DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Gloria Armstrong, Lynn Marriott, and Dana Rader join an elite group of their peers as inductees to the LPGA T&CP Hall of Fame.
The LPGA Teaching and Club Professional (T&CP) Hall of Fame, established in 2000, is the highest honor given to teaching and club professional members for extraordinary membership service and leadership while contributing to the game of golf and the golf industry.
Gloria Armstrong has always been a teacher, albeit at first an unofficial one. She began on the fledgling LPGA Tour back in its beginnings from 1955-1966, becoming a member of the Teaching Division in 1958. Though she wasn’t a teacher or coach officially, several of her peers described her with the same word: “Unselfish”.
Penny Zavichas wrote, “During this era [when the LPGA Tour began], both the players and the teachers worked to assure that all would prosper.” She goes on to say that “outside of the late Ellen Griffin, you had a Gloria Armstrong out on tour being the home teacher for so many players seeking her advice which she gave so unselfishly.”
One of the LPGA Founders, Marilynn Smith wrote, “In my opinion, Gloria represents the finest in our game,” and fondly recalls her time playing with Armstrong, writing that, “I found her to be a very kind person who was always available to help us on the practice tee.”
Marlene Hagge recalls that Armstrong “took time away from her practice to unselfishly help so many of us work through the problems we were having with the game,” and fondly dubbed Armstrong “The Teacher”.
Of all of the students Armstrong helped, the greatest and most successful impact was for Pat Hurst. Hurst cites Armstrong as “one of the main reasons that [she] has been so successful in the game of golf.” They worked together for fifteen years, Armstrong always willing to give her undivided attention as Hurst picked her brain about swing techniques and what it took to play on the LPGA Tour. Most importantly, Hurst wrote that Armstrong helped her to “believe” in herself. With Armstrong’s help, Hurst would go on to win the US Junior, US Amateur, NCAA Championship, Rookie of the Year, and the Dinah Shore. As Armstrong wrote, she is the “only LPGA Teacher to have a student to accomplish [that] feat.”
Armstrong was and still is in high demand as a teacher, as Zavichas said, “I once drove 200 miles off the beaten path to take a lesson from Gloria.” Though that is not surprising. According to Susie Maxwell Berning, Armsrtong was “one of several to help start the teaching division of the LPGA.” Even today she exemplifies her love of teaching. As Cheryl Pastore wrote, “at the age of 87, she continues to grow the game by teaching junior golfers every weekend.”
“Week in and week out, she dedicates her time and effort to help young kids, like me, learn more about the game of golf,” said fifteen-year-old Alexis Tongue, who, since she was eight years old, has been a student of Armstrong’s. “Ms. Armstrong not only helps us become better golfers, but she teaches us life skills and how to be the best versions of ourselves we can be.”
Even outside of teaching directly, Armstrong has helped make great change to the game of golf in her career. In 1960, while working at Silver Pines Golf Club in California, she met Karsten Solheim who gave her one of his original Ping putters, which she used to win the Haig & Haig Tournament. According to Stacy Solheim, granddaughter of Karsten Solheim, “Karsten received feedback on his putter designs from Gloria and appreciated hearing what she had to say.” And recounts that later “Karsten received an unexpected package from her. In that package was her Ping 4A putter [the same putter she used to win the Tournament] with a nice note about how she thought Karsten might like to have the putter back after all these years, given its history.” She concluded by writing that Armstrong’s “thoughtfulness made a lasting impression on our family . . . and is a proud part of our company history.”
Armstrong has worked with many golf professionals outside of the LPGA including Gardner Dickinson, Jim Turnesa, Sam Snead, Harvey Pennick, Davis Love II, Jim Fleck, and John Jacobs.
In her service to the LPGA T&CP, she won Teacher of the Year in 1970, attained Master Life Status in 1981, was the Western Section Treasurer for eight years in the 1980s, and has been a member of the LPGA for over 60 years.
In regard to her induction into the LPGA T&CP Hall of Fame, Armstrong said, “I am so please that after four nominations that I will be recognized by my peers by being inducted into the Hall of Fame. I am especially grateful for the kind words and support from Pat Hurst, Marilynn Smith, and Marlene Hagge, who have made such an impact on my career.”
After a lifetime of service to golf and her unselfish approach to teaching, Armstrong is more than welcomed into the LPGA T&CP Hall of Fame.
Lynn Marriott has dedicated her career to discovering more about how people learn and spreading that information to others. She truly is the student’s teacher. For the entirety of her professional career, Marriott has known that she wanted to pursue golf instruction professionally. Despite pressure from parents, co-workers, and management to pursue grander ventures, Marriott was determined to follow her heart.
She recounted a time when we was in the early stages of her PGA of America membership, where she was told in an interview that she should consider becoming more involved in operations by becoming a Director of Golf rather than a teacher—that teaching was not a lucrative path. Instead of discouraging her, though, the interview rekindled her desire to become a teacher, and she promised herself that she would prove them wrong.
And, in over thirty years of involvement in the golf industry, she has become one of the most successful golf instructors in the country, boasting a world-renowned golf school (VISION54), several bestselling books on golf, and a plethora of awards to her name.
What seemed to drive her was not simply a love of teaching and her students, but an endless fascination with the reason behind why some players got better and others did not. This question shaped her teaching philosophy and opened doors to explore human behavior and performance more in-depth.
Michael Hebron, author of many golf coaching books himself, wrote of Marriott that she focuses on expanding “her own insights by attending many education programs on the topics of human development, the nature of learning, coaching, playing the game, [and] many online programs over the last 30 years.”
Her forays into learning behavior paved the way for the current methodology used by the LPGA National Teacher Education Program (TEP), where Marriott took the lead position in 1988 and where she remained for the next ten years. In this role, she helped future LPGA teachers learn more about how to facilitate their students and develop their own coaching skills. Her main takeaway from this was that she could positively affect so many students beyond her immediate reach. As fellow LPGA T&CP Hall of Fame member Annette Thompson wrote, “[Marriott] continued her own personal and professional growth at all levels while serving her members, students, clients, and fellow professionals.”
Near the end of her time with the LPGA TEP program, she began her most notable work when she partnered with former LPGA Tour player Pia Nilsson to host a teacher and coach education seminar, which was to become their company and golf school VISION54 a year later. The success of VISION54 lies in the phrase “We saved another one”, fondly referring to those players on their last leg, who are ready to give up on golf entirely due to limited success with technical fixes to their game. Marriott wrote, “To see [these students’] eyes light up and for them to understand a bigger view of their golfing experience is incredible.” Since instituting VISION54 in 1999, it has routinely been award one of the best golf schools in the country, and its coaching program has gotten the highest marks from its peers several times over.
Marriott’s personal achievements mirror her professional ones, having been named one of Golf Digest’s Top 50 Teachers List for the past sixteen years and Golf Magazine’s Top 100 Teachers List for the past twenty years, ranked Number Two Woman Teacher in America for the past four years, a Top 50 Teacher for Women the past thirteen years, LPGA National Teacher of the Year in 1992, The 2010 Southwest PGA Teacher of the Year, and the 1989, 1992, and 2002 LPGA Western Section Teacher of the Year. She has twenty-five years of experience coaching Tour Players, seven of which have gone on to win major championships including those on the LPGA Tour, PGA Tour, European Tour, Ladies European Tour, Japan Tour, and Japan LPGA Tour.
"I am incredibly honored and thrilled by this recognition and induction into the LPGA Hall of Fame,” Marriott said. “I will continue to learn, explore, and am inspired more than ever to support and coach players to reach their aspirations and goals with the game. I love our game and want so many more to enjoy all that it offers whether it’s for the best players in the world to the recreational ‘real’ golfers.”
In the wake of her evident passion for the game built over the entirety of her career, Marriott is welcomed into the LPGA T&CP Hall of Fame.
Dana Rader has built an incredibly successful career in her 36 years of membership with the LPGA T&CP and her involvement in and around the golf industry. Her resilient efforts towards growing the game of golf, teaching prowess, and business achievements have brought her to the pinnacle of her career. It is because of these accomplishments that she is to be inducted into the LPGA Teaching and Club Professionals Hall of Fame.
After gaining her Golf Professional status in 1980, Rader started as an Assistant Professional at Meyers Park Country Club and worked her way up in the industry until 1987 when she first opened Dana Rader Golf School, which today is one of the most renowned in the golf world and instructs over 17,000 students of all ages and skill levels including over 500 juniors—a passion for Rader.
Julie Cole, fellow LPGA Member and Manager Partner at the Dana Rader Golf School, said, “Dana deserves to be inducted into the LPGA T&CP Hall of Fame because of her extended influence in the golf industry and the lives she has touched as a result of her leadership, her experience in teaching, and willingness to do what others will not.”
Cole’s statement is corroborated by Rader’s passion for teaching and sharing everything she knows about golf. Because of her determination to grow the game of golf, Rader has been the recipient of many prestigious awards in the industry. Golf Magazine added Rader to their Top 100 Teachers in America list in 1996, a title she still holds today. She was also named number three in the country and number one in the state on Golf Digest’s Top 50 Greatest Teachers in America list in 2003-2005 and 2008-Present. The Golf Channel Academy made her Lead Charter Coach. In the LPGA, Rader was named LPGA T&CP National Teacher of the Year in 1990 and won the Ellen Griffin Rolex Award in 2015.
Her awards echo Rader’s lifetime of work in spreading her love of golf, believing, in her own words, that “in order to serve others, I need to know my industry and develop strong and lasting relationships by networking.” And that she did. Within the LPGA T&CP, Rader served in many positions, including Treasurer, Vice President, and then President of her section before being elected into the position of National President of the LPGA T&CP in 2010, a position she held until 2015. Her election came at a time of tremendous transition for the LPGA. Roberta Bowman worked with Rader when they both served on the LPGA Board of Directors from 2011-2015. Of Rader, Bowman wrote that she was “a superb representative of, and advocate for, the T&CP with the Commissioner and the entire board” and that “by creating the T&CP Leadership Committee to the Board, she institutionalized the importance of the T&CP to the Tour and made it a priority with the Board, the Commissioner, and the LPGA executive team.”
Apart from her work with the LPGA and the Dana Rader Golf School, Rader has also established herself as an authority in the golf industry as a prolific writer since she began to write for Golf for Women Magazine in the 1980s. Currently she is a contributing writer for Golf Magazine, Golf Digest, Golf Tips Magazine, Sports Illustrated, and the Charlotte Observer. She also wrote the book Rock Solid Golf: A Foundation for a Lifetime and was a contributing writer for Joel Zuckerman’s book Pro’s Pro: Extraordinary Club Professionals Making Golf Great.
Upon hearing of her induction, Rader said, “Being inducted into the LPGA T&CP Hall of Fame is truly a dream come true. I am completely humbled that my life’s work is worthy of such a great honor.”
Her induction to the LPGA T&CP Hall of Fame is more than deserved. David DeNunzio, Managing Editor of Instruction for Golf Magazine, said, “In my opinion, there are only a handful of current instructors who have had a much of an influence on nurturing and developing future generations of instructors as Dana.”
Pia Nilsson, Co-Founder of Vission54, wrote, “Dana’s leadership, passion, and commitment to the LPGA T&CP and her inspirational way of communicating, has made the whole membership grow in status.”
And fellow LPGA T&CP Hall of Fame member Annette Thompson said that Rader’s “morals, ethics, and personal character represent the very best the T&CP has to offer students, associates, employees, and the public in general.”
And with this, Dana Rader is warmly welcomed into the LPGA T&CP Hall of Fame.
Past inductees to the LPGA T&CP Hall of Fame are: Peggy Kirk Bell, Marilynn Smith, Patty Berg, Shirley Spork, Betty Hicks, and Louise Suggs in 2000; Goldie Bateson, Ellen Griffin, Dede Owens, and Joanne Winter in 2001; Ann Casey Johnstone in 2004; S. Annette Thompson in 2006; Kerry Graham, Lorraine Klippel, Pat Lange, and Penny Zavichas in 2008; Patti Benson, Carol Clark Johnson, Kay McMahon, and Jane Read in 2010; Mary Dagraedt, Nell Frewin-Hays, and Nancy Quarcelino in 2012; and Shirely Englehorn and Donna White in 2014.