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Clark honored as 2012 Ellen Griffin Rolex Award winner

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., September 12 , 2012 – Dr. Betsy Clark, a Class A Life member of the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Professionals joins an elite group of her peers in receiving the 2012 Ellen Griffin Rolex Award. The award has been given annually since 1989 to recognize a member for her superior contributions to teaching golf.

The Ellen Griffin Rolex Award, instituted by the LPGA Professionals to honor the late Ellen Griffin, recognizes an individual, male or female, who has made a major contribution to the teaching of golf and who emulates Griffin's spirit, love and dedication to students, teachers, teaching skills and the game of golf. Griffin, who passed away in 1986, was one of the best-known women's golf teaching professionals in American history.

“I think Ellen would be absolutely delighted that Dr. Clark has received this award,” said Nancy Henderson, Chief Teaching Officer of the LPGA.  “Having worked with Betsy, I experienced first-hand her passion for continual learning and her dedication to helping others.”

Dr. Clark, a career educator currently serves as president of DBC Consulting. Her consulting work focuses on strategic sport and golf education initiatives, including promoting golf for individuals with disabilities through accessible and inclusive golf learning and play environments and growth of the game for all. She is an adjunct faculty and supervisor of the sport management internship program at Stetson University and also serves as an expert witness for law cases involving golf and sport.

Formerly Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Vice President of Professional Development (2002-2009) and LPGA Director of Education and Research (1994-2002), Dr. Betsy Clark has worked in the golf industry for more than 30 years as a teaching professional, director of instruction for a golf facility management company, coach, association board member and education consultant.

“No other recognition from the LPGA and my peers could be more meaningful to me as a golf educator than being the recipient of the 2012 Ellen Griffin Rolex Award,” said Clark.  Starting my career as an education consultant for the National Golf Foundation, Ellen taught me the importance of knowing your student(s) first as a teacher.  Teaching people… the game of golf in a student-centered, simple and fun learning environment is the essence of what Ellen was all about, and today is the essence and uniqueness of the LPGA National Education Program.  Ellen’s legacy and spirit of teaching people the game of golf lives on with every new LPGA Professionals member.  I am so proud to have been a part of making that happen and thrilled and humbled to receive this award.  Thank you.”

Prior to her full-time position with the LPGA in 1994, Dr. Clark taught at the college and university level as a teacher educator/coach, was a National Golf Foundation (NGF) education consultant and earned her LPGA Professionals Class A certification.   During this time she created and conducted numerous golf player development clinics and teacher/coach workshops throughout the country.  As a consultant for the National Golf Foundation (NGF), she spearheaded the 1993-1994 NGF Welcome to Golf project and was co-author of the NGF Welcome to Golf publications.  Dr. Clark was also on the LPGA planning committee for the industry-wide Women in Golf Summits (1991, 1993, and 1995).

In her role as an “educator” for the LPGA, Dr. Clark was responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of education, research, career transition, certification and the inaugural cross-cultural professional development program for the LPGA Professionals membership as well as the scholarship and junior programs of The LPGA Foundation.

An LPGA Class A certified teaching professional since 1984; Dr. Clark was voted LPGA National Teacher of the Year in 1991 and, in 2001, was honored with the inaugural Office Depot Visionary Award for Women in Sports.  In 2005, Dr. Clark directed the first-ever LPGA Professional Athlete Forum:  Phenoms to Professionals.  She earned her doctorate from the University of New Mexico (Albuquerque), focusing her studies and research on physical education teacher education and educational psychology. 

Past recipients of the Ellen Griffin Rolex Award are: Peggy Kirk Bell, 1989; Linda Craft, 1990; Shirley Englehorn, 1991; Harvey Penick, 1992; Goldie Bateson, 1993; Carol Clark Johnson, 1994; Joanne Winter, 1995; Ann Casey Johnstone, 1996; Dr. DeDe Owens, 1997; Shirley Spork, 1998; Betty Hicks, 1999; Gary Wiren, 2000; Penny Zavichas, 2001; Annette Thompson, 2002; Dr. Barbara B. Smith, 2003; Marjorie Burns, 2004; Pat Lange, 2005; Donna White, 2006; Betsy Cullen, 2007;Lynn Marriott, 2008; Kay McMahon, 2009; Mary Beth McGirr, 2010 and Dr. Debbie Crews in 2011.

Rolex is the official timepiece of the LPGA and sponsors of many of the LPGA's annual awards, including the Ellen Griffin Rolex Award, Rolex Player of the Year and Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year awards. Rolex honors the LPGA Tour's Rolex First-Time Winners and is a supporting sponsor of the annual LPGA T&CP National Championship. At tournament sites, Rolex has a presence by providing the official time at selected tournaments and advertises in many event programs.

About the LPGA Professionals

The LPGA Professionals membership, founded in 1959, has enjoyed an unprecedented rate of growth in recent years and boasts the largest membership of women golf professionals in the world. With more than 1,700 members, the members of LPGA Professionals are dedicated to the advancement of golf through teaching, coaching and managing golf facilities. Its national member programs including teaching, coaching, business management and leadership skills training programs and conferences, tournaments, employment services, online education and junior golf programs. LPGA Professionals members also teach and support the LPGA's various grassroots programs that are working to increase the involvement of women and youth in golf, as well as contribute to the growth of the sport overall including LPGA-USGA Girls Golf, LPGA Tour Junior Clinics and the LPGA Golf Clinics for Women. The LPGA is headquartered in Daytona Beach, Fla. For more information on the LPGA, log on to www.LPGA.com.