An avid golfer and longtime member of Lakeside Golf Club in Burbank, Jim Vernon’s career in golf administration is nothing short of exemplary.
After earning a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University in 1972 and graduating from Stanford Law School in 1975, Vernon ran his family’s diamond business – Frank Vernon Diamond Brokers and Wholesale Jewelers. His professional experience and relationships would nonetheless contribute to his wide-ranging service to the game of golf.
He served as president of Lakeside Golf Club in 1990 and would later serve as president of the board of directors of the SCGA and California Golf Association in 1997 and 1998 respectively. As an advocate for junior golf and growing the game, Vernon also served as president of the SCGA Junior Golf Foundation for two years starting in 2013.
In 1998, Vernon began volunteering with the USGA and served on multiple committees, including the Sectional Affairs Committee and Equipment Standards Committee. He served as a member of the Executive Committee for seven years – including vice president in 2006 and 2007 – before ultimately being named the 60th president of the USGA in 2008 and 2009.
As president of the USGA, Vernon tirelessly led the Association's staff and 1,400 volunteers and focused on championships, equipment, creating a strong online presence and preserving the game's history.
In 2012, Vernon was named captain of the winning U.S. Men’s World Amateur Team Championship team, which featured a record-setting score of 24-under-par.
Dedicated to serving the game, Vernon continues to be active in Southern California golf.