FAR HILLS, N.J. (AP) _ Dick Rugge, who spent the last 11 years helping develop and market new clubs for Taylor Made Golf Company, was appointed the senior technical director of the United States Golf Association on Wednesday.

Rugge will oversee the testing of golf equipment at the USGA's Research and Test Center.

``I think we can strike an appropriate balance between doing what is best for the game while maintaining sound relationships with individual golfers, as well as the companies that manufacture the products they use every day on the golf course,'' Rugge said in a statement.

With Taylor Made, located in Carlsbad, Calif., Rugge was vice president of product creation, where he led a team in the design, marketing, research, and testing of new golf clubs.