Golf History in 2008 and the addition of The Jack Nicklaus Room in 2015.
The USGA Golf Museum is open to visitors Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. To learn more about the museum, visit www.usgamuseum.com.