LPGA*USGA Girls Golf founder wins both LPGA T&CP national awards,
marking the first time one individual has received both honors in the same year
For the first time in history, the LPGA Teaching and Club Professional (T&CP) Membership announces one winner of both the Ellen Griffin Rolex Award and the Nancy Lopez Golf Achievement Award in the same year – LPGA*USGA Girls Golf founder and national ambassador Sandy LaBauve of Westin Kierland Golf Club.
“Sandy’s dedication to the LPGA and her accomplishments speak for themselves, but it is nice to see her contributions acknowledged through these awards,” said Nancy Henderson, the LPGA’s Chief Teaching Officer. “Sandy had the vision for LPGA*USGA Girls Golf and is still a driver for the unquestionable success it is today, and for that I am thankful. If anyone deserves to win both awards, it is Sandy.”
The Ellen Griffin Rolex Award, instituted by the LPGA T&CP Membership in 1989 to honor the late teaching professional Ellen Griffin, recognizes an individual, male or female, who 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.
“Winning the Ellen Griffin Rolex Award and the Nancy Lopez Golf Achievement Award is surreal,” LaBauve said. “Like Ellen was, I am passionate about growing the game by empowering others. I am especially grateful to the LPGA Foundation and our members that have grown my initiatives like LPGA*USGA Girls Golf. I celebrate this award in their honor.”
The Nancy Lopez Golf Achievement Award was created in 2007 and is given to an LPGA professional who emulates qualities valued by Lopez: leadership, passion, giving and approachability. Lopez is a 48-time LPGA Tour winner and four-time Rolex Player of the Year. She was inducted into the LPGA Tour and World Golf Halls of Fame in 1987 and captained the victorious 2005 U.S. Solheim Cup Team.
“Nancy has been a role model for me since I was a teenager,” LaBauve said. “She shines personally, professionally and is a true testament of what the LPGA is all about. I am proud to associated with her legacy.”
LaBauve, a passionate LPGA Teaching Professional and mother of two daughters, founded LPGA*USGA Girls Golf in Phoenix, Ariz., in 1989. She was first introduced to the game of golf by her parents, Jack and Sherry Lumpkin, who taught LaBauve the game by infusing fun drills and games into her golf lessons as a child. She used these childhood experiences to create the LPGA*USGA Girls Golf program.
Beginning with just 10 programs, Girls Golf is now in more than 400 communities in the United States and expanding every day. Thanks to LaBauve’s vision, more than 500,000 girls have been introduced to the game of golf since the program’s inception.
LaBauve is a Class A member of the LPGA and the PGA, as well as an AWGA and EWGA member. She was inducted into the Arizona Golf Hall of Fame in 2010 and earlier this year was named to the LPGA Top 50 Best Teachers list presented by Women’s Golf Journal.
LaBauve’s passion for growing the game of golf is never-ending, with her new mission to connect women’s golf with Girls Golf through Women’s Golf EXPOS. The inaugural EXPO was held in Scottsdale in 2017, and the second will be in February 2018, with the intent to showcase what’s new in golf for women.
“Congratulations to Sandy on her many achievements, and most recently, receiving the prestigious Ellen Griffin Rolex Award and the Nancy Lopez Golf Achievement Award. Sandy is a great professional and a leader in women’s golf and the golf industry,” said Nancy Dickens, General Manager of Westin Kierland Golf Club. “It is truly a pleasure to work beside Sandy. Congratulations from the Westin Kierland team. Well deserved!”
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; Dr. Debbie Crews, 2011; Dr. Betsy Clark, 2012; Kathy Murphy, 2013; Kerry Graham, 2014; Dana Rader, 2015; and Pia Nilsson, 2016.
Past recipients of the Nancy Lopez Golf Achievement Award are: Debbie O’Connell, 2007; Troy Beck, 2008; Patti Benson, 2009; Lynn Stellman, 2010; Malia Folquet, 2011; Suzy Whaley, 2012; Marvol Barnard, 2013; Angela Aulenti, 2014; Teresa Zamboni, 2015; and Donna White, 2016.