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Steve Brinton Elected President of the UGA for 2016

by Joe Watts

While the Utah Golf Association has been in existence for over 100 years it was not formally incorporated until 1966 when Ray Dubois of the Salt Lake Country Club was elected as the first president of the UGA, a position he held for two years.

Now, a half century later, the UGA has finally gotten around to electing another president from The Country Club. At its last meeting in St. George the UGA Board elected Steve Brinton of The Country Club as its president for the 2016 season.

That’s right! It’s been 50 years since a UGA president was a member of The Country Club. Add that to your ‘Believe It or Not” list.

Brinton has served on the UGA Board for five years, four of them as treasurer, and now takes the helm for next season.

“We have a wonderful working board and a terrific Executive Director in Bill Walker, and wonderful volunteers and so I’m very much looking forward to this new experience as president,” Brinton said. “We will do our best to keep things going in the right direction,” he added.

Brinton is a very experienced player and was runnerup in the Centennial Utah State Am, losing to Darrin Overson in the championship match at Riverside Country Club. He has also played on the Utah team in the Arizona-Utah Shootout three times and has a significant playing record.

He has also served on the Board of Directors of both Willow Creek Country Club and The Country Club and has been the club champion at each of those clubs.

“The UGA’s primary mission is handicapping and it is a huge task,” he said. “It involves keeping 120 golf courses rated at USGA specifications and it requires well trained volunteers who serve the UGA very well,” Brinton said. “It also involves assisting local clubs with handicap supervision,” he added.

“Our tournament program is also an essential part of what we do. Our tournament schedule is very comprehensive and the state has rightfully earned a national reputation for the depth and breadth of our schedule,” he said.

Brinton’s golfing career began at Highland High School when his high school team won the state championship four years in a row, 1964-68. After high school he played collegiately at Utah State, but finished his college studies at the University of Utah where he graduated in 1973 with a degree in business and finance.

“The highlight of my golfing experience has clearly been the associations and friendships it has provided,” he said.

After graduation he joined his father in the New York Life Insurance business which now stretches over 80 years and three generations. His father started with New York Life in 1937. Steve joined the firm in 1973, and Steve’s son Taylor, who is also a very good golfer, joined the firm in 2007.

Brinton has devoted much of his past volunteer time to the USGA as a committeeman primarily conducting local qualifying events for the USGA Mid-Am Championship. He helped with 10 national USGA championships.

Brinton married his high school sweetheart, Joan Makin, in 1973, and they have two children Ashley and Taylor, and two grandchildren. The Brintons are also active in community affairs other than golf and have long been supporters of the Salt Lake Acting Company. Brinton also served on the board of the Boys and Girls Club and assisted in charitable fund raising for the Planned Giving of Primary Children’s Hospital.

The Executive Committee of the Utah Golf Association for 2016 also includes Vice President – Reese Nielsen (Eagle Mountain GC), Secretary – Denise Vilven (Golf in the Round) and Treasurer – Stew Walz (Hidden Valley CC).