Six Voted into LPGA T&CP Division Hall of Fame's Inaugural Class
The Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Teaching and Club Professional (T&CP) Division welcomed six inaugural members into the LPGA T&CP Hall of Fame on Oct. 25 during the kickoff dinner for Celebrating Women in Golf: an LPGA 50th Anniversary Event, Oct. 25-28, 2000, at the World Golf Village. LPGA Founders Patty Berg, Marilynn Smith, Shirley Spork and Louise Suggs, as well as LPGA teaching legends Peggy Kirk Bell and Betty Hicks, were officially inducted into the newly created LPGA T&CP Hall of Fame at the dinner.
Bell, an LPGA T&CP Master Life member, played on the LPGA Tour from 1950-68. Bell, who was named the 1961 LPGA Teacher of the Year and 1989 Ellen Griffin Rolex Award recipient, established a unique series of golf schools in 1953 called "Golfaris." The Findlay, Ohio, native has taught more than 35,000 students of all skill levels and abilities and received the 1993 William Richardson Award from the Golf Writers Association of America (GWAA), the prestigious 1990 Bob Jones Award from the United States Golf Association (USGA) and the 1981 Graffis Award given by the National Golf Foundation for her dedication to teaching the game of golf. Bell is also the owner of Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club, the site of the 2001 U.S. Women's Open, and Mid Pines Inn & Golf Club, the site of the 2000 GOLF FOR WOMEN Magazine LPGA Teaching and Club Professional Division Championship.
Berg, one of the six inaugural inductees into the LPGA Tour Hall of Fame in 1967, won 60 professional events from 1941-62, including a record 15 major championships. Berg is an honorary member of the LPGA T&CP Division and was selected by the PGA of America as one of "Golf's 15 Legendary Teachers." The recipient of numerous awards, Berg won the National Golf Foundation's Graffis Award (1975 and 1981) and the Ben Hogan Award in 1975 and was named Associated Press Athlete of the Year three times (1938, 1943 and 1955). Berg received the 1990 Patty Berg Award, instituted by the LPGA's Board of Directors in 1979 to reward outstanding contributions to women's golf and to honor Berg.
Hicks is one of three LPGA T&CP Division founding members and served as its first chairperson in 1960. She has taught golf for more than 50 years and has coached at seven colleges and universities. A member of the Women's Sports Foundation International Hall of Fame and the California Golf Writers Hall of Fame, Hicks most recently won the 1999 Ellen Griffin Rolex Award in recognition of her contributions to golf instruction. Hicks has co-authored two books and has written more than 400 articles in more than 10 publications on golf and golf instruction.
Smith is one of the LPGA's 13 founding members and spearheaded the creation of the LPGA T&CP Division in 1959. She won 21 LPGA events during her career, including two major championships, and served as president of the LPGA from 1958-60. The Topeka, Kan., native received the first Patty Berg Award in 1979 and has been inducted into four Halls of Fame: Kansas Sports Hall of Fame (2000); University of Kansas Sports Hall of Fame (1999); Texas Golf Hall of Fame (1994); and the Kansas Golf Hall of Fame (1991). She was also awarded the 1983 Golf Digest LPGA Founder Cup for her charitable service off the golf course and was selected as one of the "Distinguished Champions" of the Vincent Lombardi Tournament of Champions, which recognizes leadership in sports and the demonstration of high ideals for the public good, in 1987.
Spork, also one of the founding members of both the LPGA Tour and the LPGA T&CP Division, was the first LPGA professional to conduct golf clinics in foreign countries. Spork is a two-time LPGA Teacher of the Year (1959, 1984) and was awarded the 1998 Ellen Griffin Rolex Award. She was the chairperson of the LPGA T&CP Division from 1960-66, received the Meritorious Service Award in 1989 and the Byron Nelson Award in 1994.
Suggs, also one of the LPGA's 13 founding members, is an honorary member of the LPGA T&CP Division. Suggs won 58 professional tournaments, including 11 major championships, and the 1957 Vare Trophy for lowest scoring average. The Atlanta, Ga., native was one of six inaugural inductees into the LPGA Tour Hall of Fame in 1967 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame of Women's Golf in 1951. Suggs was one of GOLF Magazine's "100 Heroes" during the 1988 Centennial of Golf in America celebration and the first woman inducted into the Georgia Athletic Hall of Fame. Earlier this year, the trophy awarded to the annual Rolex Rookie of the Year was named the Louise Suggs Trophy in her honor.
The six members of the inaugural class for LPGA T&CP Hall of Fame were chosen by the 10-person Final Selection Committee, which is made up of 10 golf industry leaders from the following areas: equipment; print media; broadcast media; the United States Golf Association; Women's Sports Foundation; Golf Writers Association of America; LPGA Board of Directors; LPGA Tour Hall of Fame; LPGA Tournament Division president, Cindy McCurdy; and LPGA Commissioner Ty Votaw.
In succeeding even-numbered years, nominations and subsequent election into the Hall will follow the set requirements for nominations and award criteria points. Once achieving the requirements for nominations and award criteria points, nominees must receive 90 percent approval of the Final Selection Committee to be admitted into the LPGA T&CP Hall of Fame.
The requirements for nomination are: an LPGA Class A member for at least 15 years or a Senior Class A member (joining at age 62) for seven years; minimum of 500 LPGA/non-LPGA re-certification points; at least 45 years of age; five letters of recommendation; and 350 award criteria points, broken down as follows-service/leadership, 100; LPGA awards, 15; industry contributions, 100; playing ability, 6; and work-related activities, 8.