With the Oscars this weekend, we thought it fitting to give out an award of our own. Oh, how exciting!

The golf world is very adept at blending professional players with celebrity amateurs. The public supports charities where you find a well-known golfer paired with a celebrity. Likewise, golf and the entertainment world collide when actors are spotted shooting long drives, or hacking their way along courses near locations where they are working, or found seeking solace on their home course in their off-time.

The USGA has brought the actor and action together. The association has united forces by bringing award-winning Hollywood A-lister Don Cheadle on board as the face of their brand campaign. Known and rewarded for his many roles in a superhero’s costume, actor Don Cheadle is displaying a new superpower as a champion of golf with USGA. His image, mission and distinctive voice are part of the USGA’s brand, “to promote and encourage vitalization and sustainability of this game while also emphasizing golf’s role in providing sustainable green space within a community ecosystem”. 

The golf world has multiple heroes of the game that teach us the genius of power, stroke, patience, concentration, and style of play. Golf has countless players of fame that provoke intrigue and interest toward the game’s personality, enthusiasm and fun.

Is it time to add this additional force to the Avengers of golf? Sustainability and the future are the lessons at hand. Causes worth fighting for, so the answer is a resounding yes.

Don Cheadle’s name might not ring an immediate bell. One look though, as you see his face and hear his voice, you know exactly who he is, and just how many famous roles he has played. He has garnered countless nominations recognizing film/tv actors and has achieved multiple wins of Golden Globe, Critics Choice, and other awards. His Oscar-nominated role in Hotel Rwanda has been his most celebrated acting nomination. Cheadle’s roles in the Marvel action series Iron Man brought to viewers a fantasy hero, but it is his role as a leader of many humanitarian projects and his specific desire to educate and promote the protection of our planet that makes him a real-life hero.

Go back to 2013 and you find an amusing use of Hollywood hero Clint Eastwood in promoting the game, although with a much different message and intent. Did that successful pairing of the “make my day” icon and the icon of golf, Arnie Palmer, achieve advertising success prompting a revisit? Or did time and need prompt the entry of an avenging hero back into USGA’s current advertising campaign?

Cheadle is on board to fight the sustainability cause, bringing awareness to the value of public golf. Now that’s a superhero! 

This every man, woman, and youth’s game deserves a champion to keep the land designated and the courses protected to allow the future of the game to progress. USGA first brought this actor’s presence to the stage as the tease to tune in to our beloved PGA tournament scheduled June 18-21 this year, slated at The West Course of Winged Foot Golf Club, in Mamaroneck, N.Y. He is also slated for other PSA announcements.

Where did this hero enter the scene? If you are a football fan, and you didn’t take a mid-game break from the TV screen, you might have seen it. USGA placed a fifteen-second slot inside the January 5th, NFL playoff between the Vikings and the Saints. First of all, it is a genius move to take a spot inside the sport of NFL as a springboard to bring the real everyman’s game into the spotlight. To use this particular actor’s presence seems to be a well-thought plan, not to mention the ad content..sublime. 

Why this hero? Cheadle is an avid golfer himself and a true representation of the everyman player. He plays with his personal brand. Part comic, part serious, part hesitant, part confident, part practice, part skill. He’s not a professional golfer. He is a good golfer, touting a 7 handicap. Full of stories of the fun of golf, it is a true experience for him. 

He earns his living elsewhere, just like most of us. Golf for him is a means to maintain friendships, relate with pure fun (lots of it too) and to find pleasure in the outdoors. Playing golf lives out, not just acts out, emotions that golfers feel as they play this game. He absolutely relates the importance of this game for the everyday player.

How does he come by the responsibility of relating the environmental issues at stake? 

USGA quotes Cheadle saying, “It’s important to understand the impact that golf courses have on the communities in which they are located. They use natural resources, like water, and are home to many species of wildlife. We need to be mindful about what that means and understand the responsibility of golf courses within the ecosystem.” Cheadle has worked with the United Nations on climate change concerns. He is also on the Advisory Board of Citizens’ Climate Lobby, In 2010, Cheadle was named U.N. Environment Program Goodwill Ambassador, and can speak with good authority in this responsibility.

And the award you have been waiting for…The Stick/Hack choice for outstanding actor in the category of representing the everyman player and the future of golf .. goes to Don Cheadle for his role as Golf’s Avenger.