Donnie Bowers was born on October 16, 1950, in Wilmington, North Carolina. At the age of 14. Donnie began playing golf at the Wilmington Municipal Golf Course. In June 1986 Donnie had the opportunity to play Oakmont Country Club (PA) with friends, where a rules incident occurred on the 18th green and unable to obtain a resolution to the situation they continued to play the hole. After the round was complete, Donnie purchased a rulebook from the Pro Shop. After finding the answer to the rule’s situation, his interest in the rules of golf began. Donnie joined Pine Valley Country Club in 1978. During his over 30-year membership, he served on the Board of Directors and was Chairman of the Golf Committee. During these years he developed an interest in tournament administration and the rules of golf. Donnie reached out the USGA for support while on the Golf Committee.
In May of 1990 Donnie was invited to join the USGA Sectional Affairs Committee. Donnie has worked 62 USGA Championships including 18 US Opens, 9 US Women’s Opens, 14 Senior Opens, and 11 US Amateurs.
Donnie has served as a walking rules official for many prominent PGA Tour players including, Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson, Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia, Adam Scott, Tiger Woods, Lorena Ochoa, and Paula Creamer.
Donnie is the chairman of the rules committee for the Duke University Rod Myers Invitational and the Dustin Johnson World Junior, In addition to USGA events, Donnie has officiated over 70 NCAA Tournaments, including Division I, II and III National Championships, Golf World Championships, the Palmer Cup, Caribbean Golf Championships, and Web.com events.
Donnie was invited to officiate at the 2019 inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur. In addition, Donnie served as a volunteer assistant coach for Hoggard High School Men’s Golf team for 5 years, including the 1993 State 4A champions.
Donnie was a founding member of the Landfall Tradition, a member of the Board of Directors of Playing by The Rules Foundation, Inc., and is a member of the NC Golf Panel. Each year, Donnie speaks about the Rules of Golf to many local golf clubs in the area as well as Cape Fear Community College students.
Donnie was the recipient of the USGA’s Ike Grainger Award for volunteer service in 2014. The award was very special to Donnie as it was named after another Wilmington resident.