Southern California's Mo Martin Named Honorary Board Member of the SCPGA Foundation

March 12, 2021
CARLSBAD, CA - MARCH 22: Mo Martin of the United States poses for a portrait at the Park Hyatt Aviara Resort on March 22, 2017 in Carlsbad, California. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

ONTARIO, California –  The Southern California PGA Foundation is very pleased to announce Melissa “Mo” Martin will serve as an Honorary Board Member of the Southern California PGA Foundation, effective immediately.

Mo was born and raised in Altadena, CA, and has been a member of the LPGA TOUR since 2012.  Martin walked on the UCLA Women’s Golf team in 2000 and was a member of the 2004 National Championship winning team.  An alumnus of the Southern California PGA Foundation’s Junior Tour, Mo has been an inspiration to many for her never-give-up attitude and optimism.


“We couldn’t really afford golf, but my dad recognized what a wonderful sport it was and wanted to get us both involved. He sawed down the mishmash of clubs he could find, including an old 2-iron. He then wrapped a cardboard tube with black electrical tape, finished it with a rope as a strap, and presented me with my first golf bag. My golf shoes were made by drilling holes and adding spikes to a small pair of street shoes. To this day, that golf bag, those shoes, and learning this game with my brother are some of my most cherished memories,” said Mo Martin.


Following a successful collegiate career at UCLA, Mo took her talents and passion to the Symetra Tour, where she won three (3) times over 5 years.  In addition to her stellar play on the Symetra Tour, Mo was named the 2010 recipient of the Symetra Tour’s Heather Wilbur Spirit Award, presented annually to the player who “best exemplifies dedication, courage, perseverance, love of the game and spirit toward achieving goals as a professional.”


“I couldn’t be more excited that this topic came up.  When first proposed – having Honorary Board Members – I couldn’t help but think this is a no-brainer.  And Mo is the perfect person to start us off with her connection as our first ever grant recipient; Hollywood couldn’t have scripted it any better.  I am eager to work with Mo and believe her story will foster many more like hers to come out of Southern California,” said Foundation Chairman, Tony Letendre, PGA.


“Mo’s perseverance and positive outlook on life have been an inspiration to all of us at the Southern California PGA Foundation for many years.  She was our very first grant recipient in the mid-90s and she has always vowed to give back to those less fortunate.  We couldn’t be happier to have her on our team to inspire the next generation of youth golfers throughout Southern California.” said Foundation Director Matthew Gilson.


Martin’s passion and dedication to the game was rewarded in 2014, as she won the Women’s British Open at Royal Birkdale by one shot.  Mo’s journey to becoming a major champion has been supported by countless individuals and she is committed to paying their kindness and generosity forward in full.  While back injuries have posed several challenges over the past few years, Mo insists on being able to look another young girl straight in the eyes some day and say, “Don’t you ever doubt yourself. Let me tell you why.”


“I love Southern California, but what I love most is that it’s one of the most diverse places in the world. The SCPGA Foundation has made leaps and bounds in bringing golf to kids in every community, and to every skill level. I was able to play in tournaments as a kid because someone helped me and my family when we needed it most. I am now fully committed to strengthening the path to golf for every kid and continuing to build upon the outreach that the SCPGA started with me.  I know my story will become one of many as this outreach continues. This is a full-circle blessing in my life and a true honor to serve as the first SCPGA Foundation Honorary Board Member.” said Mo Martin.


Visit to learn more about the positive impact the Southern California PGA Foundation has made throughout the section.