"It started out as a joke," said MGA co-founder Jon Morley, a former race car driver who helped form the MGA while golfing with friends. "We started talking about all the ways we're different and we're the same as pros." The differences were pretty clear, but the similarities? "We are striving to be the best that we can achieve, but the best that we can achieve is at a mediocre level."
The MGA held its first tournament in 2006 in San Francisco. It has since expanded to 60 chapters in several countries, with 1,100 members. Each member pays $40-$60 to join, and there are eight tournaments scheduled over eight months leading up to the World Championship in Las Vegas. Tournaments parody PGA names.
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The Pebble Beach Pro-Am becomes the MGA Rebel Beach Am-Am. Instead of calling themselves "pros" as shorthand for "professionals," MGA members are called "medios," short for "mediocres." Regular golf rules are followed, but instead of par, players aim to shoot "mar," which is 90, or a bogie on every hole. Morley said, "This helps people feel better about themselves." Additionally, unlike regular golf, MGA penalizes players who are too good. Anyone with a handicap under 18 has strokes added.