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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., October, 9, 2012 – Penny Zavichas, a Master Life member of the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Teaching and Club Professionals (T&CP) and a member of the LPGA T&CP Hall of Fame, is the recipient of the inaugural Marilynn Smith Service Award. Zavichas is the co-founder and president of Craft-Zavichas Golf School in Pueblo, Colo.
The Marilynn Smith Service Award was established in 2012 by the LPGA T&CP Central Section in recognition of the unlimited and outstanding service, time and dedication demonstrated by Marilynn to the LPGA Central Section, the LPGA and the game of golf. This annual award honors a Central Section member for her service in the spirit of Marilynn Smith.
“We Central Section members are so proud of Penny Zavichas!” said Marvol Barnard, LPGA Central Section President. “She has done so much, over many years, for the LPGA Teaching and Club Professionals on both the section and national levels. Penny is one of our most passionate and devoted members. I truly can't think of anyone more deserving of the inaugural Marilynn Smith Service Award.”
Zavichas serves on the steering committee of the Pueblo Colorado YMCA and was instrumental in the development of the First Tee program in Pueblo. She has given clinics and exhibitions for the American Cancer Society in Long Island, N.Y., Syracuse, N.Y., Detroit, Mich., and Salt Lake City, Utah. Zavichas is a humanitarian who has devoted countless hours to raising money for charities.
"I am most honored and humbled to receive the Marilynn Smith Service Award for the T&CP Central Section,” said Zavichas, who is the niece of LPGA founder and LPGA Tour Hall of Famer, Babe Zaharias. “I have been blessed to observe, communicate, and be in a golf atmosphere with so many outstanding women in golf and especially LPGA Founder, Marilynn Smith.
“Every day, Marilynn Smith teaches us all with the fabric of her life. There are people in our lives who touch us, and who help us become better versions of ourselves, and Marilynn Smith is such a person. For this I am ever grateful and so appreciative of an award that bears her name.”
In her national leadership position within the LPGA T&CP membership during the late 60s and early 1970s, Zavichas made significant contributions to the organization, procedures, testing and policies of the LPGA Teaching Division, as it was called at the time. She served as the National Teaching Chair from 1970-71. Zavichas reorganized the members into the current five sections, created and appointed an education chair, added practical testing to the curriculum, and created a locator service for fellow professionals seeking employment. She met with the PGA of America and was granted permission for LPGA members to attend PGA workshops and seminars, which was a major accomplishment, since the LPGA did not have the funds needed to run their own programs at that time.
As an LPGA Tour player, Zavichas was elected to the LPGA Executive Board in 1972, and also served as its treasurer. Zavichas has served as a TV analyst for NBC and ABC at LPGA tournaments; filmed a CBS TV series; hosted golf schools in all 50 states; and has conducted golf clinics and exhibitions for U.S. servicemen in Vietnam and the Far East, promoting the LPGA in all facets.
Zavichas, who has taught golf for more than 48 years, has long been recognized for her expertise in teaching. Her achievements and accolades include: LPGA National Teacher of the Year (1973); the Pueblo (Colo.) Image Award (1988); and the LPGA Central Section Teacher of the Year (1992). She has been inducted into the "BIG BABE" Hall of Fame in New York (1992) and the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame (1996). In 2001, Zavichas received the LPGA’s Ellen Griffin Rolex Award was elected to the LPGA T&CP Hall of Fame in 2008.
About Marilynn Smith
One of 13 LPGA Founders, Smith earned the nickname Miss Personality on the LPGA Tour. She served as president of the LPGA from 1958 through 1960. During her term, she was instrumental in founding the teaching division in 1959 (now known as the LPGA T&CP) along with Shirley Spork, Betty Hicks and Barbara Rotvig.
Smith is one of the games' great ambassadors. She helps organize the all-women's Marilynn Smith Golf Classic, which benefits the Marilynn Smith Scholarship Fund. In 1999, she established the Marilynn Smith Scholarship within The LPGA Foundation.
Smith has traveled to all 50 U.S. states and 36 different countries and has conducted golf clinics during many of those visits. She was the first female television commentator for a men's golf tournament (1973 U.S. Open and the Colonial), inducted into the Kansas Golf Hall of Fame in 1991 and the Texas Golf Hall of Fame in 1994, inducted into the Kansas University Sports Hall of Fame in 1999, the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame in 2000, and in 2005, inducted into the Wichita Sports Hall of Fame and the Wichita East High School Sports Hall of Fame. In 2000, Smith was one of six inaugural inductees into the LPGA T&CP Hall of Fame, and in 2006, was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.
About the LPGA Teaching and Club Professionals