It is part of the AJGA’s mission to develop young men and women on and off the course and impress upon them the importance of respect for their fellow competitors and the game of golf. One way this is achieved is through the AJGA’s Jerry Cole Sportsmanship Award.
This award has been presented annually since the AJGA's inception in 1978. In 2000, it was named in memoriam for Jerry Cole after the AJGA’s longtime friend and board member’s death. Recipients of the Jerry Cole Sportsmanship Award are juniors who have some or all of these characteristics:
- Overcome adversity off the course
- Impact others in a positive way
- Display integrity and sportsmanship in all aspects of life
- Embody the spirit of the game by seeking opportunities to give back
Hannah Foster grew up in Hobe Sound, Florida. At the age of 12 she was diagnosed with Tourette’s Syndrome as well as OCD which made social interaction and golf difficult. At the age of 14 she was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disorder, Morphea Scleroderma which causes cartilage to build up in her body, restricting movement. To combat this she receives weekly injections, but she determined not to let these struggles hold her back in golf or in life.
Hannah overcame another obstacle during the recession as her parents’ business struggled. With medical bills mounting, her family was forced to declare bankruptcy. Thanks to the AJGA’s Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant, Hannah has competed at the national level of junior golf and gained valuable exposure to college golf coaches.
In the midst of everything she has dealt with, Hannah has also given back to the South Florida PGA by raising money and volunteering through the AJGA’s Leadership Links program. Hannah’s positive attitude and determination through adversity are an inspiration to everyone she comes in contact with and make a prime candidate for the Jerry Cole Sportsmanship Award.