Isaac B. (Ike) Grainger, former president of the United States Golf Association, was one of the country’s leading authorities on the rules of golf.
Mr. Grainger was also president of Chemical Bank from 1956 to 1960. He was considered instrumental in developing the bank’s retail network. In 1996, Chemical Bank merged with Chase Manhattan.
Mr. Grainger was a director of the Hartford Fire Insurance Company and Smith Barney Managed Funds and was an adviser-director of the Union Electric Company of St. Louis.
His business expertise, however, was probably overshadowed by his knowledge of and devotion to the game of golf. Mr. Grainger was chairman of the U.S.G.A. committee that in 1951 negotiated the first uniform code of rules with the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews in Scotland and reportedly assisted President Dwight D. Eisenhower with his short game at the White House. He was a chairman of the U.S.G.A. rules committee and vice chairman of the Augusta National Rules Committee. As president of the U.S.G.A., Mr. Grainger presented Arnold Palmer with his first amateur champion cup in 1954. He also served as president of the Metropolitan Golf Association and the United States Seniors’ Golf Association.
Born in Wilmington in 1895, Mr. Grainger attended Woodberry Forest School in Virginia and Princeton University in New Jersey. During World War 1, he served on the home front as a captain of infantry and as an instructor in officers training schools at Fort Oglethorpe and Camp Gordon, both in Georgia.
He later held executive positions with the Murchison National Bank in Wilmington, the North Carolina Bank and Trust Company of Greensboro and the Montclair Trust Company in New Jersey. He joined Chemical Bank in 1943 and served as president from 1956 to 1960, when he reached mandatory retirement age.
In 1995 (the centennial year for both the association and Mr. Grainger), the U.S.G.A. designated the Ike Grainger Award to recognize people who have volunteered for the U.S.G.A. for 25 years.