Awards & Honors

Each year, FOG recognizes outstanding leadership in golf. Those who play the game at the highest level and give of themselves selflessly are rewarded annually with top accolades.
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AWARDS & HONORS

Every endeavor has its top performers. Golf is no exception. There are those who compete and win at the highest echelon—beginning at the local high school championship level and ultimately a winning pro on the PGA Tour.

 

Then there are those who just love the game and give as much as they can. They play, work hard in a variety of industries, promote the game and look for ways to contribute. They know there are many less fortunate boys and girls, who have the same interest, desire and talent but not the resources to participate. So they tirelessly give of themselves to open golf to everyone.

The Ben Hogan Trophy Award

What do Vince Lombardi, John Heisman, Bronco Nagurski, Chuck Bednarik, Dick Butkus, Ronnie Lott and Ben Hogan all have in common? They are all named for the most recognized college sports awards in the country.

 

Ben Hogan was arguably the best golfer in history, yet few golfers (let alone ordinary Americans), are aware of The Ben Hogan Trophy. All golfers, however, are aware of Ricky Fowler, Hunter Mahan, Kyle Stanley, Ryan Moore and Ricky Barnes—all of whom have won this prestigious trophy over the last several years. You’ll also recall Nick Watney, Anthony Kim, Camilo Villeges and Graeme McDowell—all runners up for the honor.

 

In 1989, Bel-Air member and famed Heisman Trophy winner, Tom Harmon, as Chairman of Friends of Golf (FOG), was determined to create an award along the lines of his own Heisman Trophy as a tribute to the greatness of the game of golf. Tom was able to gain the endorsement of his friend Ben Hogan. Shortly thereafter, on April 23, 1990 the very first trophy was awarded to Kevin Wentworth from Oklahoma State.

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In 2001, The Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas, home of Ben Hogan, joined with FOG as a co-sponsor of the coveted prize and hosts a black tie dinner where the three finalists are in attendance and the winner is announced.

 

The Golf Coaches Association decide the winners drawn from a list of all the top college golfers with a minimum GPA academic standing from divisions one, two and three schools. The top 100 players are then pared down to 30, then 10 and then the three finalists are invited to attend the Colonial event in May. Each year, the Hogan Trophy winner is invited to play in the Colonial Open. In 2016, Jon Rahm became the first two-time winner. 

 

The original Trophy proudly resides at Bel-Air Country Club in Los Angeles. A replica is given to the top player each year and sits on display in his/her college.

RANCHO MIRAGE, CA - MARCH 30:  The Ana Inspiration Trophy at the ANA Inspiration Champions Dinner hosted by Rolex In honor of the thirty-three past champions of the ANA Inspiration on March 30, 2015 in Rancho Mirage, California.  (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

The Dinah Shore Trophy Award

The LPGA Foundation introduced the Dinah Shore Scholarship Fund in March 1994.  Subsequently, the Dinah Shore Trophy, named after the “First Lady of FOG”, has been a cooperative effort between FOG, the LPGA Foundation and Kraft Nabisco.  The Trophy recognizes a top female collegiate golfer who excels both on the golf course and in the classroom while demonstrating outstanding leadership skills and community service. Past recipients include LPGA Tour members Stacy Lewis and two-time winner, Amanda Blumenherst.

The Ken Venturi

“Spirit of Giving” Award

Golf is a great deal more than the talented professional players who thrill us week in and week out with their incredible skills. It is also an industry, worth in excess of $75 billion each year, more than 5% of which goes directly back into the game in the form of charity, quite remarkable when compared with most other industries. Equipment, services, facilities and suppliers from virtually every facet of the business world participate in the golf industry in one way or another and are a major part of the contributions made by it.

 

The Ken Venturi Spirit of Giving Award recognizes those individuals who have done more than their share to make the game more affordable, more accessible and more attractive to boys and girls throughout the country who want to play but may not have the necessary economic resources to do so.

 

In 2012, for the first time in its history, the Friends of Golf organization (FOG) created the inaugural Ken Venturi “Spirit of Giving” Award to honor Ken Venturi and his commitment to be an inspiring and motivating force for young golfers everywhere. Ken was a Friend of FOG for many years—almost since its inception. Through the years, he graciously contributed his time to support the mission of FOG by attending the event every year, conducting clinics for the players, and attracting many of the top professional golfers to contribute their time and interest to fostering good will for the young amateur and college golfer.

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He once said Byron Nelson, his mentor, gave him two pieces of advice; give back to the game and never charge for a lesson. Venturi passed away having more than fulfilled those challenges; a remarkable feat considering he spent almost every waking moment giving tips and advice to all golfers; pros and amateurs, young and old, male and female, scratch golfers and high handicappers. His presence every year at FOG’s Annual Event wasn’t merely as a figurehead. Whether he was emceeing the Noon Golf Clinic, traveling around the course providing tips, holding court in the Grill Room or interviewing Annika Sörenstam on stage at the evening banquet, he was involved.

 

It is a coveted award and includes a who’s who list of leaders in virtually every business endeavor that sees one of the roles of their company to further the opportunity for those among us not so fortunate.

 

Prior to 2012, this distinction was given as the “Man of the Year Award.”  Past recipients include:

Rick Taylor (2016), Ely Callaway & Oliver “Chip” Brewer (2015), Mike Stramaglio (2014), Jim Nantz (2011), Ken Venturi (2010)
Peter Ueberroth (2009),Greg Penske (2008), Digger Phelps (2007), Coach John Wooden (2006), Hoot McInerney (2005)

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Tournament Honoree

The highlight of FOG’s annual charity golf tournament held at the prestigious Bel-Air Country Club is the golf clinic conducted by that year’s FOG Honoree.


FOG’s line-up of Honorees rivals any list in the professional or amateur sports world. With well over 100 major golf championship victories and dozens of Hall of Fame memberships between them, it includes golfing legends such as Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Byron Nelson, Annika Sörenstam. Kathy Whitworth, Lee Trevino, Phil Mickelson, and many, many more.

The golf clinic, held between the morning and afternoon rounds of the annual FOG Charity Golf Tournament allows the players to interact with the host professional and Honoree who provide tips on the swing, the rules and some of their personal philosophies. In recent years, local golf hopefuls, from a few of the local inner city high schools, have been invited to hit a variety of shots under the watchful gaze of the pro, who then proceeds to give them advice and instruction. The clinic is the most popular aspect of the event, outside of playing in it.

 

In the evening, during the annual dinner and raffle, the Honoree once again is on scene to interact with the assembled group of players. The dinner is the exclamation point to the end of a fantastic all golf, all-giving day. Through the years, guests gather to enjoy stories, anecdotes and expert advice given in an open and straightforward interview with one or more of the nation’s best on air broadcasters, such as Jim Nantz, Al Michaels, and Tim Rosenfort.