At its 43rd annual charity golf event hosted by Konica Minolta on October 16 at Bel-Air Country Club, Friends of Golf (FOG) will recognise former PGA of America President Tom Addis III with The Ken Venturi "Spirit of Giving" Award, FOG President Peter Best said today.
In addition to honouring LPGA legend and World Golf Hall of Fame inductee Juli Inkster, the tournament will also recognise PGA Tour standout and Southern California native Max Homa. Jim Nantz, a sportscaster with an Emmy Award, will be there to deliver awards and interview this year's honorees.
The FOG Honoree Trophy will be given to both Homa, a six-time PGA Tour champion who is presently ranked in the top 10 in the Official World Golf Rankings, and Inkster, an LPGA veteran with 31 victories.
At the competition, Addis, who served as the PGA of America's President in 1995 and 1996 and is currently the Southern California Section's Executive Director Emeritus, will be given the Ken Venturi "Spirit of Giving" Award. Addis has committed his career to the game and business of golf and worked to make golf a recognised sport in the Special Olympics Games. He is regarded as one of the PGA's most loyal and active members.
"Tom Addis is the ideal recipient for this year's Ken Venturi 'Spirit of Giving' Award, as he has dedicated his life, both personally and professionally, to growing the game of golf and establishing access to the sport for people from all walks of life," claims Best of FOG. He joins Max Homa and Juli Inkster, two other outstanding honorees, for what should be a particularly unique celebration this year.
And we're happy that Jim Nantz, the greatest in the business, is coming to the post-tournament gala to help us deliver the prizes and interview our awardees.
"Throughout my time with the Southern California PGA, I have respected and appreciated the work FOG has done for our youth and our school students," stated Addis.
I am incredibly proud, humbled, and honoured to receive the "Spirit of Giving Award" and I'm thrilled to have the chance to uphold the spirit and carry that banner in the future after watching and enjoying Mr. Venturi as I watched and played golf as a child.
The FOG established the Ken Venturi "Spirit of Giving" Award in 2012 to recognise Venturi's dedication to serving as an example and inspiration for young golfers worldwide. Venturi, who went away in 2013, was a FOG friend for a very long time—almost from the beginning.
He kindly gave his time over the years to promote the FOG's purpose, ran countless clinics for players, and helped recruit many top professional golfers to volunteer their time for the organization's different projects.
Al Michaels (2022), Vin Scully (2020), Tom Debrowski & Joseph Sindelar, Jr. (2019), and Ely Callaway & Oliver "Chip" Brewer (2015) are among the renowned prior recipients of the "Spirit of Giving" Award that Addis joins.
At this year's ceremony, Homa and Inkster will join a distinguished group of previous FOG honorees, which also includes Collin Morikawa, who was recognised in 2022, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Byron Nelson, Ernie Els, Phil Mickelson, Annika Sörenstam, Dustin Johnson, Lorena Ochoa, and Patrick Cantlay.
The tournament's title sponsor is Konica Minolta. Other major sponsors include Callaway for major equipment, Skechers for major footwear, and johnnie-O for major apparel.
Since its inception in 1979, the non-profit group FOG (www.friendsofgolf.org) has provided over $10 million to local and national colleges, high schools, and other golf-related organisations, as well as recognised several of the sport's finest players.
At the FOG tournament at Bel-Air CC in 1991, Nicklaus got to know Tiger Woods for the first time. Woods was a young, local golfer. The Ben Hogan Trophy and The Dinah Shore Trophy, presented annually to the top male and female collegiate golfers, respectively, are given out by FOG in collaboration with the Golf Coaches Association of America, Colonial Country Club, The LPGA Foundation, and Women's Golf Coaches Association.
In order to enable aspiring junior golfers (regardless of their financial situation) to play, compete, and excel in the game of golf, FOG was initially founded by Eddie Merrins, a legendary PGA golfer, UCLA men's golf coach, and longtime teaching professional at Bel-Air Country Club. Numerous high school golf programmes, 25 college and university golf teams, and 7 scholarship foundations around the USA have received funding and used golf equipment from FOG.
Friends of Golf helps student athletes who play golf by fostering the virtues of integrity, ethics, and camaraderie along with a genuine love for the sport.
FOG makes it possible for aspiring junior golfers (regardless of financial circumstance) to play, compete, and thrive in this amazing sport from the time boys and girls enter elementary school through the conclusion of their college career.