LPGA Teaching and Club Professionals to Induct Four into Hall of Fame
New inductees bring LPGA T&CP Hall of Fame membership to 20
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.,Nov. 17, 2010 -- The Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Teaching and Club Professionals (T&CP) announced today four inductees for the class of 2010 into the LPGA T&CP Hall of Fame.
New inductees, which include Patti Benson of West Palm Beach, Fla., Carol Johnson of Cincinnati, Oh., Kay McMahon of Canaan, N.Y., and Jane Read of Sarasota, Fla., will be honored next fall during the LPGA T&CP's Hall of Fame reception.
"These individuals have given so much not only to the LPGA T&CP membership, but also to the entire golf industry," said Nancy Henderson, senior vice president and executive director of the LPGA Teaching & Club Professionals. "We are proud to have these women as members of the LPGA and thrilled to honor them as the newest additions to the prestigious LPGA T&CP Hall of Fame."
The LPGA T&CP Hall of Fame was established in 2000 to recognize LPGA T&CP members who, through extraordinary dedication and outstanding achievement, have positioned themselves among the greatest women professionals in the game of golf. With the induction, Benson, Johnson, McMahon and Read bring the LPGA T&CP's Hall of Fame membership to 20.
"We thank these true pioneers today and always for giving us the ideas, the encouragement, the countless hours and the pride to perform as they have done throughout their respective careers," added Henderson.
Here are the most recent T&CP Hall of Fame inductees:
Patti Benson is co-owner of the golf shop at Palm Beach Country Club, Palm Beach, Fla., and a past president of the LPGA Teaching & Club Professionals, serving three terms from 2002-2009. Daughter of teaching professionals Bob Prentiss and the late Betty Prentiss, PGA of America Life member and LPGA Life member, respectively, Benson had her first golf lesson at age 2, became a member of the LPGA in 1979, competed professionally on the Futures Tour from 1980-1982, and earned her Class A status as an LPGA teaching professional in 1983. As a teaching professional, she became involved in the LPGA’s teaching division at every level. Benson served three terms as LPGA Southeast Section President from 1997-2001. She was also honored as the 1997 LPGA Southeast Section Professional of the Year and received the LPGA National President’s Award for outstanding service in 1999.
"I feel shocked and humbled," said Benson, of her inclusion into the LPGA T&CP’s Hall of Fame. "Hopefully 25 to 30 years down the road, someone will think I had ideas that helped keep us going. To be among the list of professionals currently in our Hall of Fame boggles my mind.”
Carol Johnson is a 44-year LPGA member, career educator and president of Chapel Valley Golf Clinics. Johnson has taught more than 700 clinics, workshops and summer programs for colleges, coaches, daily-fee groups and high school districts, as well as LPGA and PGA seminars through the National Golf Foundation, where she was the Eastern Education Consultant for 10 years. Johnson played college golf at Miami University (Ohio) and was among the nation’s first class of college All-Americans. As a physical education teacher in Cincinnati, she taught golf to students in 10 high schools for eight years, helping to start high school girls’ golf teams in Cincinnati in the 1970s. Along with fellow teacher, Ann Casey Johnstone, Johnson founded the Chapel Valley Golf Clinics, a traveling golf school that staged golf clinics throughout the Eastern Seaboard of the United States, as well as in Europe.
“To enter the T&CP’s Hall of Fame is like the whipped cream with a cherry on top of a hot-fudge sundae,” said Johnson, mother of five children. “Awards are lovely and this is quite an honor, but awards are not the goal. The goal is the base of work with so many marvelous lives and memories along the way.”
Kay McMahon, director of golf instruction at eduKaytion Golf -- A Premier Golf Education Company, is a past National LPGA T&CP President, and a Class A member of the LPGA T&CP and the PGA of America. McMahon has worked as a director of golf, head instructor and teaching professional at Innerform Golf in Saugatuck, Mich., Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif., The Lakes Country Club in Palm Desert, Calif., and at The Kittansett Club in Marion, Mass. She has served as director of golf education for City Golf Boston in Boston, Mass., and got her start as an assistant golf professional and golf shop manager at Ironwood Country Club in Palm Desert, Calif. In addition, she has served as the LPGA T&CP Western Section President, where she was named as the Western Section’s Teacher of the Year four times, the T&CP’s 1995 National Teacher of the Year, and received the President’s Plaque for outstanding service in 2009 as the New England New York PGA Section Teacher of the Year.
“All I ever wanted was to be in the LPGA, so this award is just fabulous,” said McMahon. “I’m honored and yet humbled to be in this class with people like Patti Benson, who has been an outstanding president, Jane Read, who is a pioneer, and Carol Johnson, who is a pillar of education. This is an amazing group of people who are all leaders and who have worked to make each generation better.”
Jane Read, a teaching professional at The River Club, joined the LPGA in 1965 and played on the LPGA Tour as Jane Woodworth from 1967-1969. In a 1968 players’ meeting, it was announced that the LPGA’s teaching division was going to fold because no one was chairing the group. Read raised her hand and took over the 50-member teaching division that day as the chairperson, which eventually became the role of the T&CP’s National President. She set up testing for members in 1968 and spent her practice-round days on the LPGA Tour conducting the teaching division’s testing, grading the tests and doing its clerical work. She lost the LPGA’s 1968 top rookie honors award to Sandra Post in that season’s final tournament, but in spite of coming up short for rookie honors, she was intent on developing the teaching division. She divided up the nation’s membership into regional sections, which is a system still used by the T&CP. She also revised the T&CP’s original tests and established long-range plans, eventually turning over her post and leaving the tournament division to get married and start a family. She was asked to take back the helm of the T&CP, which she did from late 1970 through 1973. Read has remained in Florida, teaching and coordinating junior programs. She was named the T&CP’s 1980 National Teacher of the Year, earned LPGA Master Professional status in 1981, and is now a Master Life Professional.
“I’m quite overwhelmed by this honor and to be thought of as a Hall of Famer is something I dreamed of, but never thought would happen,” said Read, a 45-year LPGA member. “This association has grown beyond my biggest dreams and it’s outstanding what we’ve been able to accomplish. To grow from 50 members to more than 1,300 members means a lot of people took the ball and ran with it to make us what we are today.”
The four new inductees will join current LPGA Teaching and Club Professionals already in the Hall of Fame. They are as follows (listed in order of induction): Peggy Kirk Bell, Marilynn Smith, Patty Berg, Shirley Spork, Betty Hicks, Louise Suggs, Goldie Bateson, Ellen Griffin, Dr. DeDe Owens, Joanne Winter, Ann Casey Johnstone, S. Annette Thompson, Kerry Graham, Lorraine Klippel, Pat Lange and Penny Zavichas.