Tommy Frist of Nashville, Tennessee and Andie Smith of Hobe Sound, Florida, were named the 2021 recipients of the USGA-AJGA Presidents’ Leadership Award, the USGA and American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) announced.
The USGA-AJGA Presidents' Leadership Award honors one male and one female junior golfer annually who demonstrate leadership, character and community service through their involvement with the Leadership Links program: a joint initiative founded by the USGA and AJGA in 2005 to further develop junior golfers through volunteerism.
Tommy and Andie’s extraordinary desire to serve others provides a source of aspiration that the entire game of golf can strive toward, The USGA-AJGA Presidents’ Leadership Award serves as an important annual reminder that the game’s future is in good hands.
About Tommy Frist
Frist and his father wanted to do something outside of their comfort zones to help others and when they heard about Dr. Tabin and the Himalayan Project they reached out to see how they could get involved. Dr. Tabin welcomed them on a trip with him to Ethiopia to assist surgeons as they performed cataract surgeries. Frist worked 12-hour days while there helping the doctors perform the much-needed surgeries. The people he helped were often very poor and suffered from bad hygiene, with most of them not being able to see.
Frist displayed a kind and nurturing attitude towards those the clinic served and would often play with the children as their parents went through surgery. He also helped perform post-op tasks that included administering eye drops, applying bandages, directing patient flow and restocking surgical supplies.
Frist also started the Harlen Society within his school. He wanted to engage with the other young men in his class to get them ready for civic engagement. He felt most young men at his school were just sitting back and didn’t know how to engage with the current society. The Harlen Society takes trips into the communities of different groups so everyone can better understand one another. This Society is a direct results of Frist's passion to connect people from different backgrounds.
Serving others and volunteering for various organizations has taught me a lot about the importance of giving back. It feels good to help people and it’s a reminder that I’m part of something so much bigger than myself.
Frist has also worked with the Local First Tee program by raising money and helping to teach the next generation of junior golfers. In addition, he used Leadership Links and the AJGA's State Cup Series to raise money through the Tennessee Cup in 2020 and 2021, raising almost $14,000.
About Andie Smith
In 2021, Smith used Leadership Links and the AJGA's State Cup Series to organize and run the Atlantic Cup to raise money for Charity Water and the Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant Program. From start to finish Smith was involved in the entire event. She recruited 24 players to participate and fundraise and called 30 different golf courses to secure a venue. On top of that, $15,250 of the $71,000 raised in total came from Smith's fundraising.
Smith's dedication to helping others was honored through the Congressional Award which to recognizes initiative, service, and achievement in young people. It is the highest honor given out by Congress for youth service. She has also received awards for her many hours of volunteer service.
In addition to the Atlantic Cup, Smith traveled with the 2021 Jerry Cole Sportsmanship Award recipient Rafe Cochran to Jamaica to paint a newly built schoolhouse and provide school supplies for its students.
I had the chance to work with her and she is certainly the real deal. None of the other girls on the list are close to her volunteer work.
"I had the chance to work with her and she is certainly the real deal," said AJGA Director of Youth Development Beth Dockter. "None of the other girls on the list are close to her volunteer work."
When Smith was young, she lost her father suddenly. His influence on her life continues to this day as he taught her how to play golf and instilled in her an incredible work ethic. She uses giving back as a way to keep his memory alive and connect with him.
My father always reminded me of the importance of giving back to the community, I wish he could see how far I have come since he passed almost six years ago. He is my motivation to always strive to be better for my family and community.
USGA-AJGA Presidents' Leadership Award – Past Recipients
Ashley Yen (Houston, Tx)
Charlie Creamean (Winnetka, Il)
William Mirams (Stroudsburg, Pa)
Lauryn Nguyen (Seattle,Wa.)
Gerry Jones Jr. (Suffolk, Va.)
Grace Chen (Sunnyvale, Calif.)
Grant Fairbairn (Orinda, Fla.)
Haley Bookholdt (Columbus, N.J.)
Daniel Berlin (Chagrin Falls, Ohio)
Angelica Harris (Harvey, La.)
Nick Leibold (Littleton, Colo.)
Hannah Berman (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.)
John Hayden (Birmingham, Ala.)
Dree Fausnaugh (Maitland, Fla.)
Patrick Cover (Huntersville, N.C.)
Divya Manthena (Camarillo, Calif.)
Brandon Pierce (Covington, La.)
Cassie Wang (Lenexa, Kan.)
John Farese (Sayville, N.Y.)
Natalie Turk (Franklin, Tenn.)
Drew Johnson (Oak Ridge, N.C.)
Jacqueline Calamaro (Newtown Square, Pa.)
Zach Herr (New Hope, Pa.)
Emily Gimpel (Lafayette Hill, Pa.)
Smylie Kaufman (Birmingham, Ala.)
Kelsey Conway (Ventura, Calif.)
About Leadership Links
Since 2009, the Leadership Links program has helped more than 2,500 junior golfers make a difference in their communities by generating more than $2.2 million in charitable contributions to more than 2,000 charities and the AJGA's Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant.
Leadership Links is a program that allows the AJGA to further its mission to help develop young men and women by teaching charitable-giving skills and service-oriented practices at an early age. This program gives juniors all the tools necessary to donate their time, talent and resources to local charities and the ACE Grant. Visit https://www.ajga.org/programs/leadership-links for more.
About the USGA
The USGA celebrates, serves and advances the game of golf. Founded in 1894, we conduct many of golf’s premier professional and amateur championships, including the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open. With The R&A, we govern the sport via a global set of playing, equipment and amateur status rules. Our operating jurisdiction for these governance functions is the United States, its territories and Mexico. The USGA Handicap System is utilized in more than 40 countries and our Course Rating System covers 95 percent of the world’s golf courses, enabling all golfers to play on an equitable basis. The USGA campus in Liberty Corner, New Jersey, is home to the Association’s Research and Test Center, where science and innovation are fueling a healthy and sustainable game for the future. The campus is also home to the USGA Golf Museum, where we honor the game by curating the world’s most comprehensive archive of golf artifacts. To learn more, visit usga.org.
About the AJGA
Celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2018, the American Junior Golf Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the overall growth and development of young men and women who aspire to earn college golf scholarships through competitive junior golf. The AJGA provides valuable exposure for college golf scholarships, and has an annual junior membership (boys and girls, ages 12-19) of more than 6,900 members from 50 states and 60 foreign countries. Through initiatives like the Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant, a financial assistance program, and Leadership Links, a service-oriented platform that teaches juniors charitable-giving skills, the AJGA fosters the growth of golf’s next generation.
TaylorMade-adidas Golf became the AJGA’s National Sponsor in 2016 after more than 25 years of support. Rolex, which is in its fourth decade of AJGA sponsorship, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004. In 2017, adidas joined the AJGA as a Premier Partner, serving as the Official Apparel and Footwear of the AJGA.
AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. Former AJGA juniors have compiled more than 900 victories on the PGA and LPGA Tours. AJGA alumni include Rickie Fowler, Sergio Garcia, Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Patrick Reed, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Tiger Woods, Paula Creamer, Ariya Jutanugarn, Cristie Kerr, Stacy Lewis, Brittany Lincicome, Anna Nordqvist, Inbee Park and Lexi Thompson.