The American Junior Golf Association is proud to announce the addition of Candy Hannemann to the AJGA Board of Directors. Candy’s background in golf at the highest level and her professional expertise make her the perfect addition to help guild the AJGA and influence golf’s next generation.
“I am humbled and emotional to join the board and be able to give back to an organization that gave me so much,” Hannemann said. “I think focusing on the diversity, equity and inclusion work that the AJGA does is important to me. I want to make sure that I continue to grow the opportunities that I had as a girl and woman in golf. The AJGA is the prefect platform for that. As a woman of color and as a Latina, I want to make sure that there are opportunities for people that look like me. Golf has opened so many doors in my life and has taught me valuable lessons and I want to ensure young girls have the same opportunities.”
Hannemann is originally from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where she started playing golf with her mother and brother when she was eight. With limited opportunities for high-level junior golf, she began coming to the United States when she was 11 to play in tournaments across the country.
“My dad and I would come to the US for about five weeks in the summer and we would pick a region to focus on and play four events and then have a week for fun,” Hannemann said. “The competition I was able to get in the United States was invaluable to me at that age.”
During her junior career, she won two AJGA tournaments and was a four-time Rolex Junior All-American. She achieved her dream of playing college golf and graduated from Duke University in 2002 having won two NCAA team championships (1998 and 2002), and an individual title in 2001. Later she would be inducted into the Duke University Athletic Hall of Fame.
Hannemann played on the LPGA Tour for 10 years before trading in the clubs for a career in the sports marketing world. She currently works for UnitedHealth Group in the office of the Chief Marketing Officer as Director of Strategic Initiatives. Despite her success on and off the course, she wants her life and story to impact golfers well into the future.
“Being a mentor to young golfers in Brazil is important,” Hannemann said. “I think mentorship is an important part of growing girls golf and people need to have representation and see themselves doing it and having a career out of it.”
Hannemann’s appointment to the AJGA Board of Directors highlights the AJGA’s commitment to being a champion of women’s golf in all areas of the organization. She will join six other women as they help guide the organization at the highest level.
In addition to representation on the AJGA Board of Directors, the AJGA seeks to bring more diversity, equity and inclusion to the golf industry through our internship program. In 2021 54% of the AJGA’s interns are women.
Beyond staffing, the six boys and girls Invitationals in 2021 all feature fields that are equally split. This breakdown features equal opportunities across the board for girls to play in front of coaches at the highest level of junior golf.
The honors and awards distributed by the AJGA also reflect a focus on furthering golf for women and girls. Each end of season team or award honored is equally represented by boys and girls, including the Rolex Junior Players of the Year and the Rolex Junior All-America Teams. In addition, the Jerry Cole Sportsmanship Award and the USGA-AJGA Presidents’ Leadership Award are both awarded to a boy and a girl junior golfer.
The AJGA also secures a number of LPGA and Symetra Tour exemptions for our members, giving them valuable experience on golf’s biggest stages. In 2021, exemptions from various tournaments were awarded to two girls and one boy.
Across the 2021 AJGA schedule, there are seven current or former LPGA Tour players who will host an event. The most prominent among them being Annika Sorenstam who has supported the AJGA for more than 17 years. Other players involved in 2021 include Sung Hyun Park, Albane Valenzuela, Se Ri Pak, Stacy Lewis, Alison Lee, Marina Alex and Mariah Stackhouse.
For more information on Candy Hannemann joining the AJGA Board of Directors or on how the AJGA is furthering women’s and girl’s golf, contact Tim Jackman (firstname.lastname@example.org) in the AJGA Communications department.