FRIENDS OF GOLF (FOG) TO HONOR FORMER PGA OF AMERICA PRESIDENT TOM ADDIS III WITH THE KEN VENTURI “SPIRIT OF GIVING” AWARD
Addis Joins PGA Star Max Homa and LPGA Hall of Famer Juli Inkster as Honorees at FOG’s Upcoming 43rd Annual Charity Tournament
Emmy Award-winning Sportscaster Jim Nantz to Present Awards/Interview Honorees at Bel-Air Country Club Event Presented by Konica Minolta
Los Angeles, CA (July 31, 2023) Friends of Golf (FOG) will honor former PGA of America President Tom Addis III with The Ken Venturi “Spirit of Giving” Award at its 43rd annual charity golf tournament presented by Konica Minolta on October 16th at Bel-Air Country Club, it was announced today by FOG President Peter Best.
Emmy Award-winning sportscaster Jim Nantz will be on-hand once again to present awards and interview this year’s honorees at the tournament, which will also honor PGA Tour standout and Southern California native Max Homa and LPGA star and World Golf Hall of Fame inductee Juli Inkster. Homa, a six-time winner on the PGA Tour and currently ranked in the top 10 in the Official World Golf Rankings, and Inkster, who has 31 career LPGA victories, will both be presented with the FOG Honoree Trophy at the tournament.
Addis, who served as President of the PGA of America in 1995 and 1996 and is currently the Executive Director Emeritus of the Southern California Section of the PGA of America, will receive The Ken Venturi “Spirit of Giving” Award at the tournament. Considered one of the PGA’s most dedicated and active members, Addis has devoted his career to the game and business of golf and helped establish golf as a recognized sport in the Special Olympics Games.
“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,” says FOG’s Best. “He joins our other tremendous honorees, Max Homa and Juli Inkster, for what should be a truly special event this year. And we are thrilled that the best in the business, Jim Nantz, is joining us once again to help us present the awards and interview our honorees at the post-tournament banquet.”
“I have respected and appreciated the work FOG has done for our youth and our school students through my years with the Southern California PGA,” said Addis. “Having grown up in golf and watched and enjoyed Mr. Venturi and his skills, dedication, and fortitude on the golf course, I am extremely proud, humbled, and honored to receive the ‘Spirit of Giving’ Award and I am so happy to have the opportunity to emulate the spirit and carry that banner in the future.”
In 2012, FOG created the inaugural Ken Venturi “Spirit of Giving” Award to honor Venturi and his commitment to being an inspiring and motivating force for young golfers everywhere. Venturi, who passed away in 2013, was a Friend of FOG for many years, almost since its inception. Through the years, he graciously committed his time to support the mission of FOG and conducted numerous clinics for players and helped attract many top professional golfers to contribute their time to the organization’s various initiatives.
Addis joins an illustrious group of past recipients of the “Spirit of Giving” Award, including Al Michaels (2022), Vin Scully (2020), Tom Debrowski & Joseph Sindelar, Jr. (2019) and Ely Callaway & Oliver “Chip” Brewer (2015).
Homa and Inkster will be joining a stellar group of past FOG honorees at this year’s event, a list that includes Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Byron Nelson, Ernie Els, Phil Mickelson, Annika Sörenstam, Dustin Johnson, Lorena Ochoa, Patrick Cantlay, Brooks Koepka and Collin Morikawa, who was honored in 2022.
Konica Minolta is the Title Sponsor of FOG’s 2023 tournament, while Callaway is the Major Equipment sponsor, Skechers is the Major Footwear sponsor and johnnie-O is the Major Apparel sponsor.
founded in 1979, non-profit organization FOG (www.friendsofgolf.org
) has donated over $10 million to both national and local college, high school and other golf-focused organizations and has honored many of the game’s top players over the last four decades.
In 1991, Nicklaus met a young, local golfer named Tiger Woods for the first time at the FOG tournament at Bel-Air CC. FOG partners with the Golf Coaches Association of America and Colonial Country Club and The LPGA Foundation and Women’s Golf Coaches Association to annually honor the top male collegiate golfer and top female collegiate golfer with both The Ben Hogan Trophy and The Dinah Shore Trophy.
FOG was originally founded by Eddie Merrins, the legendary PGA golfer, UCLA men’s golf coach and longtime teaching professional at Bel-Air Country Club and a group of Los Angeles-area golfers who wanted to make it possible for aspiring junior golfers (irrespective of their economic standing) to play, compete and excel in the game of golf. FOG has allocated much of its funds, along with used golf equipment, to hundreds of high school golf programs, 25 college and university golf teams, and 7 scholarship foundations across the USA.
Friends of Golf supports student athlete golfers by instilling the values of honesty, ethics, and fellowship with a true appreciation for the game. From the time boys and girls enter grade school through the end of their college experience, FOG makes it possible for aspiring junior golfers (irrespective of economic standing) to play, compete and excel in this exceptional sport.
ABOUT FRIENDS OF GOLF (FOG)
Originally founded in 1979, Friends of Golf (FOG) has donated over $10 million to both national and Southern California college, high school and non-profit golf-focused organizations. Legendary professional golfer and Bel-Air Country Club teaching pro Eddie Merrins (“The Little Pro”) and a group of Los Angeles-area golfer helped organize FOG’s first annual golf tournament intended to benefit the neighboring UCLA men’s golf program. Since then, FOG has hosted 42 annual charity golf tournaments at Bel-Air Country Club and honored some of the game’s top stars including Jack Nicklaus, Sir Nick Faldo, Annika Sorenstam, Phil Mickelson, Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Lorena Ochoa and Collin Morikawa. FOG supports student athlete golfers by instilling the values of honesty, ethics, and fellowship with a true appreciation for the game. From the time boys and girls enter grade school through the end of their college experience, FOG makes it possible for aspiring junior golfers (irrespective of economic standing) to play, compete and excel in this exceptional sport.
FOG also backs a number of leading national amateur golf awards including The Ben Hogan Trophy
, presented each year to the top male college golfer and The Dinah Shore Trophy
, which is similarly presented to the top female golfer through a joint venture with the LPGA Foundation. Friends of Golf, Inc. is recognized as a non-profit, tax-deductible organization through Federal I.D. #95-3668541 and the State of California Franchise Tax Board Organization #1058257. (friendsofgolf.org
ABOUT THE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA PGA
The Southern California Section was established in 1924, and today, is comprised of more than 1,700 golf Professionals working at over 500 facilities within the Section. The mission of the Southern California Section (SCPGA) is that Purpose of the PGA of America, to promote the enjoyment and involvement in the game of golf and to contribute to its growth by providing services to golf professionals and the golf industry. The SCPGA provides competitive playing opportunities, educational seminars, and growth of the game initiatives, within a geographic area that stretches from San Luis Obispo to the Tijuana Border, and from the Pacific Ocean to the Nevada and Arizona borders.