Since 2009, the Betsy Rawls Legacy Award has honored an individual with great service, dedication and contribution to women’s golf. On Saturday night, PING CEO John A. Solheim became the eighth recipient of the Betsy Rawls Legacy Award at The Westin Poinsett in Greenville, South Carolina.
Solheim was honored after spurring significant steps in women’s golf over the last few decades. After becoming the first golf club manufacturer to sponsor LPGA tournaments, Solheim was instrumental in negotiating a women’s version of the Ryder Cup, what become known as the Solheim Cup.
Solheim’s contributions would not stop at the women’s professional level. Solheim partnered with the American Junior Golf Association to create the inaugural Junior Solheim Cup in 2002. Since then PING has continued to support the AJGA through tournaments such as the PING Phoenix Junior at ASU Karsten and The PING Invitational.
The Betsy Rawls Legacy Dinner, held the evening after the first round of the AJGA Girls Championship, served as the perfect venue for the award. The dinner was attended by players and their family in formal attire, while Solheim attended as the guest of honor.
Joining Solheim in attendance were Scott Hipp, tournament chairman and inspiration behind the AJGA Girls Championship, and AJGA Executive Director Stephen Hamblin. Hamblin presented Solheim with the award following dinner and a video biography of Solheim. Solheim responded with a gift of appreciation for Hamblin, a PING putter handcrafted by Solheim himself.
With names such as Solheim, Rawls, Beth Daniel and Charlie Mechem now permanently etched into the award, the Betsy Rawls Legacy Award will continue to honor contributions to women’s golf long after its inception in 2009.