Charleston, SC (November 29, 2017) - The National Golf Course Owners Association (NGCOA) has announced the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) is its recipient of the 2018 NGCOA Award of Merit.
The NGCOA Award of Merit is designated for long-term and significant contributions to the game of golf. LPGA Commissioner Michael Whan and retired LPGA player Nancy Lopez will accept the honor on behalf of the LPGA at the 2018 Golf Business Conference in San Antonio, Texas, on Feb. 8.
The LPGA is one of the longest-running and most successful women's sports organizations in the world. Founded in 1950, the organization has grown from its roots as a playing tour into a nonprofit organization involved in every facet of golf. The LPGA Tour and the LPGA Teaching and Club Professionals (T&CP) comprise the backbone of what has become the premier women's professional sports organization in the world today. The LPGA maintains a strong focus on charity through its tournaments, its grassroots junior and women's programs, and its LPGA Foundation.
"We are thrilled to be presenting the 2018 Award of Merit to the LPGA" said Jay Karen, NGCOA CEO. "The LPGA has long been an industry leader in providing a platform for women golfers to realize their professional dreams, all while encouraging amateur women to play golf by introducing them to the game through LPGA*USGA Girls Golf. Engaging more women fans and players is an extremely important aspect of expanding diversity and inclusion in the sport."
"It gives me great pride to accept this wonderful honor on behalf of the entire LPGA family - our LPGA & Symetra Tour Players, LPGA Teachers, LPGA-USGA Girls-Golf team, and of course our incredible LPGA staff. We are humbled that the National Golf Course Owners Association has selected us to receive their 2018 NGCOA Award of Merit," said LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan. "The LPGA is all about growing the game of golf for women, and making sure that the best female players in the world have the best stage to showcase their skills. I think our 67-year history speaks for itself, when it comes to creating real, meaningful growth. At the LPGA, I am surrounded by smart and dedicated people that are simply the best at what they do. It's uplifting when this team is recognized for its achievements, especially by an organization with the scope and impact of the National Golf Course Owners Association."
Whan is the eighth commissioner of the LPGA. He assumed the role in 2010 with an eye toward enhancing business relationships, increasing exposure for the players and maximizing the LPGA experience for fans. Lopez, who was the NGCOA Award of Merit recipient in 1989, is the winner of 48 LPGA tournaments, a three-time Women's PGA Championship winner, winner of 52 events globally and a World Golf Hall of Fame inductee in 1987.
The Award of Merit and other NGCOA annual awards will be presented at the Celebration and Awards Dinner on Thursday, Feb. 8, the final event of the Golf Business Conference at San Antontio's Marriott Rivercenter.
The annual Golf Business Conference provides attendees the opportunity to connect and network with fellow course owners and operators, learn about new solutions and technologies, and leave with tools and strategies to grow their business. Golf Business Conference information and registration can be found at golfbusinessconference.com.