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Graham honored as 2014 Ellen Griffin Rolex Award winner

Daytona Beach, Fla., September 16, 2014 -- Kerry Graham, Past National President and Life member of the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Professionals membership, has been chosen to receive the 2014 Ellen Griffin Rolex Award, joining an elite group of her peers.  

The Ellen Griffin Rolex Award, instituted by the LPGA Professionals membership in 1989 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.
Beginning golf at nine years of age, Kerry Graham played junior golf competitively in the summers in Wyoming and then in college at Arizona State University.  She began her professional golf career teaching and working in a golf shop at a retirement community in Arizona.     
For the next 45 years Kerry journeyed through the golf industry as an instructor, club fitter, college coach, golf shop merchandiser, country club manager and golf course design team member.  In 1985 Kerry entered into leadership of the LPGA, first as an LPGA Professionals Section President and Education Committee member and then from 1987 to 1993 as National President of the LPGA Professionals.  During those six years, Kerry led initiatives to found the LPGA Girls Golf Club, the LPGA Urban Youth Golf Program (the forerunner of The First Tee) and led the LPGA Professionals to continue emphasis and improvement in the Teacher Training and Certification program.
In 1991 as National President, Graham envisioned and initiated the first Women in Golf Summit, hosted by the LPGA in Orlando, Fla. Additional summits were held in 1993 and 1995. The objective of Summit ’91 was to define the issues most important to women’s golf in the 1990s. It gathered, for the first time, more than 400 men and women representing all aspects of the golf industry, including associations, golf management, manufacturing, travel and real estate, golf course design, media, college and high schools, professionals and amateurs. Graham received the National Golf Foundation’s Joe Graffis Award for her dedication to growing the game through these summits.

“Kerry Graham was not only a pioneer in the early development of the LPGA Professionals, but a visionary for the entire golf industry.” said Nancy Henderson, Chief Teaching Officer of the LPGA Professionals and LPGA Foundation President.  “Many of today’s programs would not even exist if it weren’t for her forward-thinking work and dedication to teaching and growing the game. I think Ellen would be absolutely delighted that Kerry has received this award.”
After serving as LPGA National President, Graham turned her energy to helping the golf agendas in the state of Arizona.  She served on the Junior Golf Association of Arizona Board and Foundation, both as a board member and President.  She also served on the Board of Governors of the Phoenix-based LPGA Tournament for 15 years.
Through the years Kerry has been recognized with many golf industry awards, including the Graffis Award for Education, the Patty Berg Award, the LPGA Commissioner’s Award, and the Women’s Sports Foundation President’s Award.  In 2005, Graham was inducted into the Arizona Golf Hall of Fame, and in 2008, the LPGA Professionals Hall of Fame.
“I was fortunate to have known Ellen Griffin and observed her incredible dedication to her students and the joy she lived in helping them through golf,” said Graham.  “It was truly fun and inspiring to know her and I am so honored to be chosen to receive this award.” 
Graham currently teaches golf in Phoenix and continues to study all aspects of the game, both physical and mental, to improve her skills and service to her clients.  She has developed strategies to identify individuals’ learning styles, keep instruction focused and simple and assist each student to identify how to best accomplish their goals in learning and playing golf.  Graham is most grateful and passionate about her golf instruction and coaching career. 

Past Recipients of the Ellen Griffin Rolex Award are

2013 Kathy Murphy
2012 Dr. Betsy Clark
2011 Dr. Debbie Crews
2010 Mary Beth McGirr
2009 Kay McMahon
2008 Lynn Marriott
2007 Betsy Cullen
2006 Donna White
2005 Pat Lange
2004 Marjorie Burns
2003 Dr. Barbara B. Smith
2002 Annette Thompson
2001 Penny Zavichas
2000 Gary Wiren
1999 Betty Hicks
1998 Shirely Spork
1997 Dr. DeDe Ownes
1996 Ann Casey Johnstone
1995 Joanne Winter
1994 Carol Clark Johnson
1993 Boldie Bateson
1992 Harvey Penick
1991 Shirely Englehorn
1990 Linda Craft
1989 Peggy Kirk Bell

About Rolex
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 Professionals National Championship. At tournament sites, Rolex has a presence by providing the official time at selected tournaments and advertises in many event programs.